At the skeet shooting range at the Izaak Walton League, a group of men who call themselves The Geezers meets for a regular Friday morning session.
They fire shotguns at orange clay pigeons that fly high against a background of trees and grass at the 100-acre recreational club in Centreville. Dave Chavez, 64, drove here from Front Royal, and he brought several firearms from his home collection, including a rifle he built himself and a shotgun he uses on the range.
“This is a Japanese company called SKB that has gone out of business; I have multiple barrels for this,” he said.
Virginia gun culture has flourished in part because of the Commonwealth’s lenient gun laws. The state does not require a permit to buy a gun or openly carry it, and there are no restrictions on high capacity magazines. Private gun sales are not subject to mandatory background checks. And Chavez, a member of the National Rifle Association, wants to keep laws as they are.
“Guns are just a tool, and if used properly they don’t commit crimes,” he said. “People commit crimes.”