Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam reportedly wants to ban all firearms and weapons at a gun rights rally planned in Capital Square in Richmond next week.
Two state officials say Northam will make the announcement of a temporary ban at a Wednesday news conference because he fears an outbreak of violence like the one that occurred at Charlottesville in 2017, according to Fox News.
The Democratic-controlled legislature has already banned guns inside the Capitol building. But they did not include the grounds surrounding the legislature, where gun rights advocates plan to rally on Monday, according to Fox.(RELATED: 2020 Executive Budget: Virginia Gov. Northam Now Wants Millions In Tax Money To Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners)
According to one of the sources, Northam believes the rally will attract extremist militia groups, some from out of state. The official admitted the governor has not received any intelligence reports that indicate any actual violence is planned for the rally but is concerned about social media posts that hint at potential trouble.
The official noted one social media post that depicted a picture of an AR-15 assault rifle with a caption saying there are “great sight angles from certain buildings” near Capitol Square. (RELATED: Violent Crime Drops In Virginia — Governor Focuses On Going After Lawful Gun Owners)
Northam reportedly also wants to ban helmets and shields on a temporary basis.
Since Democrats gained control of the state legislature in 2019, Northam has pushed for stricter gun control that has angered Second Amendment advocates in Virginia. The state is even proposing that “ammunition-free zones” be established. Gun owners have fought back by establishing Second Amendment sanctuary cities at more than 100 localities but the Virginia attorney general has claimed these zones have “no force in law.”