After massacre, Virginia governor takes on Republican legislature over gun control
Virginia’s Democratic governor on Tuesday called for a special legislative session to consider new gun control laws following a massacre of 12 people, but a top Republican lawmaker immediately pushed back on a plan he called “hasty and suspect.”
Governor Ralph Northam has previously faced resistance from the legislature to increase restrictions on guns, with a package of gun controls he proposed as recently as January failing to pass before the legislative session ended in April.
“It is wrong, it is outrageous, it is unforgivable to turn our municipal centers, our schools, our churches and synagogues and mosques, into battlefields,” he said at a news conference, four days after a Virginia Beach city engineer shot dead 12 people at a municipal building.
“I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers,” Northam said.
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, called the governor’s move “hasty and suspect” in a statement in which he said he was opposed to restrictions on gun ownership for people not convicted of crimes.
“While the Governor can call a special session, he cannot specify what the General Assembly chooses to consider or how we do our work,” Cox said. “We intend to use that time to take productive steps to address gun violence by holding criminals accountable with tougher sentences, including mandatory minimums.”
4th June 2019