RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (D) wants the General Assembly to pass legislation this session that bans the sale of assault weapons in the state, a priority for Gov. Ralph Northam that failed last year after four Democratic senators joined Republicans to reject the proposal.
After passing the Virginia House, the assault weapon ban bill was shelved last February in the Senate and legislators asked the state crime commission to review the measure. At this time, no lawmaker has introduced such a bill for this year’s session.
As he seeks another term as governor, McAuliffe says he will push for the ban and the creation of an agency to combat gun violence in Virginia as part of his gun control platform.
“Virginia is sadly all too familiar with the threat of gun violence. While we have made great strides to protect lives in recent years, now is the time to boldly confront and end this epidemic once and for all. That starts by banning the sale of assault weapons in the Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I have never been afraid to stand up to the NRA, and that won’t change now.”
McAuliffe’s plan, which he will formally announce during a Tuesday press conference, also calls for prohibiting individuals from openly carrying firearms “in certain public spaces,” and giving localities the broad authority to restrict open carry regulations “when there are credible threats to public safety.”
“As governor, I will work tirelessly to eliminate these weapons of war from our streets, keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and keep our communities safe,” McAuliffe continued. “I am ready to work with our Democratic majorities to get this done and protect Virginians across the Commonwealth.”
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