Armed activists rally for gun rights in Virginia

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 20, 2020 - Duration: 01:40s

Armed activists rally for gun rights in Virginia

Thousands of armed gun-rights activists filled the streets around Virginia’s capitol building on Monday to protest a package of gun-control legislation making its way through the newly Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.


Armed activists rally for gun rights in Virginia

Richmond, Virginia was on high alert Monday as thousands of armed gun-rights activists gathered around the state's capitol building to protest gun-control legislation.

Ahead of the rally, Governor Ralph Northam banned carrying weapons onto the capitol grounds.

Demonstrators could be seen openly carrying rifles outside the perimeter with some dressed in camouflage and body armor amid heavy security, as authorities aimed to prevent a replay of the violence that took place at a demonstration by white nationalists in Charlottesville three years ago.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER SAYING: "We came up here from Texas because we understand that if Ralph 'Blackface' Northam is able to take away the constitutional rights of the people of Virginia, it's going to sweep the nation like a wildfire." Rally-goers are protesting a package of gun control measures making their way through the state legislature, after Democrats won control of both chambers in November, and as the Democratic governor vows to push for tighter gun regulations.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the protest in a tweet saying Democrats in Virginia "are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights." Some protesters at the rally, waved flags with message of support for the president.

Monday's event comes after the FBI last week arrested three members of a neo-Nazi group, who authorities said had discussed traveling to the rally and planned to start a race war.

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