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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Warning of 'serious threats' Virginia governor bans weapons at gun-rights rally

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Warning of 'serious threats' Virginia governor bans weapons at gun-rights rally
Warning of 'serious threats' Virginia governor bans weapons at gun-rights rally

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday said he would ban all firearms and other weapons around the state capitol building this weekend, ahead of a major gun-rights demonstration expected to draw thousands of people.

"We're seeing threats of violence.

We're seeing threats of armed confrontation and assault on our capitol," Northam said.

"These are considered credible, serious threats from our law enforcement agencies." Gun-rights advocates, including militia groups and ultraconservative activists, are planning a "Lobby Day" rally on Monday, seeking to block gun control legislation backed by Northam, a Democrat, whose party recently won majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

"There are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday," Northam said.

"This includes out-of-state militia groups and hate groups planning to travel from across the country to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence." Northam, who is leading the push for stronger gun laws in his state, said he wants to avoid a repeat of violence that erupted at a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, when a march by white nationalists erupted and led to the death of a counter protester.

Everyone attending Monday's rally will be required to enter through a security checkpoint, authorities said.

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