President Donald Trump slammed Virginia Democrats over several gun violence prevention measures they’re looking to pass in the state, as a white supremacist group gears up to protest at an annual gun rights rally outside the state capitol.
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” the president tweeted on Friday evening. “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!”
Trump’s tweet came shortly after law enforcement arrested three suspected white supremacists in Maryland and Delaware who had allegedly talked about opening fire at Monday’s pro-gun rally.
The suspects belong to a violent white-supremacist group called “the Base,” whose aim is “to accelerate the downfall of the US government, incite a race war and establish a white ethno-state,” according to an affidavit filed in Georgia court, as The Wall Street Journal reported.
Several other members of the Base were arrested throughout the country this week on different charges.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced Wednesday that the state would temporarily ban firearms in Capitol Square prior to Monday’s rally, citing the arrests and threat of a shooting.
Gun rights groups appealed Northam’s decision, but a federal appeals court judge upheld the temporary gun ban on Thursday, writing that “the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not unlimited.”
“This is the right decision,” Northam said in a Thursday statement about the ruling. “These threats are real — as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested this morning after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms.”
Virginia Democrats, who control both the state house and senate, are working on passing several gun regulations, including background checks on gun sales, a law that would allow authorities to confiscate a gun from someone they believe is a danger to themselves, a ban on firearms in government buildings.
Tens of thousands of pro-gun protesters are expected to gather outside the state capitol building in the annual Lobby Day protest.