Gun-rights advocates descended on Richmond, Virginia for “Lobby Day”, an annual event held by pro-gun groups to oppose legislation that would restrict access to firearms in the state. People gathered in Capitol Square, while a larger crowd remained on the streets outside, where they were allowed to carry guns.
Gun restriction measures to be put in place include limits on the purchases of handguns, background checks for firearm transfers and enabling local governments to ban guns in parks and other public spaces, all of which could be voted on in the House of Delegates as early as this week.
Other bills,including a so-called “red flag” bill, which would allow law enforcement and lawyers to seek emergency orders to confiscate or block the sale of firearms to anyone deemed “a substantial risk of injury to himself or others are also being considered.
The commonwealth was bracing for disruptions from extremist and white nationalist groups, especially after the arrest of seven members of Neo-Nazi extremist group,The Base, by the FBI last week, at least three of whom had planned to travel to the rally on Monday.
The State’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, declared a temporary state of emergency last week to ban open and concealed firearms and other weapons from the state capitol grounds. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration issued temporary flight restrictions over the city, making it illegal to fly planes or drones.