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Northam Declares State of Emergency

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) announced Wednesday that it was declaring a state of emergency to ban weapons at the upcoming pro-gun rally.

At a press conference, Northam described the potential for violence and said that he was prohibiting all weapons, not just guns. He cited "credible intelligence" from law enforcement that groups including militias and hatred groups from outside the state had "malicious plans" for Monday's rally.

"We are seeing threats of violence," the governor said. "We are seeing threats of armed confrontation and attack on our Capitol."

Northam did not respond to what threats the state had seen, but did mention the storm of people in the Capitol and the possibility of "weaponizing drones" in the area.

The arms embargo, according to the written emergency declaration, applies to Richmond Capital Square. It starts at 5 pm Friday. And continues until 5 pm Tuesday. Last week, lawmakers banned guns in the Capitol Building itself.

Northam Declares State of Emergency

"They are coming to scare and harm," Northam said of "violent groups and white nationalists from outside Virginia." Later, he expressed concern about "another incident seen in Charlottesville" where a white nationalist was killed. Anti-fascist demonstrators at a chaotic rally in 2017, in which racist groups fought on the streets with defendants.

In Monday's "Lobby Day", pro-gun advocates led by Virginia Citizens' Defense League will crowd the Virginia Capitol and advocate a package of new gun control bills pushed by Democrats in the state.

For the first time since 1993, Democrats control the state's rule and both legislatures, and have supported gun legislation, including pro-gunmen armed with weapons, including a "red flag" law that judges Gives the right to confiscate firearms from those deemed. An "extreme risk," as well as a background check bill and other measures.

Northam Declares State of Emergency

Militia groups from the state and other places in the country, as well as other gun rights groups, have rallied against those measures, since Democrats won control of the state's government last year.

Some locals have declared themselves to be "Second Amendment sanctuary cities" and have pledged not to enforce state gun restrictions. A local sheriff even vowed to "depute thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms".

Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleeve said Wednesday that the Virginia Democrats had "declared war on law-abiding gun owners."

After the first reports about Northam's planned weapons ban surfaced, Van Cleave told USA Today, "No, he's not going to stop [the incident] with that little act."

Chris Hill, founder of Georgia Hill and the Three Percent Security Forces Militia, took issue with the legal basis upon which Northam issued an emergency declaration. But he told TPM that his group would "wait and see" regarding carrying weapons.

Others made the news a bit worse.

Hours before Northam's press conference, host on the Conservative BlazeTV channel, John Miller tweeted, "It wants these people like war". "Come and get it, bitch."

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