FACT CHECK: Did Governor Ralph Northam Threaten To Have People Killed If They Don’t Give Up Their Guns?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said, “You will give up your guns, if you don’t I’ll have the National Guard cut your power, your phone lines, and your internet. Then, if you still refuse to comply I’ll have you killed.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Northam ever saying the statement. It references a viral internet hoax that was previously debunked.

Fact Check:

An image falsely alleged in a post that Northam threatened Virginia residents with violence if they don’t hand their guns over to the government. It references a viral internet hoax that the governor plans to use the Virginia National Guard and other drastic measures to confiscate certain types of firearms.

“You will give up your guns, if you don’t I’ll have the National Guard cut your power, your phone lines, and your internet,” the post credits Northam with saying. “Then, if you still refuse to comply I’ll have you killed.” (RELATED: Is Governor Ralph Northam Planning To Cut Off Electricity And Communication Capabilities Ahead Of Gun Confiscation?)

The Daily Caller News Foundation rated the claim that Northam plans to cut off electricity and communication capabilities ahead of confiscating guns as false Dec. 30. Both the Governor’s office and the Virginia National Guard made statements debunking it.

There is no evidence that Northam ever said the quote attributed to him in the Facebook post. A search of his verified Twitter accounts didn’t turn up any matches. No credible sources linked the statement to him online either.

Alena Yarmosky, the press secretary for Northam’s office, confirmed to fact-checking website Snopes that Northam never made the statement and has not planned gun confiscation raids.

“People who spread lies like this should be ashamed of themselves,” Yarmosky also told Snopes. (RELATED: Does An AR-15 Shoot 10 Bullets A Second?)

Northam announced in early November plans to reintroduce eight gun control bills to the state legislature, including universal background checks and an assault weapons ban, among other measures. In response, more than 100 counties, cities and towns in Virginia have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” in largely symbolic resolutions, according to The Associated Press.

While there’s no record of Northam threatening violence against Virginia gun owners, he has said localities could face repercussions if law enforcement officers don’t enforce the gun control bills if they become laws.

“There’s not going to be retaliation. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about making Virginia safer,” Northam said Dec. 11, according to WTKR News 3. “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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