Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Wednesday in advance of expected demonstrations on gun rights on Capitol Square in Richmond on Monday.
Law enforcement intelligence analysts 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 emergency declaration is temporary, and extends from 5 p.m. Friday until 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Officials reported tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to descend on the area.
“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,” the governor’s executive order states.