Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency on Capitol grounds from Friday at 5 p.m. until Tuesday at 5 p.m.
The governor noted “credible threats of violence” surrounding planned gun rights rallies on Monday, Jan. 22, and he pointed to “white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.”
The Governor’s declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, and will provide additional resources for joint law enforcement and public safety agencies, according to a news release.
A response from the Republican Party of Virginia focused on gun safety legislation expected this session and called Northam’s emergency declaration “a direct infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
“The Republican Party of Virginia condemns any and all legislation that takes aim at the Second Amendment,” said party Chairman Jack Wilson. “Northam and the rest of the Virginia Democrats have made their session goal crystal clear: a disarmed, vulnerable, and subservient citizenry.”
Proposals in the legislature include increased background checks and a measure that would allow judges to confiscate weapons from people are are believed to be a threat to themselves or someone else.
Both of those proposals appear to be overwhelmingly supported by Virginia voters, according to recent polling.