Virginia Gov Northam Recalls Lawmakers To Pass Gun Control After Shooting

Whitney Tipton | Reporter

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he is recalling Virginia lawmakers for a special summer session to reconsider gun control measures.

He told reporters the legislation is necessary to prevent shootings like the May 31 Virginia Beach tragedy where the gunman, allegedly a disgruntled city worker, killed 12 co-workers before police fatally shot him. (RELATED: 13 Killed Including Suspected Gunman In Virginia Beach Municipal Center: Police)

“We have failed to act on gun violence,” Northam told reporters during a press conference.

“It is wrong, it is outrageous, it is unforgivable to turn our municipal centers, our schools, our churches and synagogues and mosques, into battlefields. No one should go to work, to school, or to church wondering if they will come home.”

Northam plans to propose stricter initiatives, some of which failed to pass a Republican-led House of Delegates subcommittee in January. Measures included in his statement are:

  • 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
  • Expanding local authority to regulate firearms, including in government buildings

Republican GOP Speaker Kirk Cox said the governor’s action was “hasty and suspect when considered against the backdrop of the last few months.”

“We believe addressing gun violence starts with holding criminals accountable for their actions, not infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” Cox told The Associated Press.

This is the governor’s first leadership test since weathering the media frenzy and bipartisan resignation demands stemming from a photo that surfaced from Northam’s medical school yearbook page showing one man dressed in a Ku Klux Klan uniform, and another in blackface.

The medical school said it could not conclusively determine the identity of the people in the photo, according to CBS News.

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