Lynchburg judge says Virginia’s governor can’t close a gun range

Lynchburg judge says Virginia’s governor can’t close a gun range

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Lynchburg Circuit Court judge says the state's governor can't close a gun range.

"While I respect the decisions of our judicial system we will look at our options as we move forward," said Governor Ralph Northam.

Northam is on defense after the ruling.

"The point I’d like to make clear to all Virginians is that the decisions that we are making are to promote and provide health for and safety for Virginians and so no particular business has been singled out,” said Northam.

During a COVID-19 briefing Monday, Northam said his executive order covers what the administration deemed as places where patrons would be at-risk for spreading or contracting coronavirus.

The Safeside Gun Range in Lynchburg filed a lawsuit challenging the order. Earlier Monday, a circuit court judge ruled federal and state protections on the right to bear arms outweigh any emergency authority held by Northam.

“Many businesses are suffering, many people are sacrificing, making sacrifices now so the sooner we can get this health crisis behind us, the sooner we will be able to get into phase one and to ease some of those restrictions” said Northam.

Concerned about additional outbreaks at poultry farms, Northam says a team from the CDC is on the eastern shore to conduct testing and increase worker safety. The state has 120 federally inspected meat processing facilities.

“While the situation on Virginia’s eastern shore is our immediate concern, we are also following developments at the smaller poultry facilities in the Shenandoah valley as well,” said Northam.

Virginia also got another round of personal protective equipment. That includes 800,000 gloves, 300,000 masks and 14,000 test swabs for the state lab.

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