GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019

COMMENTARY

Pair of firearms reports inspires despair more than hope

BY: - November 18, 2019

Two reports involving guns were released in the past week – one on possible firearms legislation in Richmond, the other studying the horror of the massacre at the Virginia Beach municipal complex this spring. After reading both, call me bewildered.  The lack of recommendations from the former, and the absence of “warning signs or prohibited […]

GOP strategist says no regrets on adjourning gun special session after 90 minutes

BY: - November 13, 2019

Was the decision to adjourn a special session called to address gun violence legislation after only 90 minutes a fatal tactical error for state Republicans? Matt Moran, the former chief of staff to outgoing Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox, who won his race, says it’s the most asked question he’s gotten since his party lost […]

Virginia GOP’s promised gun-law study yields three-page report that makes no recommendations

BY: - November 12, 2019

Virginia Republicans promised a “thoughtful and deliberative study” of gun legislation when they abruptly adjourned a special legislative session called by Gov. Ralph Northam following a May mass shooting in Virginia Beach. GOP leaders released the resulting report Tuesday — a three-page document that makes no recommendations. Virginia State Crime Commission staff members tasked with […]

Va. House Democrats choose Eileen Filler-Corn as speaker-designee

BY: - November 9, 2019

Virginia Democrats have selected Eileen Filler-Corn as the next speaker of the House of Delegates, putting the the 55-year-old lawmaker from Northern Virginia in position to become the first woman ever to wield the gavel. At a closed-door meeting Saturday in downtown Richmond, the House Democratic Caucus voted to stick with the minority leader who […]

As Democrats triumph in Virginia, pro-gun groups confront ‘worst scenario’

BY: - November 8, 2019

In a victory speech in Richmond Tuesday night, Shannon Watts, the founder of gun-safety group Moms Demand Action, finished by mentioning a get-out-the-vote tweet from the National Rifle Association. In the video posted a few days before Virginia’s General Assembly elections, a woman in an NRA hat said people who didn’t go vote to protect […]

COMMENTARY

I got a Virginia concealed-carry permit. No one made me prove I actually can fire a gun and hit a target.

BY: - September 11, 2019

The card itself is pretty unimpressive considering the privilege it conveys. They don’t even laminate it for you. Last month, in a terse letter, Richmond’s circuit court clerk notified me that my Virginia concealed weapon permit was enclosed. There was no “Spider Man”-style admonishment about great power and great responsibility. “Please sign on the line […]

NRA drops an unusual high dollar donation on Virginia Republican leader’s PAC

BY: - September 4, 2019

The National Rifle Association dropped a $200,000 donation into House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert’s political action committee this week, a departure from its usual practice in Virginia of relying on grassroots support to stop gun law changes. Before this week’s donation, the Fairfax-based NRA had donated less than a million dollars total to state lawmakers […]

COMMENTARY

So many shootings, such meager concern

BY: - August 27, 2019

State Republican legislators resistant to new gun laws should’ve met 18-year-old TyQuisha K. Craig – or, at the very least, now learn about her brief life. Someone shot and killed the young community college student in 2014 as she was leaving a house party in Norfolk. Her mother told me the young woman wanted to […]

In a statehouse that’s debated guns for decades, testimony treads familiar ground

BY: - August 21, 2019

The same advocates. The same arguments. Many of the same pieces of legislation. Five hours of public testimony on gun safety legislation Tuesday tread familiar ground in a statehouse that’s been debating the issues in tightly-packed committee rooms for decades. A Falls Church City Council member pleaded with lawmakers to allow them to ban guns […]

3 laws that could cut homicides 36 percent and more numbers on guns in Virginia

BY: - August 19, 2019

A researcher at Boston University told a state panel weighing gun legislation Monday that passing three new firearms laws in Virginia could lead to 124 fewer homicides a year – an estimate she said she considers conservative. Claire Boine, who co-authored a study on the most effective policies in reducing gun violence, told the State […]

To stem killings, GOP lawmaker wants to boost violence intervention programs in Virginia

BY: - August 12, 2019

Taking cues from other states and cities that have implemented them, Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, wants Virginia to establish more programs that encourage people to leave violent lifestyles in order to curb shooting deaths. Weeks after the General Assembly abruptly adjourned a special session called to address gun violence after a mass shooting in Virginia […]

Trump renews calls for red flag laws Va. GOP voted down earlier this year

BY: - August 5, 2019

After twin mass shootings left at least 30 dead in 24 hours, President Donald Trump disappointed gun safety activists by focusing his response on “the perils of the internet and social media.” But over the course of remarks Tuesday morning, he did renew his administration’s calls for so-called red flag laws, or extreme risk protective […]