A Virginia lawmaker who previously warned of a “coming Civil War” in America is proposing a law that would make it a felony to pass gun laws.
Virginia delegate Marie March made national headlines in 2021 when she was among a crop of candidates who won election despite attending a Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol. March has not been charged with a crime and says she left the rally before the attack. Now she’s running a tense reelection campaign against an opponent she’s accused of assaulting her (which he denies) and being weak on gun laws. And to distinguish herself from rival Virginia Republicans, she’s proposed a baffling new gun policy.
In a Wednesday email, first reported by Virginia political journalist Brandon Jarvis, March solicited funds from supporters who “oppose Joe Biden and his anti-gun schemes.”
If re-elected, March wrote, “I will lead the effort to outlaw every single Federal Anti-Gun Edict or ‘rule change’ here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and make it a felony to try to push these anti-gun schemes on law-abiding citizens.”
It’s unclear how such legislation would possibly work, even in the unlikely event that it is enacted. Would U.S. senators who voted for gun laws be extradited to Virginia? March did not return a call or email request for clarification.
In her email, March offered a baroque legal theory to support the hypothetical bill.
“You see, James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, and Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence both authored another key piece of legislation that passed—the 1798 Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions,” she wrote. “In these Resolutions Jefferson said States must ‘nullify’ any and all unconstitutional actions by the Federal Government and Madison said it is the ‘duty’ of State Delegates to do so.”
Those writings, Jarvis noted, have previously been cited by Civil War-era secessionists and more modern opponents of school desegregation. In 1800, Madison wrote (and the Virginia General Assembly passed) a report declaring that states had no legal grounds to overturn federal law.
Meanwhile, March has struggled to enact more reality-based laws, leading to conflict with fellow Virginia Republicans. Amid an intra-party feud this year, March released a video implying that Virginia’s lieutenant governor (a Republican) had called her “swine.”
“I just want you to know that I’ve held to my guns to the point that I’ve even had someone from way up here come in my office and scream at me and call me swine, she came in my office, she slammed my door, and she said that she will not throw down pearls before swine over me not willing to vote for a bad bill,” March said in the video.
Sources told Virginia’s Cardinal News that some of the conflict began when March appeared not to recognize Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, who had visited her office to discuss a bill. (March denied the allegation.)
She also filed assault charges against her reelection opponent, delegate Wren Williams. March alleged that, during a gala, Williams “intentionally pushed/shouldered slammed” her. Surveillance footage obtained by the Cardinal News shows March reenacting the alleged event dramatically, although footage of the supposed attack appears to show Williams bumping into March and apologizing while leaving the event with his wife, who was pregnant. He was acquitted of the charges.
March blamed some of the trial’s outcome on supposed political corruption. “Judges are appointed by politicians and the swamp is deep, folks,” she wrote on Facebook. “Our country is in a sad state of affairs.”
In previous Facebook posts, she has warned of potential bloodshed between political factions.
“Will the coming War be us killing each other in order to reset this Country?” she wrote amid racial justice protests in 2020. “Will we kill off the old OR will we kill off the young? Can we live with our conscience when we actually take human life and end their potential? What about the folks in the middle, how will you side when you see the faults of both sides and you also see the potential of both? HOW can we work together? Or can we? I personally will fight and die for my family. I will also die for my small businesses because I have dedicated my life to them, and these businesses will help to employ my family and feed them.
Her small businesses aren’t waiting for a civil war before they die. One of the restaurants she owns, Due South BBQ in Christianburg, announced this month that it is closing “due to the continued high cost of food and labor.” Late last year, she also closed her nearby restaurant Fatback Soul Shack. She’s also selling off a property that houses the “Bear Dance Market & CBD Cafe” (independently operated) and clashed with local officials over an attempted sale of the “Big Red Barn,” an agritourism destination. Officials found that March was operating the venue in non-compliance with zoning laws. March, in response, accused the officials of conspiracy to hurt her business. A special prosecutor who reviewed March’s allegations said she did not provide “even reasonable suspicion, much less probable cause.”
In her Wednesday email suggesting felony charges for legislators who pass gun laws, March again hinted at a conspiracy against her and her businesses.
“I am going to be honest, I am being attacked by the fake news, the bureaucracy and the Richmond Swamp,” she wrote. “My small businesses are under attack and I am being personally targeted by lies and threats.”