Female VA State Senator Open Carries On House Floor — Calls Gun Her ‘ERA’
A Virginia state senator utilized the state’s open-carry law in a unique way on Tuesday by carrying her .38 caliber revolver with her right into the state’s capitol building.
Amanda Chase, a first-term conservative state senator who has made news by being a vocal opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, decided to carry her gun after pro-immigration activists confronted a fellow state senator the day before, forcing Capitol Police to be called, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Sen. Amanda Chase @a_chase11 #VASD11 packing heat in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee presenting her bill allowing firefighters and EMTs who are former law enforcement officers or vets to carry concealed weapons without a permit https://t.co/8pfXLE3MbH pic.twitter.com/mWnHowvIuq
— Michael Pope (@MichaelLeePope) January 16, 2019
“It concerned me,” Chase told The Washington Post, describing her feelings about the incident. “I’ve had threats. I’ve had stalkers since I’ve been in the General Assembly. I am going to continue to represent the issues that are important to my constituents, and I’m not going to be intimidated by people who would try to physically harm me.”
Chase, who has a concealed-carry permit and says she always carries concealed, open-carried on Tuesday while presenting bills in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee. One of those bills happened to be an Equal Rights Amendment resolution alternative. (RELATED: One Of Georgia’s Safest Cities REQUIRES Its Citizens To Own A Gun)
“Sometimes it’s a deterrent for over-exuberant folks. Unfortunately, in the General Assembly, we see the good, we see the bad, we see all types of things,” she told the Times-Dispatch. “It’s just for personal safety, quite honestly.”
“I’ve had people get in my face. I’ve had people come up and try to touch me inappropriately,” she told the Post. “And it is a deterrent.”
Although Virginia is currently considering several gun control bills under Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, for now “rules about guns are notoriously loose,” the Post reported, and the state does not require a permit to open carry. In fact, several other GOP lawmakers also reportedly carry guns, although theirs are kept concealed.
“I’ve been called a ‘badass,'” Chase said to the Post, adding that she believes the practice “empowers women.”
“I jokingly call it my ERA.”