RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia officials prepared for a large gun-rights rally at the state Capitol Monday morning as Lobby Day began under heightened security.
Annually Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Virginia Citizens Defense League holds Lobby Day to advocate for gun rights, NBC News reported. The event normally attracts a few hundred demonstrators, but this year’s rally is expected to be larger.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency at Capitol Square after he enacted a gun ban for the rally after reports of possible violence during the demonstration, WRIC reported. Northam was concerned over extremist and white nationalist groups disrupting the peaceful demonstrations with violence, similar to the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, CNN reported.
Police were searching people’s belongings early Monday as they descended upon Capitol Square, according to WRIC.
© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group