Fulfilling their campaign promises to take action against gun violence, Democrats in the General Assembly are sending Gov. Ralph Northam several gun-violence prevention bills. Lawmakers are taking action to exclude guns at polling places and government buildings, creating new restrictions for people convicted of domestic violence and extending the time allowed for the State Police to conduct background checks. The bills this year come after several new laws were created last year, requiring universal background checks and allowing local governments to regulate firearms.
“Virginia is a leader now,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, who formerly represented Alexandria in the House of Delegates. “We’ve gone from dead last to first in terms of responsible gun-control legislation.
One campaign promise Democrats have been unable to accomplish is limiting access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, deadly equipment that has been used to commit some of the worst mass shootings in American history. After Democrats seized control of the General Assembly last year, cracking down on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines was a top priority for the new majority. But Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw ended up withdrawing his own bill on the issue, and Del. Mark Levine (D-45) was unable to get his bill through the Senate. This year, nobody even bothered introducing an assault-weapons bill. [full article]