Gun owners rally in Virginia
Demonstrators chanted “Northam out” and waved flags of support for President Donald Trump as thousands congregated at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond on Monday to protest proposed gun control legislation. Concerns about violence at the rally led Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, to declare a state of emergency and ban all weapons from the Capitol grounds.
Was the emergency declaration justified? Authorities feared that fringe groups could spark a repeat of the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. Last week, investigators arrested three men with suspected ties to a white supremacist group who were planning to attend the rally. No reports of violence had emerged as the rally wrapped up at about noon on Monday. The gun rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League organized the annual event. This year, it drew a larger crowd, perhaps because Democrats introduced several gun control bills after winning majorities in both chambers of the Virginia legislature. Some of the measures would limit handgun purchases and implement universal background checks.
Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew about congressional Republicans’ struggle to find a unified response to gun violence.
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