RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Governor’s Northam’s State of Emergency is now in effect which bans all weapons from Capitol Grounds.
The ban comes as tens of thousands of people are expected to show up Monday both for and against guns.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” State Senate Representative Ryan McDougle said.
“I’m declaring a state of emergency in Richmond from Friday evening to Tuesday night,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said.
The capitol grounds shut down at five Friday afternoon in preparation.
The State of Emergency bans all weapons, including guns, from the grounds.
It’s a controversial decision now before the State Supreme Court after a Richmond Judge ruled in favor of Governor Northam when the Virginia Citizens Defense League filed for an injunction against the ban.
The judge ruled the governor has the authority under state law to take action related to the safety and welfare of the state.
“My concern is whether the governor had authority under the act that was cited. The authority referenced emergency shelters and I don’t think the capitol is an emergency shelter,” McDougle said.
Senator Ryan McDougle represents District 4 says lobby day is an important day for Virginians.
“Most of Virginians are off of work and they take that opportunity to come and talk to their representatives at the Capitol,” McDougle said.
The concern now is for safety.
Northam says there have been several credible threats from those coming in from outside storming the Capitol building and using weaponized drones.
The FAA stepped in and restricted flying over the city out of safety concerns.
“They are not coming to peacefully protest. They are coming to intimidate and cause harm,” Northam said.
“There’s no room for people out of Virginia coming in to cause trouble. It’s not acceptable and they should not come,” McDougle said.
Several streets downtown will be closed.
Northam’s ban will last until Tuesday.
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