Posted by 04 June 2019
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is calling legislators back to work for a special session. He wants them to have an up-or-down vote on a variety of gun control bills. The Republicans who control both houses of the legislature are cool to the idea.
In the wake of a workplace shooting in Virginia Beach, Gov. Northam said he would call a special session of the legislature focused on gun control legislation. Saying that thoughts and prayers were not enough, the governor wants Republican lawmakers to bring gun control bills to the floor of both chambers for a vote.
Virginia Democratic legislators have introduced numerous gun control bills in recent years, but the Republicans who control both chambers of the General Assembly have killed these bills in committee. The governor has urged the Republican leadership to allow a floor vote on a variety of measures.
Gov. Northam said that he would work with legislators to introduce bills that would mandate background checks for gun sales between private individuals, give local governments more power to limit guns in public buildings, prohibit purchasing more than one handgun a month, and allow the government to seize firearms under a “red flag” law.
The majority leaders in the legislature point out that the governor can call a special session, but cannot determine how the legislature operates. They say that the governor should focus on punishing criminals, not in restricting constitutional rights.
Do you think that Virginia legislators should enact stricter gun control laws?