Thousands rally in Virginia in support of gun rights

National News

January 20, 2020 - 10:07 AM

Gun rights protestors gather under the Virginia State Capitol for a rally in support of Second Amendment rights Monday. (Rob Ostermaier/Virginian Pilot/TNS)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gun-rights activists — some making deliberate displays of their military-style rifles — began to descend on Virginia’s capital city this morning to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.

Several thousand activists — mostly white and male, many clothed in camouflage and waving flags with messages of support for President Donald Trump — appeared hours before the 11 a.m. rally was set to begin.

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency days ahead of the rally, banning all weapons, including guns, from the event on Capitol Square. The expected arrival of thousands of gun-rights activists — along with members of militia groups and white supremacists — raised fears the state could again see the type of violence that exploded in Charlottesville in 2017.

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