The Virginia Citizens Defense League, which is organizing the rally, hopes that a large turnout by gun-rights proponents, most of whom will be openly carrying weapons as allowed by state law, will persuade lawmakers not to back the measures, according to materials posted online by the group. "We're seeing threats of armed confrontation and assault on our capitol", Northam said.More news: WNBA's new CBA includes 53% pay rise and 50-50 revenue sharing
The State of Emergency issued by Northam effectively bans all weapons, including guns, as well as items like helmets and shields (which were carried in the "Unite the Right" rally by white nationalist) from the grounds of the state capitol building. Later, he expressed concern about "another incident like the one we saw in Charlottesville", where a white nationalist killed an anti-fascist protester in 2017 at a chaotic rally in which racist groups fought in the streets with counter-protesters.
Northam didn't go into specifics on what threats the state had seen, but he did mention the prospect of people storming the Capitol, and the possibility of groups "weaponizing drones" over the area.
On official, speaking to the news agency, cited a posting that included a photo of an AR-15 and said there are "great sight angles from certain buildings" near Capitol Square.More news: U.S. stocks end mixed amid solid earnings, lacklustre CPI data
It also provides resources to law enforcement and public safety agencies and activates the Virginia Emergency Operations Center and the Virginia Emergency Support Team.
It begins Friday at 5 p.m. and expires on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Democrats have full control of the Virginia statehouse for the first time in a generation, and are set to pass a number of gun-control restrictions, including limiting handgun purchases to once a month and universal background checks on gun purchases. He called a special legislative session last summer following the massacre of 12 people in Virginia Beach, but the Republicans who later controlled him refused to vote on his proposals. Many gun-rights groups contend the U.S. Constitution guarantees their ability to possess any firearm.More news: House to Vote to Send Impeachment Articles to Senate
Since the election, some officials in almost all of Virginia's 95 counties have declared they would not enforce new gun laws, calling themselves "sanctuary cities" for gun rights - adopting a term first used by localities opposed to harsh treatment of illegal immigrants.