Trump encourages Americans to 'gather' in Thanksgiving proclamation despite coronavirus surge
Trump warns of 'attack' on 2nd Amendment ahead of Virginia gun rights rally
President Trump on Friday warned of an "attack" on the Second Amendment after Virginia Democrats curtailed access for firearms at the state capitol.
"Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. 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 tweeted.
The tweet comes after state legislators voted last week to ban firearms at the state Capitol and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) declared a state of emergency to temporarily ban individuals from carrying weapons on its grounds.
Both moves came before a gun rights rally planned for next week that is expected to draw armed protesters and a mass of counter-protesters, raising fears of clashes between the two crowds.
Northam said in his statement declaring the emergency that his office had received credible intelligence of "threats of violence" surrounding the demonstration that included "extremist rhetoric" similar to that surrounding the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League, the organizers of the rally, has said that the demonstration will draw thousands to the area. The group's Facebook event page indicates that more than 5,000 say they will attend.
"We support citizens' rights to peacefully protest and express their views to their elected officials," said Northam. "But we must also keep the public, as well as those who work around Capitol Square, safe."
Virginia Democrats, who won total control of state government last year for the first time since 1994, are also eyeing several gun control measures as they seek to flex their muscles in their newfound majority.
Among the reforms the party hopes to pass are universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a "red flag" law that would permit law enforcement to remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others.