In response to what he described as “credible intelligence” of threats of violence at an upcoming gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency and will temporarily ban individuals from carrying firearms on Capitol grounds.
The governor said at a press conference Wednesday that authorities believe “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during the January 20 rally.
He also said that law enforcement had intercepted threats and “extremist rhetoric” similar to what was observed prior to the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here,” he said.
The decision to ban all weapons, including firearms, won’t sit well with the thousands of gun lovers who are expected to descend on Richmond to participate in what was billed as an open-carry affair and an opportunity to flex Second Amendment rights.
“No weapons will be allowed on Capitol grounds,” said Northam, a Democrat. “Everything from sticks and bats to chains and projectiles…. The list also includes firearms. It makes no sense to ban every other weapon but allow firearms when intelligence shows that armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol.” (Read more from “Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Armed Militias Threaten to Storm the Capitol” HERE)