BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has announced the winner of its prestigious “Grassroots Organization of the Year” award is the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

CCRKBA traditionally announces the awards during the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference awards luncheon, but this year’s GRPC was totally online this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so there was no luncheon program. But that isn’t preventing the national grassroots group from honoring people and organizations that have done outstanding work to advance the cause of ground-level activism.

“Earlier this year,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “when anti-gunners literally declared war on the Second Amendment and gun owners in Virginia, the VCDL emerged in a position of leadership and through their efforts, a massive rally of gun owners was held in Richmond, making it clear their rights are not up for grabs.”

VCDLs annual rally day became a stunning success, with more than 22,000 citizens crowding the streets around the Capitol building. Gottlieb said this was a gathering the media could not ignore or even downplay in terms of numbers. It was the largest turnout of gun rights activists at any state capitol on record, he noted.

Founded in October 1994 as the Northern Virginia Citizens Defense League, the organization quickly grew and expanded across the Commonwealth. In 1998, it was incorporated as VCDL, and to this day has remained among the staunchest state gun rights organizations in the country.

“It’s a great honor,” said VCDL President Philip Van Cleave, “considering the quality of the organizations in this country that are doing a fantastic job.”

“Not only are we delighted to give this award to the VCDL,” Gottlieb observed, “we’re proud of their example, which we hope will be copied by grassroots activists across the country. Virginia gun owners taught us all something this year. Faced with a hostile administration, they didn’t cower but instead came out of the shadows, from all corners of the Commonwealth, and VCDL led the way. They didn’t riot or loot, they showed what peaceful protest is all about, and in the aftermath, they left the place cleaner than it was when they arrived. We offer VCDL our most heartfelt congratulations.”