GOP candidate: Gun owners should be ready to shoot protesters

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Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase tells gun owners to be 'on alert.'

A Virginia lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate urged gun owners to be "on notice" Monday that they might need to shoot anti-fascist protesters.

In a Facebook live video flagged by Right Wing Watch, Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase told gun owners who are "proficient in using" to be "on notice" and to "be careful, not fearful."

"If Antifa tries to hijack any of these rallies that are gonna be going on in the Chesterfield area, they're gonna be in for a real surprise because there are a number of people from the [Second Amendment] community who have been activated, who are on active alert," Chase said. "It's okay to have peaceful rallies and protests, but whenever there are those that cross that line and destroy lives and properties, that's not gonna be tolerated here. And we're on alert. And if you come to our community and wreak havoc and destruction, you're gonna be sorry."

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Protests have swept the nation after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, knelt on his neck, the latest in the uncountable number of black Americans killed in encounters with white police officers.

Chase did not immediately respond to an inquiry about her comments.

People engaged in peaceful protest Monday in Richmond, the Virginia state capital, were met with tear gas fired by police. On Tuesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney apologized to protesters for the incident.

The police chief of Chesterfield County, a suburb of Richmond and part of Chase's district, warned on Monday that should "local riots" spread into his jurisdiction, his force was "prepared to quickly quell violent criminal outbursts in our community and prosecute these folks to the fullest extent of the law."

Chase has a history of extreme comments about guns.

In April, she claimed that Gov. Ralph Northam's coronavirus social distancing rules were really designed to keep Second Amendment supporters and other conservatives from storming the state Capitol building in protest against Virginia's "egregious" new progressive laws.

Days later, she told a gun rights group that the right to bear firearms is all the equality women need. "The Second Amendment has always been there," she told the Virginia Citizens Defense League. "It's our Equal Rights Amendment for women. So what else do you need?"

Last September, Chase ran a Facebook ad featuring an image of a woman aiming a gun and the words "I'm not afraid to shoot down gun groups. SIGN my petition to help end the assault on our liberties." She later claimed the ads were a "communications oversight," blamed an outside vendor, and offered no apology.

In January 2019, after voting against Virginia's ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Chase told a right-wing radio host, "I call my revolver my little Equal Rights Amendment because it is empowering to women."

Chase announced in February that she will seek the Republican nomination in the 2021 gubernatorial race. She also threatened to run as an independent if party insiders pull "any shenanigans."

Chase was kicked out of the Chesterfield County Republican Party in September 2019 for publicly attacking the Republican county sheriff.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.