Mr. Van Cleave wrote that the rally, as well as the declaration by more than 100 counties and municipalities across the state as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” had sent a stern political warning to legislators about enacting severe gun restrictions.
“VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Mr. Van Cleave tweeted.
He added in another tweet: “Everybody’s hard work, Lobby Day, and sanctuary movement paid off!”
Despite the defeat of the assault-rifle ban, however, both the State Senate and the House of Delegates are poised to give final approval later this month to at least five other gun-control bills.
Those measures include limiting handgun purchases to one each month, requiring background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, and imposing a “red flag” law, which allows the confiscation of guns from people deemed by courts to be dangerous to themselves or others.
Mr. Northam, a Democrat, has said he intends to sign the measures into law.
Mr. Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said in a statement Monday that the governor was “disappointed” by the failure of the assault-rifle ban, but added: ”We will be back next year.”
Republicans had refused to consider gun-control proposals when they controlled the State Legislature last year, and the issue became one of the central themes for Democratic candidates, who in November won control of both chambers for the first time in 25 years.
During the committee hearing Monday, which was filled with gun-rights supporters, a Marine Corps combat veteran told lawmakers that the M-16 assault rifle — a military assault-style rifle — was a critical tool of war, but that such firearms had no place among civilians.