Freshman state Senator Amanda Chase has chosen to open carry her .38-caliber revolver on her hip stating it’s a “deterrent” against confrontational protesters and other potential threats.
VA state Sen. Amanda Chase, a first-term conservative state senator, said she became concerned for her safety on Monday after immigration activists confronted State Sen. Richard H. Black, forcing Capitol Police to be called, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“I’ve had threats. I’ve had stalkers since I’ve been in the General Assembly,” Chase said. “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.”
She said openly carrying her gun has given her more confidence. “It empowers women,” she said. “I jokingly call it my ERA.”
Chase told the Washington Post that some of her colleagues were on board with the move but others thought it was unnecessary.
“[I]f any member has concerns, they really should express those to Capitol Police so they feel secure while they’re doing the people’s business in the people’s house,” said Democrat Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security.