Apr 27, 2020 - Health

Judge: Virginia gun range can open despite coronavirus restrictions

 Gov. Ralph Northam delivers the State of the Commonwealth address at the Virginia State Capitol on January 8, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond January. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) "took a step beyond what is allowed" when he issued coronavirus restrictions in March including the closure of nonessential businesses that extended to a local gun range, a circuit judge ruled Monday.

Why it matters: Gun rights groups said in their lawsuit the action violated the Second Amendment. University of Virginia law professor Richard Schragger noted to the Washington Post that if the state Supreme Court upholds the ruling enabling the shooting range to remain open, it may "lead to challenges in other states, though it is important to note that Virginia’s emergency powers statute includes fairly broad language protecting gun possession, use, and carrying."

Go deeper: In photos: Groups protest coronavirus lockdowns across the U.S.

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