News & Politics

Virginia Gun Groups Sue Over 'State of Emergency' Gun Ban at Capitol Rally

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth address before a joint session of the Assembly at the state Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Second Amendment supporters in Virginia are suing Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s order that bans guns from the “Lobby Day” rally on Monday. Northam has made gun control a priority and has introduced a blizzard of bills to restrict the ownership of firearms.

Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, said “Governor Northam is behaving like the royal governors who long preceded him. He has arrogantly and brazenly tried to restrict the rights protected to Virginians by the First and Second Amendments.” The GOA filed suit along with Virginia Citizens Defense League to have the ban overturned.

Washington Examiner:

“Gun Owners of America is joining VCDL in asking the courts to issue an emergency injunction forbidding the enforcement of the governor’s unlawful ban. The Lobby Day rally is held annually with thousands of participants and without incident. The only difference this year is that, in response to the Democrats’ attempt to eviscerate the Second Amendment, a much larger crowd is expected,” said Pratt.

“GOA is arguing that the governor’s actions violate the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions, as well as, a 2012 state law which strictly limits the governor’s ability to ban guns in a state of emergency,” he added.

Northam knew that his action would stir up a hornets’ nest of opposition.

Earlier in the day, VCDL ripped the governor’s emergency decree and suggested that Democrats were hoping for violence at the rally so they could “smear” gun owners.

In that alert to some 38,000 supporters, VCDL said:

“VCDL believes that this gun ban is illegal. Our legal team is looking at our options and we will keep you advised as soon as we have a definitive plan. As it stands now, you can carry on 9th Street, or other nearby streets, as long as you don’t go into the fenced-in Capitol grounds area (or into any of the government buildings). There will be 17 magnetometers to speed up security for those wishing to be on the Capitol grounds, which puts you near the stage. You CAN have a knife with a blade LESS THAN 3 inches. Again, wait for final word on the Capitol grounds gun-ban situation over the weekend.”

Northam’s gun control agenda is moving forward. Just today, the Virginia Senate passed three bills relating to gun ownership.


SB 35, which would allow localities to ban guns from public events, actually would repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.

SB 69, amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.

And, SB 70 requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.

A bill that would have banned assault-style rifles was defeated.

But that’s just for starters.

Governor Ralph Northam has a package of gun legislation that he’s pushing for that include prohibiting all individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms, requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, and creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order.

Other legislation that has been filed includes banning indoor shooting ranges at offices where there are more than 50 employees. That would include a shooting range at the NRA headquarters, which is located in northern Virginia. That bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety.

Unfortunately, in the name of “security,” government can do just about anything — even if security concerns are bogus. It will be hard to legally prove otherwise.