Author

Graham Moomaw

Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Contact him at [email protected]

One day after the big gun rally, House Democrats wipe out GOP firearm bills

By: - January 21, 2020

The pro-gun masses had their day at the Virginia Capitol Monday. But mathematical reality quickly set in Tuesday morning as a Democratic-led House of Delegates panel easily dispatched nearly a dozen Republican-sponsored gun bills. The proposals would have made it easier to carry guns in places of worship, allowed concealed carry without a permit, limited […]

Police arrest 21-year-old Richmond woman for wearing bandanna near pro-gun rally

By: - January 20, 2020

Despite the presence of numerous armed men who were covering their faces, the only person arrested near Monday’s pro-gun rally was a 21-year-old Richmond woman who police said refused repeated instructions to take a bandanna off her face. Police said Mikaela E. Beschler was arrested around 1:30 p.m. in the 800 block of East Broad […]

Va. Supreme Court denies effort to overturn Capitol Square gun ban

By: - January 17, 2020

The Supreme Court of Virginia has rejected a legal challenge seeking to overturn the Capitol Square gun ban Gov. Ralph Northam ordered in preparation for Monday’s pro-gun rally. The Virginia Citizens Defense League, the lead organizer of Monday’s event, had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Richmond judge’s decision upholding the ban as a […]

Gun safety groups call off MLK Day event, citing potential for violence

By: - January 17, 2020

Gun safety groups have called off their annual gathering on Capitol Square Monday, citing safety threats that have been “promoted and encouraged by gun extremists.” The Virginia Center for Public Safety, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence had secured a permit for an event on the Capitol […]

Pamunkey tribe announces proposal for Richmond casino resort

By: - January 17, 2020

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced Friday that it wants to build a $350 million casino resort in South Richmond, the latest addition to a growing list of potential gaming projects Virginia lawmakers must consider as they weigh bills to legalize gambling. In a news release, the tribe said it is in the process of acquiring […]

Amid fiery speeches, Virginia Senate passes first batch of gun bills

By: - January 16, 2020

The Virginia Senate passed an initial wave of gun bills Thursday amid denunciations from Republicans and assurances from Democrats that they were responding to voters’ demands for stronger firearm safety laws. Two bills — one to restore the state’s previous one-handgun-a-month rule and another empowering local governments to ban guns in public buildings, parks and […]

Richmond judge denies pro-gun groups’ attempt to overturn Capitol Square firearm ban

By: and - January 16, 2020

A Richmond Circuit Court judge denied a request by pro-gun advocates to overturn a temporary firearms ban on Capitol Square, where thousands of opponents of new gun control legislation are planning to rally Monday. “This is the right decision,” said Gov. Ralph Northam in a statement following the ruling. “I took this action to protect […]

Cheers erupt as Virginia lawmakers vote to become pivotal 38th state to ratify ERA

By: and - January 15, 2020

Cheers erupted at the Capitol as the Equal Rights Amendment cleared both chambers of the General Assembly on Wednesday, making Virginia the 38th and final state needed to ratify the amendment enshrining gender equality in the Constitution. Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, who sponsored the ERA resolution as one of the first women to […]

Va. Democrats face a growing menu of redistricting reform options. Only one binds them for 2021.

By: - January 15, 2020

Virginia’s new Democratic majorities will have at least three different redistricting reform proposals to choose from in the 2020 session. But only one would take away the General Assembly’s constitutional power to redraw the state’s political maps next year. For years, Democrats have called for the creation of an independent redistricting commission that would reduce […]

Va. Senate panel advances bill forcing lawmakers to reveal big pre-session donations

By: - January 14, 2020

Virginia General Assembly members would have to disclose who’s giving them big checks right before they vote on new laws under a bill that passed out of a state Senate committee Tuesday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Salem, would require lawmakers to disclose donations over $1,000 during the annual pre-session fundraising blitz, when […]

As Virginia Democrats advance new gun restrictions, militias organize, promising to resist

By: and - January 13, 2020

Opponents of new gun laws in Virginia are organizing militias in the state, but promise they’re not planning to use the new paramilitary organizations to launch a violent insurrection against the government. “We’re just a group of like-minded individuals trying to protect our rights,” said a man standing in the gravel parking lot of an […]

Virginia Democrats enact immediate gun ban at state Capitol complex

By: - January 10, 2020

Virginia Democrats used their new majority power to pass a ban on guns inside the state Capitol and the General Assembly’s adjacent office building, a contentious step that set off the first major partisan fight of the session. The legislature’s Joint Rules Committee approved the gun ban Friday afternoon in a party-line vote. The new […]