- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 18, 2020

President Trump said Friday the Second Amendment “is under very serious attack” after the governor of Virginia banned firearms from being brought to a gun rights rally in Richmond.

Mr. Trump weighed in on social media shortly after a state of emergency took effect temporarily prohibiting weapons on the grounds of the Virginia state Capitol, where pro-gun activists are scheduled to hold demonstrations Monday expected to potentially draw thousands of participants and protesters.

“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter soon after the state of emergency started.

“That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, declared the state of emergency banning all weapons from the Capitol grounds from 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, citing “credible, serious threats of violence” identified by law enforcement intelligence analysts.

Organizers of the event subsequently asked the Virginia state Supreme Court to override the temporary weapons ban but were unsuccessful.

In a statement later Friday, Mr. Northam said he was “grateful” the state of emergency will stay in effect as a result of the court’s decision.

“I am confident that the majority of those attending Monday’s rally will be peaceful. I have full respect for their fundamental American right to voice their opinions. But over the past few days, the news has confirmed that … this rally is attracting extreme individuals and groups—including national hate, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups—who are threatening violence and looking to advance a violent agenda,” Mr. Northam said in a statement.

Indeed, the FBI this week announced the arrest of several individuals allegedly belonging to a violent extremist group known as The Base who discussed traveling from out of state to attend Monday’s rally.

“A big reason why we disrupted it now was based on the timing of the rally on Monday and the intent of some of the individuals to potentially conduct violent acts down in Richmond,” Jay Tabb, the FBI’s executive assistant director for national security, said Friday, The Associated Press reported.

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