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Prospect of gun control in Virginia draws threats, promise of armed protest in Richmond

ROANOKE.COM January 7, 2019 – Gun rights advocates and militia members from across the country are urging thousands of armed protesters to descend on Virginia’s capital in two weeks to stop newly empowered Democrats from passing gun-control bills.

What began as several rural Virginia counties declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries has jumped the state’s borders and become an online phenomenon. Far-right websites and pundits are declaring that Virginia is the place to take a stand against what they see as a national trend of weakening gun rights.

Unlike blue bastions such as California and New York, Virginia is a Southern state with strong rural traditions and weak gun laws. Guns represent the strongest, reddest line against the demographic changes that have seen Old Dominion voters usher in a new era of Democratic leadership in recent elections.

And so a Nevada-based group called the Oath Keepers said it’s sending training teams to help form posses and militias in Virginia. The leader of a Georgia militia called Three Percent Security Force has posted videos and calls to arms on Facebook, urging “patriots” to converge on Richmond.

The right-wing YouTube “American Joe Show” warned without evidence that Virginia will cut the power grid to stop the army of protesters — one of a host of rumors spreading online.

Law enforcement and public safety officials say they are monitoring the situation, including several instances of threats toward Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat.

Even some gun enthusiasts expressed concern about the potential for violence at a rally planned for the state Capitol on Jan. 20.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (is) the grass-roots organization planning the rally.  [full article]

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