UPDATE: The official part of the gun rights rally in Richmond, VA is over and has been peaceful. Legal owners of weapons expressed their opinions using their First Amendment rights to protect their Second Amendment rights.
Here’s a look at some of the action. The original story is below.
Main St. between 10/12th pic.twitter.com/8cUkljG6rb
— Cam Thompson (@CamThompsonCBS6) January 20, 2020
A look at the Capitol from 10th and Bank. pic.twitter.com/TQ9exUZsoU
— Cam Thompson (@CamThompsonCBS6) January 20, 2020
Gun-rights advocates participate in Lobby Day every year here in Virginia. It's never looked quite like this before. pic.twitter.com/XLD1PXfPYa
— Scott Wise (@Scott_Wise) January 20, 2020
Crowd view with rally underway pic.twitter.com/3550A1DbmD
— Sarah Rankin (@sarah_rankin) January 20, 2020
We have our first counter-protestors in Capitol Square. They say current rally is backed by Trump/Pence "fascist regime."
"This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown." pic.twitter.com/iJFeW6IECK
— Ben Paviour (@BPaves) January 20, 2020
More photos from the gun rally in Richmond today pic.twitter.com/xqsgm4rXqs
— Ned Oliver (@nedoliver) January 20, 2020
Grayson County Virginia Sheriff Richard Vaughan is here with his deputies. He said he won’t enforce stricter gun laws. We are here to stand up for the Second Amendment, he said. Many people are shaking his hand and thanking him. pic.twitter.com/L5lFo7zsQt
— Alissa Skelton is furloughed (@AlissaSkelton) January 20, 2020
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s capital city is bracing for the expected arrival of thousands of gun-rights activists and other groups that have vowed to descend on Richmond to protest Democrats’ plans to pass gun-control legislation.
Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency days ahead of Monday’s rally, banning all weapons including guns from the event on Capitol Square. Militia groups and white supremacists were among those expected to mix with gun-rights activists, raising fears the state could again see the type of violence that exploded in Charlottesville in 2017.
Virginia’s solicitor general told a judge Thursday that law enforcement had identified “credible evidence” armed out-of-state groups planned to come to the state with the possible intention of participating in a “violent insurrection.”
Toby Heytens also suggested during his arguments in a lawsuit by gun advocates that challenged the weapons ban that the crowd could number in the tens of thousands. The Supreme Court upheld the weapons ban.
Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police are all co-ordinating the event and have plans for a huge police presence at Monday’s rally with both uniformed and plainclothes officers. Police plan to limit access to Capitol Square to only one entrance and have warned rallygoers they may have to wait hours to get past security screening.
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: Please keep in mind that this is a mainstream media story with the typical lean to the left. We publish the story for the purpose of informing our readers.
Authorities will be looking to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in 2017 in Charlottesville during one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists and other far-right groups in a decade. Attendees brawled with counterprotesters, and an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more.
Law enforcement officials faced scathing criticism for what both the white supremacist groups and anti-racism protesters said was a passive response.
Monday’s rally is being organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defence League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers.
But this year, many more are expected to attend. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.
The pushback against proposed new gun restrictions began immediately after Democrats won majorities in both the state Senate and House of Delegates in November. Much of the opposition has focused on a proposed assault weapons ban.
Virginia Democrats are also backing bills limiting handgun purchases to once a month, implementing universal background checks on gun purchases, allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks and other areas, and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.
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