(news release) The Supreme Court of Virginia [has] denied a court challenge to Governor Ralph Northam’s decision to temporarily ban firearms on Capitol grounds from 5:00 PM on Friday, January 17, 2020 until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Supreme Court ruling keeps this policy in place and comes one day after the Richmond Circuit Court ruled to affirm the order. Governor Northam issued the following statement: I am grateful that this executive order stands, and that it will help to ensure the safety of all Virginians on Monday [a gun rights lobby day when as many as 50,000 are expected in Richmond’s Capitol Square]. I am confident that the majority of those attending Monday’s rally will be peaceful. I have full respect for their fundamental American right to voice their opinions. But over the past few days, the news has confirmed that that this rally is attracting extreme individuals and groups—including national hate, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups—who are threatening violence and looking to advance a violent agenda.
Meanwhile House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement: “Lobby Day is a time for people to peacefully assemble and petition their government. It is not a place for hate or violence. Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here. Thousands of law-abiding Virginians simply want to have their voices heard at the seat of government. “House Republicans reject any attempt by any group to infuse any kind of twisted or extreme worldview into this fundamentally democratic exercise. So there’s no mistake, this is my message to any group that would subvert this event: you are not welcome here. While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.”