In wake of Capitol riot, gun supporters will descend Monday on Richmond — and likely stay in their vehicles

In wake of Capitol riot, gun supporters will descend Monday on Richmond — and likely stay in their vehicles

Gun rights protestors chant "We will not comply" as they gather on Bank Street outside the Virginia state capitol Monday January 20, 2020. Despite the violence in Washington and threats nationwide of more next week, a gun rights group still intends to hold its annual lobby day Monday in Richmond, where armed throngs usually descend on the white-columned capitol building. But two things will drastically alter this year’s event: the pandemic and a fast move pulled by the opposition, which snapped up all permits available that day for Capitol Square. The result: Most of this year’s gun lobby participants will stay in their vehicles, part of a caravan rolling through city streets. Last year’s event was the largest in its 18-year history, drawing thousands who flooded the area around Capitol Square, chanting, waving flags and signs in opposition to new gun restrictions being proposed. Most were armed in a show of Second Amendment rights, with some carrying assault-style weapons — AR-15s, AK-47s and the like. Gov. Ralph Northam, concerned about outside agitators and the potential for violence, fenced off the capitol building, declared a state of emergency in Richmond and called in extra security. “That has nothing to do with us,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which spearheads the gun lobby day. “We’re all for law and order. We’ve never had any problems in all the years we’ve done this.” But tensions are higher than ever now, with the FBI warning of threats […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.