Virginia lawmaker: Man with assault rifle tried to coerce me at my home

Though Virginia lawmakers narrowly defeated legislation to ban assault weapons in the commonwealth on Monday, one of the bill’s proponents has shared that he was threatened at his home over the weekend.

Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, said an armed man stood outside his kitchen window in an effort to coerce him to change his vote.

“On Saturday, a man with a large assault weapon with a large extended magazine came to my home. He stood outside my kitchen window for a couple of hours or so,” Levine said Monday on the Virginia House floor.

Levine then recounted what happened when he asked Alexandria police officers to respond to the man.

“I asked them to ask the man if he would like to come to my office instead, to come chat with me in my office in Richmond,” Levine went on. “And, if he did not want to do that, if he wanted to protest outside my office in Richmond. The man declined my offer, through the police.”

Alexandria police Lt. Courtney Ballentine confirmed that officers responded to Levine’s home Saturday and said the unnamed man was not trespassing on Levine’s property.

Ballentine was unaware that officers had any interaction with the armed man, and said the entire incident is under investigation.

Here is Levine’e speech that he shared on social media:

In wrapping up his speech to colleagues, Levine said he welcomes any discussion, protest or act of civil disobedience from those with an opposing viewpoint.

“What’s not appropriate is to come to my house with a loaded gun to coerce me to change my position on a bill,” Levine said. He continued, raising his voice, “That will not work, that will never work with me. And I suggest it will never work with any member of this body. Don’t do it.”

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