Virginia Gun rights supporters blasted governor Ralph Northam after he declared a state of emergency, banning weapons of any kind from the capitol grounds.
Per ABCNews, law enforcement officials will be on high alert Monday as activists from around the country are expected to descend on Richmond, Virginia, to rally against the state’s progressive gun control proposals.
Gun rights groups such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America are planning a protest on the state’s Lobby Day. Lawmakers in Virginia have proposed a ban on assault rifles and a “red flag” law, which would give officials the power to confiscate weapons from an individual who poses a threat, among other gun control measures.
Per Yahoo, moments after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam approached the podium at the state capitol building on Wednesday to announce that he was issuing a temporary state of emergency ahead of a gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond, the angry comments started pouring in.
Though Northam had cited “threats of violence” from militias and other extremist groups as justification for banning protesters from bringing weapons to Monday’s rally, those opposed to the decision blasted him as a liar and a tyrant, accused him of fearmongering and called for his resignation.
“This is what your 2A rights being stripped looks like,” Mitchell Heather Snow commented on a live stream of the press conference that was being broadcast from the Governor’s official Facebook page. “Please show us proof of these threats,” wrote David Still, as the Governor explained that the decision to temporarily ban firearms from the capitol grounds was based on “credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday.”
“I want transparency of these threats,” read a similarly skeptical comment from Ian Ellsworth. “You are using fear to take away my rights!”
By the time the press conference was over, more than 300 comments had been posted on the Facebook live stream. (By the following morning, that number had ballooned to more than 3,500, and it continues to grow.) While about a handful of the initial comments praised Northam’s decision, thanking him for taking action to prevent potential violence, the vast majority were dubious, dismissive and, in some cases, defiant. Rick Weiss posted: “If you want my guns then COME AND GET THEM!!!”
Similar sentiments reverberated through the Governor’s Twitter feed as well.
“King George thought the Bill of Rights was extremist rhetoric too.”
King George thought the Bill of Rights was extremist rhetoric too.
— The Red-Headed Libertarian ™ (@TRHLofficial) January 16, 2020
This is a cynical attempt to muffle the protests of law-abiding citizens. You should be ashamed of yourse
This is a cynical attempt to muffle the protests of law-abiding citizens. You should be ashamed of yourself.
— Keith Maniac, from Guatemala (@CutItOutPutin) January 15, 2020
You’re a complete and total liar.
You're a complete and total liar.
— El Jefe (@ElJefeTulum) January 15, 2020
Which one was he again?
Which one was he again? pic.twitter.com/vs43QENWVW
— Shay Patrick Cormac (@ShayCromac) January 16, 2020
“Law of the Land”
— Richard Sauceda (@RichardTSIII) January 15, 2020