The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence issued a press release Thursday citing a mobilization by members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, or VCDL, which it describes as a radical pro-gun group based out of Midlothian, Virginia, to rally numerous pro-gun activists to travel to McLean Wednesday night to attend a meeting of The McLean Citizens Association during which the location of a gun store next to a local elementary school was discussed.
The press release cited the “nature of the VCDL response, which included armed individuals and a customized RV depicting a threatening image of Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui-Cho,” claiming that it made it clear the that effort was intended to intimidate McLean residents and elected officials who want the store to relocate. “The issue at hand involves gun dealer James Gates’ store, NoVA Firearms, which is located at 1389 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Virginia, immediately next door to Sherman Elementary School,” according to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence statement. “This has drawn vocal opposition from citizens in the community, who organized a large protest in front of the store on Sept. 26.” It was also noted that Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member John Foust has publicly stated he would like to see the store relocate.
NoVa Firearms was originally located on West Broad Street in the City of Falls Church and relocated to McLean in 2013. A new gun store, The Gun Dude, now operates in its former location above Bedo’s Leatherworks.