Virginia Supreme Court Leaves Governor’s Capitol Gun Ban in Place
The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday evening declined to hear a challenge to Democratic governor Ralph Northam’s temporary ban of gun-carry during a pro-gun-rights rally on Monday, leaving the ban in effect.
The High Court refused a request by gun-rights groups to overturn a lower court ruling upholding the governor’s emergency order. Northam had banned guns on the Capitol grounds from Friday night through Tuesday, meaning those planning to gather for Monday’s rally will not, unlike previous years, be allowed to carry firearms. The restriction may impact how many people attend the event and divert those who prefer not to be disarmed to other areas around Richmond.
Organizers of the gun-rights rally, which is in opposition to a package of gun-control bills being considered by the Democrat-controlled legislature, are asking attendees not to flout the ban on Monday…
The Virginia Supreme Court did not weigh in on the merits of the case but instead refused to hear it because of a lack of information.
“Under the circumstances, we are unable to discern whether the circuit court abused its discretion,” the Virginia Supreme Court said in its ruling. “The circuit court decided this case in less than one day, and, accordingly, the record before the Court is scant, there is no transcript or written statement of facts detailing the events of the hearing, and we are unaware of any evidence that was taken.”
VCDL and fellow plaintiff Gun Owners of America plan to continue the case after Monday in hopes of preventing similar emergency gun bans in the future. The gun-rights groups predicted the legal setback will embolden more supporters to show up for the rally.
“Ironically, this outcome will only further embolden Second Amendment supporters to be even louder for their rights,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, said in a statement. “Gun owners in the Commonwealth will continue to challenge Gov. Northam’s unconstitutional gun control measures at every turn.”
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