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Virginia Law States City Cannot Ban Firearms During State of Emergency

Posted: Updated:
Virginia can't ban firearms during a state of emergency Virginia can't ban firearms during a state of emergency
Lloyd Snook Lloyd Snook
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A list of prohibited items in Charlottesville’s downtown area over the weekend has some people questioning why one item was left off it.

Firearms remain off the list because the city does not have the power to ban them.

"I don't know how you can say that it is illegal to bring a stun gun, a skateboard, or even a can of food to walk around in the immediate downtown with those, but it's OK to sling an AK-47 or AR-15 on your shoulder and go around with that," Don Gathers, a community activist, said.

So while you can't have canes, sticks, BB guns, and hairspray, you can continue to carry your gun downtown.

NBC29’s legal analyst Lloyd Snook explains why the right to carry you gun isn’t being suspended on the mall over the weekend of August 11 and 12.

"About five or six years ago, some folks in the Virginia legislature got a law passed that says you can't ban firearms when you're in a state of emergency and that's what the problem is right now,” Snook said. “So if you want to blame someone, blame the Virginia legislature."

Governor Northam and the city of Charlottesville both declared states of emergency on Wednesday, August 8.