Thursday, 16 January 2020

Virginia Governor Abuses Law to Declare State of Emergency, Ban Guns for Planned Pro-gun Rally

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RICHMOND — As the Virginia State Legislature — now firmly in the hands of Democrats — prepares to push for what Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson calls “a disarmed, vulnerable, and subservient citizenry,” freedom-loving citizens of the Old Dominion have planned a rally for next Monday to voice their concerns and demand that their right to keep and bear arms is not infringed. In response, Democrat Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency and instituted a temporary ban on all weapons on the Capitol grounds.

As a result of the recent flip from Red to Blue (largely orchestrated by pro-Chinese communists) Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly are unapologetic about plans to disarm law-abiding Virginians. Governor Ralph Northam — having previously failed to get any traction for his citizen-disarmament policies — now appears to see his way clear to implement them.

Northam and his comrades in both houses of the Assembly have made their intentions clear. In June, he called a special session of the Virginia General Assembly to consider passing what he called “common sense” gun laws. Those laws would have included universal background checks; child access prevention; a one-gun-per-month purchase limit; bans on all so-called assault weapons, including bump stocks and high-capacity magazines; legal responsibilities for lost or stolen guns; allowing municipalities to ban guns from municipal buildings; and so-called red flag laws.



He and his fellow Democrats were held at bay in June because Republicans still controlled the General Assembly. But that was then; this is now. With the aforementioned Maoist-assisted shift in to the left in Virginia, Northam’s hands are not nearly so tied. Wasting no time, Democrat legislators began trotting out one anti-gun bill after another as soon as the legislative session began. As Roanoke, Virginia, NBC affiliate WSLS 10 News reported Monday, January 13:

The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee sent four gun control bills to the Senate floor.

They include:

• A limit of one handgun purchase per month.

• Expanded background checks to include private sales.

• The ability for localities to ban guns in public spaces, including government buildings.

• A Red Flag law, which gives law enforcement officers the ability to seize guns from people determined to be at risk of hurting themselves or others.

That article also stated that “There were passionate comments from dozens of gun rights supporters in the committee meeting and in a press conference held by NRA members near the Capitol.”

The NRA is not the only group to express concern over the new slate of anti-gun legislation. The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) is one of the premier gun-rights groups in the state. VCDL has planned a gun-rights rally to be held on the Capitol grounds on Monday, January 20. That date — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — is the traditional “Lobby Day” at the General Assembly, when citizens converge on the offices of their delegates and senators to express their views on a wide range of issues.

Wednesday — just days ahead of the rally which is expected to draw overflowing crowds of gun-rights supporters — Governor Northam twisted a 2012 law beyond recognition and declared a state of emergency including a temporary ban on all weapons on the Capitol grounds for Monday’s rally. That law was created to allow the governor to issue such a temporary ban "to the extent necessary to ensure public safety in any place or facility designated or used by the Governor, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or any other governmental entity as an emergency shelter or for the purpose of sheltering persons."

His application of that law to this event is a transparent attempt to pervert the law for his own political agenda. Northam is essentially declaring that the Capitol grounds is an emergency shelter. Republican Delegate Mike Watson illustrated just how ridiculous that application of the law is, tweeting, “So the Governor has declared the Capitol Grounds a ‘Shelter’ in order to get around the law. I'm curious how many times a 14 acre plot of land has been designated an emergency shelter?” Furthermore, Watson pointed out in a subsequent tweet that “per COV sheltering strategy, Capitol Square does not meet the qualifications of an emergency shelter.”

Not only that, but even Northam’s premise for the state of emergency and weapons ban stretches credulity to the breaking point. In his announcement of the measure, Northam claimed there were threats of “armed militia groups storming our Capitol” and perhaps even using “weaponized drones.” He added, “Let me be clear. These are considered credible, serious threats by our law enforcement agencies.”

In a naked attempt to stir up fear, Northam resurrected the spectre of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, claiming that rhetoric used by groups planning to attend Monday's rally is similar to what was said in the lead-up to that event. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here,” he said, adding of those “armed militia groups” that “They’re not coming to peacefully protest. They are coming to intimidate and cause harm.”

VCDL is considering legal action to block Northam’s ban. The pressing question is whether the group has time to get a legal injunction before Monday. And VCDL President Philip Van Cleave has urged all participants at the rally — whether or not the ban is in effect — to avoid engaging with any counterprotesters and authorities. He has also asked all militia groups to refrain from providing security at the event, stating that police can and will handle such matters. He added, “Lobby Day is a peaceful event about gun rights and NOTHING ELSE.” (Emphasis in original.)

This is a developing story and The New American will keep our readers updated, including coverage of the event.

Photo: AP Images

C. Mitchell Shaw is a freelance writer and public speaker who addresses a range of topics related to liberty and the U.S. Constitution. A strong privacy advocate, he was a privacy nerd before it was cool.

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