RICHMOND (WRIC) - Gun rights and gun control advocates were back at the Capitol Monday fighting for and against a number of bills including tougher background checks, and allowing private schools to allow guns on campus.
"Background checks are a tool but declaring that they're going to prevent crime? No, they're not," says gun rights advocate Mark Walker.
"Criminals can easily get around background checks," says Phillip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. "America didn't have any school shootings back when we didn't have background checks in the 50s and 60s so we see it as a waste of time."
Hours later, gun control advocates spoke out against gun violence, holding up hearts for every victim killed by a gun in Virginia. A bill that would institute universal background checks is still alive in the senate.
"We wouldn't have speed limits," says Lori Haas of Coalition To Stop Gun Violence. "We wouldn't have any laws if your premise is that you know felons and criminals don't listen to laws, we have got to do something. We want better background checks and we want a better system of identifying dangerous people and keeping firearms from those people."
Both sides saying they'll wait and see whether a new governor and a possible power shift in the senate will mean any changes to gun issues.
"When there are more children killed than police officers, more pre-schoolers killed than police officers, something's very wrong," Haas says.
"Gun control is not popular in Virginia," Walker says. "2nd Amendment supporters are a growing breed."
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