The Virginia General Assembly has voted to adjourn until November, as Republicans rejected Democrats’ request to vote on a series of gun control measures. The session lasted less than two hours. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam called it in response to the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach in which a city employee killed a dozen people.
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. 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. Governor Northam and General Assembly Democrats say Republicans abandoned their responsibilities to Virginia citizens in not acting now.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam issued a statement after the adjournment, saying “an average of three Virginians die each day due to gun violence”. Northam called it “shameful and disappointing that Republicans in the General Assembly refuse to do their jobs, and take immediate action to save lives.”