Statement From The Virginia National Guard

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard, released a statement regarding the use of the Guard to enforce anticipated gun control laws.

We have received multiple questions regarding proposed legislation for the 2020 General Assembly session and the authority of the Governor of Virginia to employ the Virginia National Guard in a law enforcement role. We understand and respect the passion people feel for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights. We will not speculate about the possible use of the Virginia National Guard. I encourage everyone to be patient while we allow our elected officials to work through the legislative process. We have not received any requests from the Governor, or anyone on his staff, about serving in a law enforcement role related to any proposed legislation. I expect our Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force to be professional and respectful in their discussions about this subject. As private citizens, our personnel are free to express their opinions to their elected officials, but they should not engage in any political activity while in a uniformed status. We will provide regular updates when appropriate during the General Assembly session. Please utilize your chain of command to direct any questions or concerns to my office, and we will do our best to address them.

As I read this statement, Gen. Williams is saying a few things. First, he is warning Guardsmen not to participate in 2A rallies in uniform or use their status in commentary. They are free to do what they want but only as private citizens.

Second, he is waffling a bit on whether they would enforce any such gun control laws. He does this by saying no one has made an official request for them to act in a law enforcement role. He also says they respect the “passion” people feel for the 2A and the Constitution.

Finally, I think he is pointing out that no one knows what will actually be passed by referring to it as “proposed legislation”. On this he is 100% correct.

With the exception of South Carolina and Vermont, the Adjutant General of each state’s National Guard is selected by the Governor. However, Williams’ date of appointment indicates he was in the position pre-Northam.