RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Senate has voted to adjourn the special session until November 18.
Twenty committee members voted in favor of adjourning the session while 18 voted against it.
One top Virginia Republican has backtracked his support for a bill that would have banned firearms from government buildings after the majority whip resigned in protest.
Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) released the following statement Tuesday that reads:
“When the Committee on Courts of Justice convenes today, I will ask that Senate Bill 4013 be stricken. As currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention. I do not support – nor will I support – any measure that restricts the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Senate Bill 4013 was introduced by Sen. Norment on Monday. The bill would have toughened the penalty for the possession of any gun or weapon “designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind,” in a local government building. Sen. Norment’s bill would have made any violation a felony, not a misdemeanor as the current law does.
Republican senator Bill Stanley has resigned his leadership role to protest a top Republican’s push to ban guns in government-controlled buildings.
Sen. Stanley told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he’s resigned as majority whip of the GOP Senate caucus after Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment sponsored legislation to implement a broad ban on guns in government buildings.
Sources tell 8News the Senate Republican Caucus, however, voted to decline to accept Stanley’s resignation, leaving him as the majority whip despite trying to step down. CLICK HERE to read the full story.
Lawmakers have reconvened at the Capitol for today’s special session on gun violence.
The special session got underway at noon. Governor Ralph Northam called lawmakers back to Richmond in the wake of last month’s deadly shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building.
Hundreds of people have gathered outside the Capitol ahead of today’s special session on gun violence.
By 9 a.m., dozens had joined the Virginia Citizens Defense League on Capitol grounds wearing stickers that read, ‘guns save lives.’
At around 11 a.m., the Virginia chapter of ‘Moms Demand Action’ took to Capitol grounds to share their message with lawmakers:
‘You vote today, we vote in November,’ the crowd chanted.
As the gun control debate heated up inside the capitol, outside rallies and protest took over Capitol Square.
Passionate advocates both for and against gun control rallied Tuesday to have their voices heard in what ended up to be a short special session of the General Assembly.
Chanting ‘the NRA has go to go’ and holding signs that read ‘the NRA is going out of business,’ gun control adovocates from all over the state gathered to show thier support for stricter gun laws in Virginia.
A Virginia native and Majory Stoneman Douglass High School survivor spoke out during the rally.
“One law can save one life and one life saved is worth everything,” she said.
Not far way, men and woman in camouflage with guns holstered to their hips and armed with signs that read, “the man behind the sheet wants your guns,’ a reference to Governor Northam and the blackface controversy, told lawmakers they have a 2nd amendment right to bear arms.