RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia governor, Ralph Northam has declared a State of Emergency ahead of what he states is, “ credible intelligence gathered by Virginia’s law enforcement agencies indicates that tens of thousands of advocates plan to converge on Capitol Square for events culminating on January 20, 2020.” The rally is planned to protest stricter gun control laws being considered by the state of Virginia this legislative session. The State of Emergency temporarily bans people from carrying guns and other weapons on the grounds of the state Capitol.
Northam said, “available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.”
In a statement from the governor's office, Northam cites events that occurred in Charlottesville three years ago, that demonstrate what can happen when “peaceful demonstrations are hijacked by those who come into the Commonwealth and do not value the importance of peaceful assembly.” Three citizens were killed during that incident, and Northam says, “We must take all precautions to prevent that from ever happening again.”
The ban on firearms extends from 5 p.m. Jan. 17 to 5 p.m. Jan. 21. and includes a ban on weapons (but not limited to) sticks, torches, poles, bats, shields, helmets, 3 caustic substances (i.e., pepper spray), hazardous materials, scissors, razor blades, needles, toy guns, toy weapons, fireworks, glass bottles, laser pointers, aerosol containers, baseballs, softballs, UAVs/Drones, or any item that can inflict bodily harm that is visible, other than firearms.
Second Amendment legislation is also on the table in Annapolis as this past Wednesday, Jan. 15 the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on requiring licensing restrictions on long guns (HB 4). Also proposed a bill from the senate to add the Anderson Manufacturing .223 Caliber AM-15 and .300 Caliber AM-15 to Maryland’s list of regulated firearms (SB 39), and another bill to fund gun buyback programs (SB 55).
Maryland House of Delegate's Representative, Jeff Ghrist (District 36) issued this statement prior to Wednesday's hearing, encouraging voters to voice their opposition to the bill, “The hostile firearms haters are moving very quickly this session. They’ve always told us that they would never target hunters and the long guns we use in the field. Of course, those statements were not true and we knew they would begin to go after our shotguns and rifles. HB4 is the proverbial nose under the camels tent.”