Virginia Governor Declares State of Emergency; Law Enforcement Agencies on High Alert

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RICHMOND — Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in advance of expected pro-second amendment demonstrations on Capitol Square on Monday. Law enforcement intelligence analysts say they have identified ‘credible threats’ of violence surrounding the event, along with ‘white nationalist rhetoric’ and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.

The Governor’s declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, and will provide joint law enforcement and public safety agencies the resources they need to keep demonstrators, policymakers, and all Virginians safe.

“This is just average gun owners and average Virginians coming out to support them,” Stewart Rhodes, founder of far-right group Oath Keepers, said. “It has nothing to do with white nationalism.”

This emergency declaration is temporary, and extends from Friday, January 17 at 5:00 PM until Tuesday, January 21 at 5:00 PM.

The full text of Executive Order Forty-Nine is available here.

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