Virginia protesters take the rally to another level.
A gun rights activist carries a handgun in a hip holster outside the Virginia Capitol building in Richmond on Jan. 8.Jonathan Drake / Reuters file
NBC News: Fearing a repeat of the deadly march by white nationalists in Charlottesville in 2017, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned people from carrying guns and other weapons on the grounds of the state Capitol, where thousands of gun rights activists are expected to rally next week against stricter gun control laws.
The event on Monday, called Lobby Day, is part of an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day tradition in which citizen activists, including those on both sides of the gun debate, converge on the Capitol to press issues directly to lawmakers. The rallies have usually been peaceful and orderly. But in November’s elections, in which Democrats took control of both chambers of the statehouse after campaigning on gun control, has changed the dynamic of this year’s event.