Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a four-day state of emergency in Richmond on Wednesday ahead of a large gun-rights demonstration planned for Monday, saying there is a possibility that hate groups will attend the rally and attempt to commit acts of violence. “We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration planned for Monday, January 20,” Northam tweeted, adding that the event has involved “extremist rhetoric similar to what has been seen before major incidents, such as Charlottesville in 2017.”
A press release states that law enforcement believes out-of-state militia groups are planning to attend the rally, which has been surrounded by “white nationalist rhetoric.” The state of emergency—which will run from Friday to Tuesday—will reportedly include a ban on any weapons from the Capitol Square. The event, initially billed as a “Lobby Day” rally, seeks to block gun control legislation that is supported by Northam and the Democratic-held state legislature.