Jan 17, 2020

Virginia AG asks state Supreme Court not to overturn gun ban

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: H. Darr Beiser for The Washington Post via Getty Image

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring insisted on Friday that the state Supreme Court not overturn a temporary weapons ban the governor enacted for a planned gun-rights rally at the state Capitol next Monday, AP reports.

Why it matters: 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.

Background: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam temporarily banned weapons at the state Capitol earlier this week, and declared a state of emergency due to evidence suggesting that Monday's attendees could break out in violence.

  • The Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America filed an emergency appeal on Thursday.
  • Herring argued the ban is crucial to avoid the kind of violence seen during 2017's nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
  • He added the ban does not violate rally-goers' Second Amendment rights because the restriction is justified for the public safety of all.
  • It remains unclear when the Supreme Court will rule.

Go deeper: Virginia General Assembly passes Equal Rights Amendment

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.