What to know before Virginia's gun rights rally

Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency amid fears that Monday's demonstration in Richmond will turn violent.
RICHMOND, Va. — As most Americans are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] at the state Capitol. Here's what you need to know before the demonstration:
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Virginia Citizens Defense League holds a "Lobby Day" event at the Capitol to advocate for gun rights. The demonstration usually attracts a few hundred attendees. But this year's event is expected to swell because the Democratic-controlled Legislature is proposing several gun control measures, some of which would limit handgun purchases and require background checks.
The Defense League says it wants a "peaceful event," but law enforcement, the governor and residents fear that violence will erupt as white nationalists and far-right militias from throughout the country are expected to attend. Some saw [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], saying "Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia," as a call to join Monday's rally.


On Thursday, three members of a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], which advocates for a white ethno-state, were arrested on the East Coast. Law enforcement officials said they had been planning to attend the rally. The next day, officials announced the arrests of three men from Georgia and one from Wisconsin, all alleged to be members of The Base.
The Base, which was formed about two years ago, says that it is neither a political organization nor a paramilitary group and that it has no clear formal leadership.
Defense League President Philip Van Cleave, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] said he believes the Oath Keepers, a far-right group based in Nevada, will be in attendance, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. On far-right corners of the internet, some have said the rally will accelerate a "race war."


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