Northam declares state of emergency ahead of Capitol gun rights protest
Law enforcement analysts have identified credible threats of violence related to the Jan. 20 protest.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Wednesday in advance of expected gun-rights demonstrations scheduled for Capital Square on Monday, Jan. 20 . Law enforcement intelligence analysts identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of demonstrators, Northam said.
The threats include white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.
The declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms from Capitol grounds. Joint law enforcement and public safety agencies will protect demonstrators, policymakers and other people on grounds.
State employees have Jan. 20 off for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The state of emergency extends from 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Virginia Emergency Operations and the Virginia Emergency Support Team have been called on to coordinate emergency service assignments under the Executive Order 49 — the declaration document.