After mas­sacre, gover­nor de­mands ac­tion on guns

The News-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam an­nounced Tues­day he will sum­mon law­mak­ers back to the state Capi­tol this sum­mer to take up a pack­age of gun-con­trol leg­is­la­tion, say­ing last week’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach calls for “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”

Northam, a Demo­crat faced with a gun­friendly, Re­pub­li­can-con­trolled Gen­eral As­sem­bly in the mid­dle of a leg­isla­tive elec­tion year, also said he wants ev­ery law­maker to go on record for or against his pro­pos­als dur­ing the spe­cial session, rather than avoid tough votes by qui­etly killing the bills in sub­com­mit­tee.

“The na­tion will be watching,” the gover­nor said, four days after Virginia Beach em­ployee De­Wayne Crad­dock used two semi-au­to­matic hand­guns, a si­lencer and ex­tended am­mu­ni­tion mag­a­zines to slaugh­ter 12 peo­ple at a mu­nic­i­pal build­ing. Crad­dock was then killed in a gun­bat­tle with po­lice.

Northam’s bills in­clude a ban on si­lencers and high-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines, as well as a broad­en­ing of the abil­ity of lo­cal gov­ern­ments to pro­hibit guns in city build­ings. The gover­nor said he also wants manda­tory, uni­ver­sal back­ground checks be­fore gun purchases.

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