Last Friday, a man walked into a Virginia Beach municipal building and started shooting. He killed 12 people and wounded five more before responding officers could stop him. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has now called for more gun control in response, despite the fact that none of the potential laws would have prevented this shooting.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Northam announced plans for a special legislative session to consider a gun-control package. In fact, he came out saying that this called for “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”
His plan, it seems, is the push lawmakers to go on the record for or against his gun-control proposals during a legislature election year; Northam’s term ends in 2022, and Virginia bans consecutive terms as governor. He wants to prevent the gun-friendly General Assembly from killing the bills in committee. The Republicans hold a one-seat majority in both houses.
Northam has not set a date for the special session, but said he wants to hold it in late June. GOP Speaker Kirk Cox has already stated that this call for a special session is “hasty and suspect.” He also said Republicans will push legislation to toughen sentences for those who commit crimes with guns.
“We believe addressing gun violence starts with holding criminals accountable for their actions, not infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” Cox said.
Gov. Ralph Northam Gun Control Push
Northam hopes to push through a variety of new gun-control laws. These proposals include a statewide universal background check. He also wants to bring back Virginia’s one handgun a month purchase limit and create a red flag law to allow police to seize firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Other anti-gun bills he wants the legislature to pass include a ban on suppressors and standard-capacity magazines; Northam calls them high capacity. Breitbart reports Northam even wants to ban bump stocks, even though federal law already bans these devices.
Most interesting, though, is that none of the proposed laws would have prevent this tragedy, especially since it happened in a “gun free zone.” The shooter used two legally purchased semi-auto pistols with a suppressor in the attack. At this point, no one has stated how the shooter obtained the suppressor. However, the police have reported that they followed the sounds of gunshots to the shooter, which disputes the belief of many that suppressors silence gunshots. This could start a fight for more regulations on suppressors, as President Trump recently came out against the muffler-like devices.