Second Amendment groups heading a planned protest and rally of potentially 130,000 supporters Monday in Richmond, Virginia, are warning members to be on the lookout for agitators “invited” by gun control advocates to stir up violence and discredit their effort.
In an alert sent by one of the groups leading the “lobbying day” effort, supporters were advised to look the other way should counterprotesters challenge them.
“If someone tries to provoke you, smile and walk away. There is probably someone secretly recording the interaction, with the intent of capturing some kind of inappropriate reaction on your part. Don't take the bait. It's not worth the bad press,” said the alert from the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which has conducted annual lobby day events peacefully since 2002.
On Wednesday, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam declared an emergency around the state capital for the Monday event, declaring that there “are considered credible threats” of violence, but he didn’t give details. As a result, guns are banned in the area, even by those who have legal concealed carry permits.