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Virginia lawmakers to talk gun violence at July 9 special session

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 17:42:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's Special General Assembly session to address gun violence will take place Tuesday, July 9, according the governor's office.

"We must do more than give our thoughts and prayers. We must give Virginians the action they deserve," the governor stated earlier this week when he announced his intention to call the special session. "No one should go to work, to school, or to church wondering if they will come home."

The governor planned to reintroduce many of the gun laws he tried to pass earlier this year. They include:

  • Universal background checks
  • A ban on assault weapons, to include suppressors and bump stocks
  • An extreme risk protective order
  • Reinstating the one-gun-a-month law
  • Child access prevention
  • Requiring people to report lost and stolen firearms; and
  • Expanding local authority to regulate firearms, including in government buildings

The state's Republican leadership was skeptical of the governor's action following the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

"While the Governor can call a special session, he cannot specify what the General Assembly chooses to consider or how we do our work," Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R - Colonial Heights) 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."