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02-15-2011, 11:10 PM
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Gun-Friendly General Assembly? House Okays Five Pro-Gun BillsLiving in the Heart of VirginiaCoupon BugHeart of VA ShowcaseHere to Help KidsGun-Friendly General Assembly? House Okays Five Pro-Gun Bills
Posted: Feb 10, 2011 5:33 PM EST

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Reporter: Jeremy Mills l Videographer: Brian Whitesell

Lynchburg, VA - The National Rifle Association (NRA) seems to be paying close attention to Virginia's General Assembly.

The NRA has sent out an email highlighting five new pro-gun bills that passed this week in the Virginia House.

In the past two years, Virginia's lawmakers have been busy passing multiple pro-gun bills, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed by local residents.

"I'm in favor of anything that the lawmakers will do that will help protect our rights," said Blane Fox, a local gun rights supporter.

The most well-known bill passed last year was the concealed carry law that allows citizens to carry concealed handguns into bars, as long as they do not drink.

Virginia is slowly positioning itself close Texas on the list of most gun-friendly states. This year, Roanoke Delegate Bill Cleaveland is sponsoring a '"Castle Doctrine" bill that could allow Virginians to use deadly force against unwanted intruders in their own home.

"To me, that would be a right, you know if someone is breaking into your home and you feel threatened... why wouldn't you want to protect yourself or your home?" said Lynchburg resident Tonya Newman..

Citizens of Lynchburg say that expanded gun rights are good for Virginia, and they hope the trend of pro-gun bills continues in Richmond.

"It's upholding your 2nd Amendment right. We were given that right a long time ago by our founding fathers there's no need to infringe on that now," said sporting goods store manager Michael Coffey.

The number of gun shops in the region is always growing, with the newest opening this week in Forest. Many residents say they are thrilled the rest of the state is catching up to Lynchburg's attitude on guns.

"I think it is a good place for families to move... (now) that you can protect yourself here in Virginia," said Fox.

The five bills that passed the House this week must still gain approval in the Senate.