search
Sections List
American Journal News

Virginia state Senate candidate opposes gun laws, thinks profanity should be a crime

Republican Danny Diggs, a former sheriff, said in 2019 that gun safety laws were unconstitutional and unenforceable.

By Josh Israel - October 17, 2023
Share
Governor Glenn Youngkin with candidate Danny Diggs in September, 2023.
Governor Glenn Youngkin with candidate Danny Diggs in September, 2023. (Glenn Youngkin / Flickr)

Republican Danny Diggs is currently running for a seat in the Virginia Senate on his strong opposition to gun violence legislation, which he believes violates the U.S. Constitution. But during his tenure as the sheriff for York County and the city of Poquoson, he fought to keep a law on the books that criminalized public cursing.

Diggs is challenging Democratic Sen. Monty Mason for the competitive 24th Senate District seat in this year’s race, which ends on Nov. 7. The winner of the Hampton Roads-area seat could determine which party controls the 40-seat Senate for the next four years. If Republicans win back control of the Senate and hold their majority in the House of Delegates, they will likely roll back gun safety laws, reproductive rights, clean energy targets, civil rights protections, and the right to vote.

On his campaign site, Diggs notes his strong opposition to gun violence legislation: “I have proudly defended the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment. I oppose efforts to criminalize law abiding gun owners. In the General Assembly I will work to stiffen penalties for those who use guns to commit crime while supporting our constitutional right to bear arms.”

In 2010, Diggs supported the repeal of a York County ordinance that had banned the discharge of firearms in some residential neighborhoods. According to coverage in the Newport News-based Daily Press, he called the law unnecessary, unenforced, and claimed it provided nothing but “extra feel good.”

In 2020 and 2021, the Democratic-led Legislature approved enhanced background checks for gun purchases, a limit on the number of firearms an individual can purchase each month, a ban on guns in preschools and daycare facilities, and a red flag law to allow judges to temporarily disarm those deemed an immediate threat to themselves or others.

Diggs opposed those laws and suggested he might not enforce them. In December 2019, as Republican-led local governments considered whether to refuse to enforce gun laws, he told the Daily Press that he backed such a refusal. He told the paper that proposed gun safety laws were “an outright assault” on the Constitution and “way beyond any kind of reasonable attempt at gun control.”

He told the Norfolk-based Virginian Pilot that it would be “very difficult to enforce” such laws because he thought they were not constitutional.

A Diggs campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions from the American Independent Foundation.

While Diggs takes an absolutist view of the Second Amendment, he has taken a much more limited view of the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

In May 2011, a Daily Press editorial mocked Diggs for urging people to call 911 if they heard foul language at Yorktown’s Riverwalk Landing. “Sometimes when you over-analyze a problem, or it has been festering for a while, you come up with the most convoluted and least apt solution,” the editorial board said of his suggestion.

In 2020, the Democratic-led Virginia General Assembly passed bipartisan legislation to repeal a 1792 ban on “profane swearing” in the commonwealth, with more than three-quarters of lawmakers in each chamber in favor.

That November, Diggs complained to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, “They’ve taken away a tool that we could use to diffuse a volatile situation.”

As the American Independent Foundation reported on Oct. 9, Diggs recently released a campaign ad in which supporter Heather Clements accuses Mason of being “soft on crime.” The Newport News mother featured in the spot and her husband attended the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to videos her husband posted on Facebook. Clements posted in comments that she was there “to protest because dems cheated” and said, “I want to go down with a fight.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Big investors are buying up single-family homes. Sen. Sherrod Brown has a plan to stop them.

Big investors are buying up single-family homes. Sen. Sherrod Brown has a plan to stop them.

By Jesse Valentine - July 09, 2024
New Mexico Senate nom Nella Domenici earned up to $1 million renting out Connecticut home

New Mexico Senate nom Nella Domenici earned up to $1 million renting out Connecticut home

By Jesse Valentine - July 08, 2024
GOP’s Mark Robinson blames bad fathers for social ills despite own son’s criminal record

GOP’s Mark Robinson blames bad fathers for social ills despite own son’s criminal record

By Jesse Valentine - July 03, 2024
Kelly Ayotte’s history of backing Medicare cuts could be hurdle in governor’s race

Kelly Ayotte’s history of backing Medicare cuts could be hurdle in governor’s race

By Jesse Valentine - July 02, 2024
Texas Republican Ken Paxton enlisted outside group to gut rights for pregnant workers

Texas Republican Ken Paxton enlisted outside group to gut rights for pregnant workers

By Jesse Valentine - June 24, 2024
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
FactCheck: Republican Sheehy revives discredited abortion claim in Senate race

FactCheck: Republican Sheehy revives discredited abortion claim in Senate race

By Matt Volz - July 15, 2024
Lawsuit seeks to overturn Michigan’s ban on conversion therapy for minors

Lawsuit seeks to overturn Michigan’s ban on conversion therapy for minors

By Jon King, Michigan Advance - July 15, 2024
Virginia Republican Jen Kiggans backs effort to stop voting rights expansion

Virginia Republican Jen Kiggans backs effort to stop voting rights expansion

By Jesse Valentine - July 12, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde poured millions into dubious overseas ventures

Republican Eric Hovde poured millions into dubious overseas ventures

By Jesse Valentine - July 12, 2024
 Republican Monique DeSpain boasts about out-of-state support

 Republican Monique DeSpain boasts about out-of-state support

By Jesse Valentine - July 11, 2024
U.S. House candidate Rob Bresnahan donated thousands to controversial, far-right figures

U.S. House candidate Rob Bresnahan donated thousands to controversial, far-right figures

By Jesse Valentine - July 11, 2024