Virginia gun rally: Thousands converge on Richmond

Thousands of gun rights supporters have converged on the centre of the US city of Richmond to protest against tighter gun laws in the state of Virginia.

Many arrived in the state capital openly carrying an assortment of firearms including assault rifles.

Security is tight and a cordon is in force round the state legislature, where guns cannot be carried.

Virginia’s gun laws had been seen as permissive, but Democratic lawmakers passed restrictions in January.

This angered gun-rights activists, many making long trips from other US states to attend the rally.

The protest has raised fears of a repeat of the clashes seen in 2017 in the Virginia city of Charlottesville.

A woman was killed there when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a protest against a white nationalist rally.

President Donald Trump, with an eye on this year’s presidential election, again tweeted support for the Richmond protesters and a defence of the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment on the right to bear arms.