Speed Reads

protests

Pro-gun rally in Virginia draws thousands

Authorities estimate 22,000 gun-rights advocates attended a rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, to protest proposed gun control legislation.

Ahead of the event, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned people from carrying weapons at the state capitol, citing "credible intelligence" from law enforcement that white supremacists groups would attend the rally and incite violence. Some extremist groups did attend, but the rally was mostly peaceful and there were no reports of violence.

Democrats now control the Statehouse, and have been pushing for new gun regulations, including universal background checks and a ban on military-style rifles. Protesters chanted "We will not comply" and "USA!" and several spoke to reporters about why they came out for the rally. "So many people are misinformed and think you are safer because you take my guns away," participant Jay Lowe told NBC News. "My guns have never killed anybody. And I carry a lot."