RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Security has been made a priority ahead of next week’s Lobby Day, when tens of thousands of gun-rights supporters plan to rally at the state Capitol.
On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency banning firearms and other weapons from Capitol grounds until after the rally.
Law enforcement agencies said additional officers will be on guard inside and outside Capitol Square on Monday. There will be just one entrance, at Grace and 9th Street, but four exits during the rally.
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Lawmakers discussed the rally and Northam’s decision to declare the state of emergency on Thursday.
“Law-abiding citizens who have never committed a crime, have intentionally committed a crime, are going to be placed in a situation where they are committing crimes,” state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) said.
“You hear about us infringing on law-abiding citizens. That guy out in Nevada was a law-abiding citizens. The guy out in Nevada was a law-abiding citizen until he pulled the trigger,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax).
A day after Northam announced the state of emergency, the Virginia Senate passed three gun safety measures mainly along party lines.