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Group protests Virginia's new gun laws: 'Don't infringe on us'

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Posted at 7:42 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 19:48:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A large group of people showed up to protest Virginia's new gun laws near the State Capitol Saturday morning.

The group held the event on Bank Street since Capitol Square was closed for the holiday weekend because of the possibility of protests.

Organizers said the rally was formed to allow pro-gun Virginians to speak out against a slew of new laws that went into effect on July 1.

Those new gun laws include tighter background checks, reinstating the one handgun purchase per month law, establishing an extreme risk gun removal procedure (a so-called "red flag" law) and allowing localities to regulate firearms on public property.

Gun control advocates argue those measures make Virginia safer.

RELATED: These new laws in Virginia went into effect July 1

"Everything is just to say, 'Hey, don't infringe on us,'" one man attending the rally said. "Let us do our thing. You guys can do your thing. But we don't get to vote on the checks and balances as far as the nitty-gritty details. And we think there's a lot of things that shouldn't be passed that are being passed."

A group of counter-protesters also showed up, but nothing developed beyond a brief verbal exchange.

A pro-gun rally in January that drew 20,000 gun owners, many of whom were armed, to Richmond.

Richmond Police warned of possible traffic delays near the capitol and along Monument Avenue.

"Lots if people are expected to arrive in Richmond on July 4th to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech," Richmond Police posted Friday. "They will be expressing their opinions on a variety of topics. You can expect delays around the State Capitol and LEE Monument."

Capitol Square was closed for more than two weeks in following riots that left multiple surrounding buildings and structures damaged, according to the Department of General Services and Capitol Police.