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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

Inflation threatens Latinos' buying power

Expand chart
Data: Hispanic Index of Consumer Sentiment; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Latinos in the U.S. are less optimistic about the economy than they were a year ago as inflation threatens to cut into their buying power.

Why it matters: Latinos have been economic growth drivers for the past decade, opening new businesses at faster rates than other groups and increasing their homeownership rates. The group's overall output would make them the seventh-largest GDP in the world if they were a country.

First look: Frontline Dems seek cover with bipartisan police bill

Rep. Josh Gottheimer. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Moderate Frontline Democrats facing tough reelection fights are teaming up with House Republicans on a bill that would effectively help fund the police, according to a copy of the bill text obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: One of Republicans' core and most effective campaign attacks to date is their messaging around progressive rhetoric to "defund the police." Moderate Democrats have long tried to dodge that narrative, acknowledging its political peril despite their support for broader police reform.

Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The U.S. Omicron wave may be peaking, but now COVID deaths are climbing as cases continue to soar in most of the country.

The big picture: Omicron's stranglehold in the U.S. started about a month ago. Its death toll — while almost certain to be smaller than previous waves of the pandemic — is only now starting to take hold, and deaths will likely continue to rise for several weeks.