Virginia lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to begin wading through more than 20 proposed anti-gun bills in a special session as Second Amendment advocates gather in protest.
Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced last week his legislative agenda for the July 9 session that includes universal background checks, rationing handgun sales to one per month, so-called “red flag” seizure programs and bans on “assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.” Most of the proposals have been repeatedly shot down by Republican-controlled committees in past regular sessions.
“Now is the time to act—Virginians deserve votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers,” said Northam, who came to office with the strong backing of gun control groups in 2017. “I urge the members of the General Assembly to engage in a thorough, meaningful discussion about these proposed bills and to allow every member to cast their votes on the floor.”
In response to the proposals, national pro-gun groups such as the American Suppressor Association and National Rifle Association are calling for members to come to the General Assembly Building on Tuesday to urge elected officials to “oppose the Northam gun ban agenda.” Additionally, the Virginia Citizens Defense League has released a list of more than 20 pending bills they oppose and is likewise holding their own rally this week.
As reported by the Roanoke Times, among the dozens of bills filed for the special session, Democrats have introduced gun control measures while Republicans have fired back with proposals for toughening punishments on gun crime as well as other bills to enhance security.