Lobby Day promises larger crowd in Richmond next week

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) Guns have been a major focus of Lobby Day for many years, with groups on either side of the debate holding rallies in Capitol Square.

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But with Democrats now claiming majorities in both chambers, and moving forward on new restrictions, the crowd promises to be much larger January 20.

"I think that's going to gain a tremendous amount of attention," said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton. "And what's surprising to me is that it's now beyond the borders of Virginia, that's really become a movement and a place where those who support the Second Amendment will make it a cause celebre."

The Virginia Citizens Defense League has chartered buses across the state. And like-minded organizations in other parts of the country are lending their support.

"The gun rights community has been united and galvanized in this and more active, probably, than I've ever seen it, more overtly active than I have ever seen it," said Roanoke College Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Harry Wilson. "The question is: who is listening?"

Groups that support measures they say will help curb gun violence are also mobilizing their supporters.

Both sides say they hope to avoid confrontations, but Capitol Police, State Police and other law enforcement agencies are planning for a very large crowd, perhaps reaching historic proportions in Capitol Square.

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