Thousands of armed protesters gathered for gun rally in Virginia

A state of emergency was declared by the governor as many pro-gun activists arrived in Richmond. Around 22,000 people attended the rally.
2:03 | 01/21/20

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Transcript for Thousands of armed protesters gathered for gun rally in Virginia
Monday night, and to that state of emergency in Virginia, as thousands gathered for a gun rights rally in Richmond. Weapons were banned from the rally site. People closely screened as they passed through a single entrance. On the other side of the fence, many heavily armed. And ABC's Victor Oquendo is right there in Richmond tonight. Reporter: Facing freezing temperatures, tense scenes as thousands of heavily-armed gun rights advocated descended on Virginia's capital city. What's the goal here today? To send a message. Reporter: The Richmond rally is a yearly event held by a Cal gun rights group and usually uneventful, but tonight, second amendment groups around the country are using it as a rallying point against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights. Virginia's state government is set to pass gun control legislation including a proposed assault weapons ban. If we don't stand in Virginia against this, it'll go to other states. Reporter: Amid fears of a repeat of the deadly violence at the unite the right rally in charlottesville in 2017, and the FBI warning about possible violence, governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, banning all weapons from the capitol grounds. Authorities arresting seven alleged white supremacists last week, saying some of them were planning on attending. The rally just got underway. An officer told me they expected about 10,000 people here inside on the capitol grounds, but outside on the streets, there are thousands more. Outside the grounds -- Usa! Reporter: -- Weapons proudly why was it so important for you guys to be in full armor and bring the firearms out? It's our right, isn't it? We can exercise our rights, right? And there was a lot of concern going into this. Victor live from Richmond. But police telling you tonight, just one arrest, Victor? Reporter: That's right, David. Just one person was arrested. They were wearing a mask and refused to take it off. Part of the reason we saw few confrontations? Security was tight and there were hardly any counterprotesters out here. One law enforcement source says there were more than 20,000 people at this rally. The state of emergency is in place tomorrow. David? Victor Oquendo tonight. Victor, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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