NC Republicans write backing Virginia gun "sanctuary" effort

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dozens of North Carolina Republican state legislators are expressing solidarity with local governments in Virginia that have spoken out formally in recent months for gun rights.

About 50 members of the state House Republican Caucus -- including Speaker Tim Moore — signed a letter dated this week expressing support for leaders in Virginia cities and counties who have declared their jurisdictions "Second Amendment Sanctuaries."

The letter was signed as the Virginia General Assembly debates a series of gun-control measures. The proposals have gained momentum now that the Virginia legislature is under Democratic control.

The caucus stands with Virginia and Second Amendment Sanctuary locales "that will not permit a tyrannical government to restrict or infringe on those or any other rights," the letter reads.

State Rep. Keith Kidwell, a Beaufort County Republican who wrote the letter, said on his Facebook page that he and other House Republicans plan to attend a gun rally Monday in Richmond, Virginia, and will present the signed letter to Virginia legislators.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order banning guns from the rally, saying it would prevent violence in light of what happened at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.