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Watch Live: Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles And Handguns Among Demonstrators At VA Lobby Day

RICHMOND, Va. — Thousands have swarmed to Richmond for Virginia’s “Lobby Day” gun rights rally, taking place in Capitol Square. Demonstrators ...
Virginia Gun Rally WUSA

RICHMOND, Va. — Thousands have swarmed to Richmond for Virginia’s “Lobby Day” gun rights rally, taking place in Capitol Square. Demonstrators are preparing for “Lobby Day,” which is set to start at 11 a.m.

Jan. 20 is traditionally known as “Lobby Day” in Richmond, but with Governor Ralph Northam and a Democratic majority set to roll out tighter gun-safety legislation, those in favor of gun rights are turning out around the Virginia Capitol to press their case against it.

Demonstrators have lined the perimeter of capitol grounds holding signs rallying against the legislation — many of which are armed.

Prior to the rally, Northam issued a State of Emergency, banning all weapons from the capitol grounds after receiving word of credible threats of violence. The weapons ban lasts until 5 p.m. Tuesday but doesn’t affect streets outside of the capitol grounds.

Tight security is in place in preparation for the thousands of advocates anticipated to rally.

WUSA9 has crews in Richmond covering the rally as it unfolds today. Follow the latest below.

Alex Jones, a radio show host with Info Wars and a conspiracy theorist, made an appearance at the rally.

The organizer of the rally, Philip Van Cleave, said 130,000 armed attendees are expected at the rally.

Protesters lined up in the streets to head to the rally on the Richmond Capitol steps.

A group of heavily armed gun rights advocates said they were “just trying to attract attention.”

A man was seen carrying a .50 sniper rifle at the rally.

Van Cleave, the organizer of the rally, tweeted there was a “huge turnout.”

Armed demonstrators stood outside capitol grounds.

Virginia Citizens Defense League, a non-profit gun-rights group, planned the pro-gun rally on “Lobby Day.” The group’s original plan was to peacefully carry firearms at the rally.

The league has advocated for what is called “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions in over 130 counties and municipalities around the Commonwealth. Though such measures carry no legal weight, the VCDL is still a defiant gesture against tighter legislation.

In addition to guns, banned items on capitol grounds also include:

  • sticks
  • torches
  • poles
  • bats
  • shields
  • helmets
  • caustic substances (i.e. pepper spray)
  • hazardous materials
  • scissors
  • razor blades
  • needles
  • toy guns
  • toy weapons
  • fireworks
  • glass bottles
  • laser pointers
  • aerosol containers
  • baseballs
  • softballs
  • UAVs/drones or any item that can inflict bodily harm that is visible

Author: Madisson Haynes, TEGNA