Updated Jan 20, 2020

What we know: Richmond, Va., Second Amendment rally

Gun rights advocates in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 20. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Thousands of Second Amendment activists gathered in Richmond, Va., on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to protest proposed gun restrictions under consideration in the Democratic-controlled legislature.

Why it matters: The city avoided the chaos that broke out during a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 that left one person dead and around two dozen others injured. The organizers of the 2017 rally said they had planned to attend Monday's gathering.

  • White supremacists, antigovernment militias and other extremists groups also said they planned to attend Monday's rally.
  • The FBI on Thursday arrested three men who have ties to a white supremacist group who said they had planned who attend the rally and were preparing for a possible race war, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Of note: The rally is part of Lobby Day, an annual event where citizens talk with legislators about upcoming measures. Monday's demonstration against gun control laws was organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

The big picture: Hundreds of the demonstrators carried semi-automatic rifles and wore camouflage clothing and military-style helmets and boots.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) ordered a state of emergency days before and banned weapons from Virginia's Capitol grounds. The state installed a security perimeter around the Capitol with a single entrance, the New York Times reports.
  • No incidents or arrests on the Capitol grounds were reported. Around 5,482 people had entered the grounds as of 10 a.m., according to the NYT.

What they're saying: President Trump tweeted during the rally, "The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!"

By the numbers: A Washington Post-Schar School poll released a month before the election that flipped both legislative houses in Virginia found that "3 out of 4 voters rated gun policy a very important issue. "

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with developments.

Go deeper: As Richmond braces for hate, Americans say race relations are getting worse

Go deeper

As Richmond braces for hate, Americans say race relations are getting worse

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Note: 6,637 respondents, ±1.7 percentage points margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

The city of Richmond, Va., is bracing for potential violence — another “Charlottesville,” in the worst-case scenario — as thousands are expected to converge on the state capitol Monday to protest gun restriction legislation.

Why it matters: On a day that is meant to celebrate what would have been the 91st birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., the nation is grappling with emboldened white nationalist groups and racial tension. Surveys show a majority of Americans believe race relations are getting worse under President Trump.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020

Assault weapons ban dies in Virginia Senate despite Democratic control

Gun-rights ralliers at a protest outside the Virginia Capitol Building in January. Photo ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images.

An assault weapons ban died in the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday despite a Democratic majority in the assembly, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Democrats flipped the Virginia House and Senate last year after campaigning hard on gun control. The assault weapons bill would have banned future transfers and sales of all assault weapons in the state.

Gun control group Everytown to spend $1.25 million on competitive state legislatures

Protesters at a rally hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety plans to roll out $1.25 million for digital ad campaigns in five states where control of the legislatures is at play this year, Everytown first told Axios.

Why it matters: The group has committed to spending a total of $60 million on 2020 elections. This newest campaign will focus on pressuring competitive state legislatures, including in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to move forward on gun safety legislation.

Go deeperArrowJan 30, 2020