By: Brenden Boudreau
The Virginia General Assembly convened yesterday at the behest of anti-gun Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam and adjourned just as quickly with no gun control measures heading to the Governor’s desk.
The National Association for Gun Rights had staff in Richmond for the special session delivering thousands of petitions from pro-gun Virginians to their lawmakers urging them to oppose Northam’s calls for gun control, or face the political consequences.
The legislature will not meet again until after the general election on November 18th.
Committees in both the House and Senate met soon after session, where they referred an amalgam of gun control bills to the Virginia State Crime Commission for consideration.
The State Crime Commission is made up of members of both the House and the Senate, as well as Executive branch appointees. It does not have any legislative or regulatory authority, and can only make recommendations to the Virginia General Assembly with the majority support of the legislative members of the commission.
Just as Republicans maintain slim majorities of both the House and the Senate, so, too, do they maintain majority legislative control on the State Crime Commission.
The way events unfolded today in Richmond was a bruising defeat for Gov. Northam and his anti-gun allies in the General Assembly who were looking to politicize the recent shooting in Virginia Beach, where city employees were left defenseless against their murderer by the municipality’s anti-gun workplace rules.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment also faced backlash from his own caucus after filing a surprise gun control bill just hours before the start of the special session.
Republican Sen. Bill Stanley resigned as Senate Majority Whip after Norment filed his gun control bill.
Norment quickly rescinded his bill and stated that he won’t support “any measure that restricts the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” according to WDBJ 7.
Not that Norment should be trusted by pro-gun Virginians with his long anti-gun voting record, but it’s clear he felt the heat from angry gun owners and relented.
Of course, the gun issue is not going away anytime soon, but will now be taking center stage in the upcoming general election, where Democrats are working to take control of the General Assembly.
If Democrats do take complete control in Richmond following the general election, it is expected that they will work with Gov. Northam in making a strong push for gun control in 2020.
The National Association for Gun Rights is keeping a close eye on the Virginia State Crime Commission and is working on a battle plan to expose anti-gun politicians and lobby candidates for office in support of the Second Amendment in the days leading up to the elections this fall.
Brenden Boudreau is the Director of Field Operations for the National Association for Gun Rights, writing from Michigan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclosure: In addition to his work with the National Association for Gun Rights, the author is also Executive Director of Great Lakes Gun Rights.