RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency ahead of a rally at the state capitol.
Northam says law enforcement believes extremists, including people from outside Virgnia, plan to flood Richmond protesting proposed gun control measures.
“We are seeing threats of violence, we are seeing threats of armed confrontation and assault on our capitol,” said Gov. Northam.
Monday’s MLK holiday also coincides with “Lobby Day,” a chance for Virginians to advocate for themselves.
Northam stressed the event is normally peaceful, but worries about a return to the violence in Charlottesville in 2017.
“Violence will not be tolerated. and if that is your group and that is your intention on monday, then you’re not welcome,” said Col. Gary Settle, the Virginia State Police Superintendent.
Second amendment advocates insist they are there to simply exercise their rights peacefully
“I just hope that people truly understand that virginia gun owners are peaceful people. we;’ve peacefully demonstrated. this didn’t just start today,” said Tim Anderson an Attorney and supporter of the Virginia Beach 2nd Amendment Law.
The proposals at the now-Democratically controlled legislature include a ban on transporting and possessing an assault weapon and wider background checks.
The proposals prompted some localities to declare themselves “second amendment sanctuaries”, where officials say they won’t enforce certain laws if passed.