Virginia Special Session on Guns Abruptly Adjourns

Jul 10, 2019

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is now a key election battleground in the long-running fight over gun laws.

Interest groups and activists on both sides are gearing up for a major clash after Republicans on Tuesday adjourned a special legislative session.

Virginia is the only state where control of the Legislature is up for grabs this year. The GOP currently holds a narrow majority.

Republican lawmakers abruptly ended the session after less than two hours and postponed any movement on gun laws until after the November election. Democrats and gun-control advocates vowed to force them from office.

GOP Wants Commission

Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (R)
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Republican leaders in Virginia's General Assembly say the state's crime commission needs to take a measured look at gun issues to try to find a bipartisan solution.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam called the session in response to the Virginia Beach shooting that killed a dozen people in May.

House Speaker Kirk Cox says the special session was premature because the Virginia Beach shooting is still being investigated.

Cox and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment say Northam should have called for a blue-ribbon commission to study gun and mental health issues like former Gov. Tim Kaine did after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.