A major gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, ended peacefully on Monday afternoon, with thousands of protesters dispersing without incident in spite of fears that the event would descend into violence.
The rally had been called in response to several gun control bills currently under consideration in the newly Democratic Virginia General Assembly. Thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands of pro-gun protesters showed up to oppose the bills. Many attendees on the perimeter of the state capitol were legally armed, although Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam banned weapons from capitol grounds ahead of the protest.
Richmond authorities on Monday afternoon had reported no arrests or injuries.
According to the Associated Press:
The size of the crowd and the expected participation of white supremacists and fringe militia groups raised fears that the state could see a repeat of the violence that exploded in 2017 in Charlottesville. But the rally concluded uneventfully around noon, and the mood was largely festive, with rally-goers chanting "USA!" and waving signs denouncing Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.
The media had stoked fears of violence since the demonstration was announced.
Last week the FBI said they had arrested three neo-Nazis who were reportedly planning to attend the rally.