RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia state lawmakers will be meeting under heightened security Monday amid concerns about possible civil unrest in state capitals in the days leading up to President elect-Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Monday is also expected to bring a large showing of gun-rights supporters to Richmond. It marks the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which is typically a chance for citizens to use a day off work to meet with their legislators in what’s informally known as lobby day.
Gun-rights activists typically make a large, organized appearance each year. This year they are planning a series of caravans through the city decked out in pro-gun messages.
The president of the group organizing the event has said the event will be orderly and there are no plans to decamp from the vehicles for an in-person gathering.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state Senate is convening for this year’s legislative session at a science museum event center that allows for greater social distancing. House lawmakers are meeting virtually.
The state Capitol and grounds around it are closed to the public through at least Thursday.
Since the FBI issued a warning about the potential for violence at state capitols in the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Ralph Northam and other top officials have said the state is well-prepared to prevent any violence.