Gun tensions climb, business groups against labor reforms, LGBTQ books in school libraries, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Prominent far-right activists and groups banned from rallying with weapons in Charlottesville, Virginia, after the deadly 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally are headed back to the state for a pro-gun rally in Richmond, where tensions are running high.”—The Daily Beast

• The organizer of Monday’s planned pro-gun rally, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, says the group plans to take Northam to court to challenge his proposed gun ban.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Portsmouth city councilman wore an AR-15 strapped to his chest as he voted in favor of a resolution declaring the city a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” In response to criticism, he told a reporter, “If I don’t pull the trigger then the gun will not fire, therefore it is safe.”—WAVY

• Lawmakers are considering granting counties the same authority as cities to raise local taxes on meals, cigarettes and lodging.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The state’s major business associations have formed a coalition to oppose Democrats’ proposed reforms of Virginia’s labor laws, including raising the minimum wage and mandating paid sick leave.—WVTF

• Richmond’s public housing authority is moving forward with plans to demolish a 500-unit apartment complex, prompting criticism from tenant advocates about short notice of the vote and strict rules that prevented some residents from providing public comment.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “A former Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail inmate has sued the jail after he alleges a corrections officer broke his finger and then jail authorities refused to give him medical treatment.”—The Virginia Gazette

• The state Democratic Party is moving up its annual fundraiser to February “to coincide with primary season and increased activity by candidates vying for support in Super Tuesday states like Virginia.” Mike Bloomberg has already signed on to speak. The last event was held in July and featured Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A group of conservative parents had five books with LGBTQ themes removed from Loudoun County elementary schools, but the district voted to keep two of the targeted titles, including a mainstay of the genre, “Heather Has Two Mommies.”—The Washington Post

• Virginia Beach’s police chief “is walking back plans to ban tents on the beach overnight, saying he doesn’t want to jail homeless people, just discourage big groups.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• Bristol’s medical marijuana processor held a ribbon-cutting event after being formally licensed by the state to begin production.—Bristol Herald Courier

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