ALAN SUDERMAN and SARAH RANKIN
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Thousands of gun-rights activists — some brandishing their military-style rifles — crowded the streets surrounding Virginia's Capitol building Monday to protest plans by the state's Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.
Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency days ahead of the rally, banning all weapons, including guns, from the event on Capitol Square. The expected participation of fringe militia groups and white supremacists raised fears the state could again see the type of violence that exploded at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The Richmond protesters, who were mostly white and male, came out in strong numbers Monday despite the chilly temperature