RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - Virginia Republicans are speaking out against Governor Northam's declared State of Emergency ahead of Monday's gun rights rally in Richmond.
"Governor Northam's declaration is a direct infringement on the right of the People to keep and bear arms," says Jack Wilson, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "The Republican Party of Virginia condemns any and all legislation that takes aim at the Second Amendment. Northam and the rest of the Virginia Democrats have made their session goal crystal clear: a disarmed, vulnerable and subservient citizenry."
Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) and Caucus Co-Chairman Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham) issued a statement regarding the plan:
“On Monday, thousands of Virginians – many of whom have already addressed their local governments – will come to the Capitol to ensure their elected representatives to state government appreciate, understand and respect their concerns. That is their right as Virginians and as Americans.
“We are grateful to the Capitol Police and the Virginia State Police for all they have been doing to ensure the safety of all who visit Capitol Square. And, we understand the desire of the Administration to do everything possible to ensure that safety. However, we are concerned that the events of the last week, including the sudden and unannounced banning of firearms by the Joint Rules Committee and today’s announcement regarding Capitol Square, may be serving to heighten rather than assuage tensions.
“Moreover, we are not confident Governor Northam is adhering to the limitations placed on the governor’s authority under the Code of Virginia. Specifically, the enactment of House and Senate bills from 2012, for which then-Senator Northam voted, would appear to prohibit, not permit, his actions today.
“The thousands of Virginians who plan on rallying at the Capitol on Monday are decent, law-abiding citizens. They plan on utilizing their First Amendment rights to defend their Second Amendment rights. That strikes us as being a very American – and very Virginia – exercise.”
The governor’s declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, in light of what he says are credible threats surrounding Monday's rally.
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