Jan 18, 2020

Trump tweets in support of pro-gun activists ahead of Virginia rally

President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Richmond braces for thousands of demonstrators on Monday, President Trump tweeted in support of pro-gun activists, saying the Second Amendment is "under very serious attack" in the state.

The state of play: Protesters are expected to pour onto state Capitol grounds in response to Virginia Democrats' sweeping gun control proposals. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned weapons around the Capitol. The Virginia state Supreme Court upheld Northam's ban Friday, Reuters reports.

The protest is advertised as peaceful, however, fears remain that the event could become violent and chaotic, per the Times.

  • Already, the FBI assisted the police on Thursday in arresting six men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base, at least three of whom were thought to be planning to attend the rally in Richmond, AP writes.
  • Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group organizing the rally, emailed a statement calling on 10,000 people to attend.

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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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 20, 2020

Virginia to abolish state holiday honoring Confederate generals

A statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in Richmond, Va. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Virginia's House of Delegates voted Thursday to eliminate a state holiday that honors two Confederate generals and replace it with Election Day instead.

Why it matters: The bill is among a slate of sweeping legislation passed by the state's General Assembly, which Democrats gained full control of last November.

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