Despite security concerns, thousands rally peacefully for gun-rights in Richmond

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A rally scheduled to last just an hour led thousands of gun-rights supporters to the Virginia State Capitol, prompted state and federal authorities to increase security measures on Capitol grounds and drove groups planning to counter the pro-gun rally to change their Lobby Day plans.

Despite concerns of potential threats, there were no reports of arrests, extremist violence or any security issues, a spokesperson for Capitol Police said.

Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said law enforcement officials found “credible, serious threats” linked to the rally when he declared a state of emergency temporarily banning weapons and all firearms on Capitol grounds until Tuesday evening.

On Friday, leaders in Virginia’s Senate and House were briefed by law enforcement officials about the threats, 8News learned. The security briefing came after Republicans publicly demanded one the day before.

After the briefing, House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) condemned any group planning to “spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence or civil unrest” while in Richmond.

“Lobby Day is a time for people to peacefully assembly and petition their government,” Gilbert said in a statement before the rally. “It is not a place for hate or violence.”

A source told 8News that a man who was trying to climb up the fire escape of the 12-story Mutual Building at 909 E. Main Street was detained by security. It is unclear what, if any, charges the man could face.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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