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Second Amendment supporters organize militia muster call in Bedford County

Bedford County militia muster call (WSET)
Bedford County militia muster call (WSET)
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BEDFORD CO., Va. (WSET) -- Second Amendment supporters gathered at a militia muster call on Saturday.

Residents of Bedford County organized a militia muster call to bring volunteers together to protect their Second Amendment rights.

An organizer of the muster said this is a way to protect Second Amendment rights and the residents of Bedford County.

"If we don't do it, amongst ourselves, who's going to do it for us?" said Richard Thornhill, a Bedford County Resident. "The government is not doing it right now."

"This is the next natural progression from sanctuary status," said organizer Wes Gardner. "We've been lobbying. We've been making phone calls. We've been sending emails."

They said the purpose of the muster is to preserve tranquility, peace, and civil order by organizing volunteers in the event that a militia is required to defend the "rights and liberties of the citizens" of Bedford County and Campbell County.

"The militia is another avenue to help protect the counties and the citizens in that county because what we're seeing right now is a violation of the basic of civil rights," said Gardner.

Gardner says the militia will work with the Sheriff's office and the Board of Supervisors to protect Bedford County citizens.

"So if there were any kind of natural disasters, the militia would be another organized body that they can call at a moment's notice to actually help serve and benefit the community," said Gardner.

Although Saturday was just a day to sign up for the militia, they believe it's the next step for change.

"If you look around, there's a group of people," said Thornhill. "It ain't got nothing to do with race or religion, creed or color, we're just here trying to make a point that we're going to keep our rights."

The muster calls were formed in response to the new gun legislation that has now passed the Virginia Senate and House.

Those bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks and other areas; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

The bill that has not been included is an assault weapon ban.

Seven out of the eight gun bills that Governor Ralph Northam has said were his priority passed the House and Senate over vocal opposition from Republicans, who said the measures infringe on law-abiding gun owners’ rights.

The bills were passed despite tens of thousands of pro-gun advocates from around the country rallying at the state Capitol in opposition to them.

Residents in Floyd County held a militia muster on January 18.

If you want to attend either muster in Campbell or Bedford County there are instructions for both of them including, volunteers must be able to lawfully possess a firearm under current law and volunteers less than 18 years of age must attend with a legal guardian or written permission from a legal guardian.

It also shows that those over the age of 55 are "encouraged to attend if they are willing to serve in a support capacity for the county militia."

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The Campbell County muster will be February 29 from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. at the Timbrook Public Library on Leesville Road and the Bedford County muster will be February 15 from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. at the Falling Creek Park in Bedford.

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