Virginia urges justices to uphold weapons ban at gun rally

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, supporters of gun laws hold us photos of gun violence victims during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary committee at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Gun-rights groups asked a judge Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 to block Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from banning guns on Capitol grounds during a massive pro-gun rally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia urged the state Supreme Court on Friday to uphold a weapons ban at an upcoming gun rally in the capital, insisting it was necessary to prevent a repeat of deadly violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally more than two years ago.

State Attorney General Mark Herring's petition - and simultaneous legal efforts by gun-rights groups to lift the ban - came amid the arrest of six men whom authorities linked to white supremacist groups. At least three of them were planning to attend the pro-gun rally on Monday in Richmond, according to an official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an active investigation.

The FBI said the men were linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base.