Northam declares state of emergency ahead of gun rally

Virginia

FILE – In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, center, gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth address as House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, right, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, left, listen before a joint session of the Virginia Assembly at the state Capitol in Richmond, Va. Northam plans to declare a temporary emergency Wednesday, Jan. 15, banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDVM) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is declaring a state of emergency over threats from militia groups ahead of a gun-rights rally next week.

Northam’s emergency order will ban weapons of all kinds, including firearms, from the Capitol grounds starting Friday because of potential violence during a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday.

Northam says some of the rhetoric used by groups planning to attend the rally is similar to what was said in the lead-up to a deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Democrats in the statehouse are advancing a number of gun-control bills that gun-rights advocates are fiercely opposing.

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