Virginia Citizens Defense League

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Virginia Citizens Defense League
Motto Defending Your Right To Defend Yourself
Formation October 1994; 22 years ago (1994-10)
Type NGO
  • Virginia, United States
Leader Philip Van Cleave

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) is a grassroots, pro-gun organization.


VCDL doesn’t have a paid lobbyist.[citation needed] Instead, VCDL relies upon the voters in each legislative district to contact their legislators. VCDL focuses its efforts on promoting gun-friendly legislation in the Commonwealth, especially in regards to concealed carry and ensuring that localities comply with state law.[citation needed]

The VCDL website provides a history of the organization's legislative advocacy.

In May 2007, VCDL made news by organizing the Bloomberg Gun Giveaway drawing. The drawing was designed to help two Virginia gun dealers fight Mayor Mike Bloomberg's attempts to drive them out of business through lawsuits. The drawing was originally scheduled for April 19, 2007 at VCDL's regular public meeting, but due to the massacre that occurred at Virginia Tech earlier that week, the drawing was postponed until the next public meeting on May 17.

The Washington Post ran a series of stories on how Fairfax County politicians worked to try to stop the Bloomberg Gun Giveaway, including an article on May 16, 2007.[1] In August 2007, VCDL filed suit to compel Fairfax County to drop its efforts to declare the drawing illegal.[2]

Under the Gun Lawsuit[edit]

In 2016, Katie Couric was an executive producer and narrator for the documentary, Under the Gun, examining gun violence and gun control in the United States.[3] The documentary was criticized for having an 8-second pause for "dramatic effect" inserted instead of the answer given to a question Couric posed to members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Couric posted a response on the documentary's website stating, "I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)," and she included a partial transcript of the response she received.[4] Later that year, the VCDL filed a defamation lawsuit for $12 million against Couric and the film's director, Stephanie Soechtig, for continuing to promote and distribute the film without correcting the pause.[5] [6]


External links[edit]