Capitol Square closed on Lobby Day out of precaution

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Today is Lobby Day in Richmond, a day where Virginians usually gather at the steps of the Capitol building and in Capitol Square to share their concerns with lawmakers. However, with threats of potential demonstrations looming ahead of Inauguration Day, the city has implemented some changes.

Related coverage: Gov. Northam, Mayor Stoney address potential violence around State Capitol in coming days

No one will be allowed in Capitol Square as the Department of General Services (DGS) closed the grounds last week. It will be closed through Thursday, January 21.

Signs are also up around the area reminding those who assemble of a new ordinance banning guns at or near permitted events.

Police increase downtown as Lobby Day is underway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo: 8News Reporter Delaney Hall)

Related coverage: Richmond under another state of emergency as law enforcement gears up for potential unrest

8News learned that all permit requests allowing groups to assemble were denied by the Department of General Services. DGS cited safety concerns.

 The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights activist group, plans to attend Lobby Day this year, but with multiple caravans.

Last year, VCDL brought more than 20,000 people to peacefully rally at the Capitol to push back against any new gun control measures, calling it “2A Day.”

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said last year’s Lobby Day was peaceful and expects this year to be the same.

Road closures are also in effect from Sunday at 6 a.m. to Monday at 6 p.m. in preparation for Lobby Day.

Police are urging folks to remain vigilant, and report any suspicious behavior.

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