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UPDATE 1-FBI arrests three suspected neo-Nazis ahead of Virginia gun rally


UPDATE 1-FBI arrests three suspected neo-Nazis ahead of Virginia gun rally
Representative Image Image Credit: Flickr

The FBI has arrested three men suspected of being members of a neo-Nazi hate group who had weapons and discussed attending a gun rally in Virginia next week in hopes of helping to start a race war, a source familiar with the investigation said on Thursday.

The men were arrested in Maryland and were expected to make an appearance in federal court later Thursday, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources. Several thousand gun rights supporters are planning a large rally in Richmond, Virginia's capital, on Monday in response to the newly Democratic-controlled state legislature's push to stiffen gun laws.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northman on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and banned all firearms and other weapons around the state capitol building this weekend, saying there were credible threats from extremist groups who planned to attend the rally. Virginia, where Democrats took control of the legislature by promising stronger gun laws, has become the latest focal point for the contentious American debate around the right to bear arms. Many gun-rights groups contend the U.S. Constitution guarantees their ability to possess any firearm. Those opposed say gun laws would help lessen the number of people killed by guns each year.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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