Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency Monday as White supremacists and gun rights advocates descended on Richmond in response to the state’s new gun control laws. Thousands of protesters took to the streets shouting “we will not comply.” On Thursday Virginia’s Senate approved new three gun control measures that will now will go in front of the House of Delegates.
Under the first new measures, Virginia has banned people from carrying guns on all government and public properties, including all events. The second measure affects private gun sellers and would require background checks for all private transfers of Gun sellers will need to verify that a background check was done by a licensed gun dealer and confirmed by the local police that it was conducted. The third measure will only allow licensed gun dealers to buy one handgun, once a month.
Georgia police arrested Jacob Kaderli, 19 Luke Austin Lane, 21, and Michael John Helterbrand, 25 in connection with the threats. Police stated that the suspects wanted to “kill a married far-left group Antifa couple and start a civil war.” Authorities report that the three men are members of the White supremacist group called the “Base” were caught planning a massacre during the gun demonstration being held in Richmond and talked about it on social media.
The FBI reports that Base is a neo-Nazi white separatist paramilitary hate group. The group was formed in 2018 and is active in four countries. The group’s ideology is to violently overthrow of existing governments, hate camps and to cause race wars. It was created by the alias Norman Spear. Spear claims to be a white nationalist and also claims that he is a veteran that served in both the Afghan and Iraq war.
2/ Their leader, "Norman Spear," claims to be ex-military, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His immediate goal? Communal training grounds across the world. For this, he has purchased a plot of land in the Pacific Northwest, and plans to start training members in 2019. pic.twitter.com/acMsJy0ER1
— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) December 4, 2018
The Virginia Citizens Defense League was behind the rally. Virginia Citizens Defense League has stated that this “greatest threat to gun rights Virginians have faced in modern times” and stated it goes against the Second Amendment. VCDL President Phillip Van Cleave believes that Virginia should abolish gun control laws and has asked for peaceful demonstrations during the rally.
President Trump weighed in on the rally on Twitter giving protesters his full support. Trump stated that he will protect the 2nd Amendment.
I will NEVER allow our great Second Amendment to go unprotected, not even a little bit!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2020
Virginia Senator Amanda Chase has also shown support for the protesters. Chase stated on Twitter that she is “fighting for liberties and will not back down.”
— Senator Amanda Chase (@AmandaChaseVA) January 20, 2020
The new measures were in response to the Virginia Beach shooting on May 31, 2019. Twelve people were shot to death and four others were injured at a municipal building when disgruntled city employee DeWayne Craddock entered the building and began shooting. Craddock used a Glock21 45- caliber pistol and an H&K USP Compact Tactical .45- caliber pistol during the mass shootong. He was shot and killed by police. Earlier in the day before the shooting Craddock was able to buy six firearms in just a few hours.