Follow our live blog for up-to-date coverage of Monday’s gun rights rally at the Virginia State Capitol. WAVY reporters Kiahnna Patterson, Andy Fox and Jason Marks will be in Richmond with the latest information. WAVY sister station WRIC also has reporters at the Capitol.
3:45 p.m. Of the 22,000 people who attended Monday’s gun rights rally, one person has been arrested. Mikaela E. Beschler, 21, of Richmond, was arrested by a Richmond Police officer working on Lobby Day. Beschler was charged with felony wearing a mask in public while in the 800 block of East Broad Street. The officer “repeatedly” warned her to adjust her bandanna, the Virginia Capitol tweeted. She was released on her own recognizance.
3:15 p.m. About 22,000 people attended Monday’s rally, according to the Virginia Capitol. That includes about 6,000 people on Capitol Square and 16,000 outside the gates.
1 p.m. Sources tell WRIC that a man who was trying to climb up the fire escape of the 12-story Mutual Building at 909 E. Main Street was detained by security. It’s unclear what, if any, charges the man could face.
Noon People were starting to leave the Capitol grounds after the official rally ended around noon. The crowds, estimated in the thousands, were still congregating outside.
One rally-goer from Suffolk spoke to Jason Marks about the crowd.
“We’re just normal people out here trying to support our rights, that’s all this is … it’s peaceful, I’ve seen nothing out of the ordinary really … nothing scary, no violence.”
11:20 a.m. Programming has started for the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s gun rights rally, though WAVY’s Andy Fox reports speakers are not elevated, making it hard for those in the crowd to see. Organizer Phil Van Cleave called the rally a monumental event.
11:15 a.m. Aerial shots show the crowd inside and outside the Capitol Grounds.
10:45 a.m. WAVY’s Andy Fox is inside the Virginia Capitol grounds for the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s gun rights rally for Lobby Day, planned for 11 a.m.. Thousands of other people are outside of the gated area. Virginia news outlets have reported business is going on as usual inside the Capitol building.
9:30 a.m. Overhead shots show the crowd of thousands gathering around the Virginia Capitol building around 9:30 a.m.
State Senator Bill DeSteph shared the view of the crowd around 9 a.m. from his office. No weapons are allowed inside the area enclosed by fencing.
9 a.m. The crowds continue to grow ahead of the 11 a.m. rally, with chants of “four more years” for President Trump and “Northam out” in reference to Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. Some rally participants outside of the gated area are heavily armed. No weapons of any kind are allowed inside the formal rally area inside the Capitol grounds.
8:20 a.m. WAVY’s Kiahnna Patterson gives an update via Facebook Live as crowds continue to grow. The rally is set to officially begin around 11 a.m.
8 a.m. Here is list of prohibited items inside the Capitol gates.
- knives, scissors, needles, razors, and other bladed weapons
- spring sticks or batons
- metal knuckles
- nunchucks, chains, or other flailing weapons
- throwing stars, knives, darts, or other throwing weapons
- stun guns, tasers
- sticks, poles, bats, baseballs, softballs, glass bottles
- shields, helmets
- toy guns and toy weapons
- drones/sUAS, laser pointers
- Caustic substances (pepper spray), aerosol containers
- Hazardous materials, fireworks, torches, and open flames
- other dangerous items or items that may be used as weapons
7:16 a.m. Capitol Square is under a state of emergency as tens of thousands of people are expected to gather on Lobby Day after Gov. Northam enacted a gun ban because of serious threats of violence.