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Gun activists lobby at Virginia State Capitol

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – While thousands flocked to the nation’s capital in Washington for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, hundreds flocked to Virginia’s state capital to discuss gun owners rights Monday.

“If we can do something about the access to these killing machines we can do something about reducing this violence,” Andrew Goddard, a gun control advocate, said at a rally for more gun control.

Those in favor of more second amendment rights, like Brandon Howard of Virginia Beach, also gathered to lobby legislators.

Howard carried his AR-15 around Capitol Square to show that guns can help stop violence.

“If there were guns in places that these shootings were taking place in they wouldn’t be happening and if they did happen they wouldn’t be as extreme as they are,” Howard said.

Howard wants the use of guns at schools considered as a part of school safety.

But gun control activists challenge the validity of the need for 100 magazine clips.

Jacklyn Campbell, a pro-second amendment activist, explained the need for such clips.

“It’s a lot like a vehicle going a 120 miles-an-hour. I’m sure you don’t need a vehicle that goes 120 miles-an-hour but in the event that you do you’ll be very grateful you had that ability,” Campbell said.

People in favor of stricter gun control laws, rallied for the passage of SB 1001. The bill, introduced by State Senator Henry Marsh (D – Richmond), would close the so-called gun show loop – requiring a background check be conducted on everyone who buys a gun at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must perform background checks on customers. The bill is scheduled to come up for a vote on Wednesday.

“It would require the background check on gun sales that we’ve been looking for that have not been subject to background checks in the past,” Peter Read, whose daughter was killed at the Virginia Tech shooting, said.

Gun enthusiasts have rallied behind several bills, including one that would require Virginia school boards to train at least one person in every district to carry a concealed  handgun at school. HB 1557 was sponsored by Del. Bob Marshall (R – Manassas).

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