Governor Ralph Northam

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has called for a special session of the General Assembly to address gun legislation.

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 gun-friendly, 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; a limit of one handgun purchase per month; and a “red flag” law that would allow authorities to seize weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

“I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers,” he said, mocking the usual response to gun violence by supporters of the gun lobby.

No immediate date for the special session was set, but Northam said he wants to hold it in late June.

In a statement, GOP Speaker Kirk Cox dismissed the governor’s call for a special session as “hasty and suspect when considered against the backdrop of the last few months” — a reference to the blackface photo scandal that nearly destroyed Northam’s career.

Cox said the Republicans will instead put forward legislation to toughen penalties — including new, mandatory minimum sentences — for those who use guns to commit crimes.

“We believe addressing gun violence starts with holding criminals accountable for their actions, not infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Another top Republican, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, noted that the governor is pushing for legislation that already failed earlier this year. “This governor has opted for political posturing over solutions,” Norment said.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker accused Northam of “exploiting a tragedy to push his failed political agenda.”

Virginia is generally considered a very gun-friendly state and is home to the NRA headquarters. After the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, in which a student with a history of mental problems shot 32 people to death, the state passed a law prohibiting people adjudicated as seriously mentally ill from buying a gun. But a push at the time for universal background checks failed.

Most of the other legislation proposed this time has also fallen short before in Virginia, where Republicans hold slim majorities in the House and Senate. All 140 legislative seats are up for grabs this year, and the Democrats are thought to have a realistic chance of taking back control of the General Assembly.

In making the announcement at a state office building, Northam got a standing ovation from gun-control advocates, state workers and elected officials as he said the massacre in Virginia Beach demands that lawmakers put saving lives ahead of party loyalty.

Noting that first responders saved lives in last week’s attack, he said: “Now, I’m calling on the elected officials of this commonwealth to become second responders. Your duty is clear: Rush to the scene and put a stop to this violence.”

“Show Virginians that it doesn’t matter what party you are in, we all are Virginians first, and we care about the safety and security of every Virginian,” he added.

The governor has long advocated stricter gun control and gets an F grade from the NRA. He made the issue a top priority of his 2017 campaign, drawing from his experience as a pediatrician and Army doctor who has treated children and soldiers wounded by gunfire.

Craddock appeared to have had no felony record and is believed to have legally purchased his two .45-caliber pistols, authorities said.

The Virginia Beach shooting has been Northam’s first major test since a scandal over a photo in his medical school yearbook nearly drove him from office four months ago. Northam denied he was in the picture of someone in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

Democrats, including many who have previously called for his resignation, hailed Northam’s move on guns as strong leadership, and several lawmakers publicly thanked him.

A top gun-rights advocate, Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, denounced the special session as “political theater” and said the answer is to make it easier for people to carry weapons.

“There’s really nothing other than allowing people to protect themselves until the police get there that would have worked,” he said.

(79) comments

amerigirl

Nontolerant, you should heed your own words. And once again [offtopic] How is commenting on my post on topic with this article? The ignorance never ceases to amaze me. It’s like you just want to make statements about certain things no matter what the article is about.

LetFreedomRing

“Gov. Northam demands action on guns” The people demand action on racist, black face, KKK hood wearing governors. Ralph Northam is a racist bigot and has zero credibility. He is a disgrace to Virginia and should be removed from office.

amerigirl

How special are you that you can see through hoods? You do alot of accusing on a situation that has NO proof. And what does any or your bad-mouth gushing have to do with the article?[offtopic]

amerigirl

tolerant, Redneck might be offensive to you but I have heard people say that they are a redneck and proud of it. If it bothered you, sorry.

tolerantleft

My kids listen to music with many N words, but they don’t run around saying it. Just giving a little faux outrage I always hear from the Left.

amerigirl

[offtopic] what are you talking about? Then making things up about the left again? That isn't a left or right thing, it's social awareness that is on both sides. As it should be with anyone who has respect for other people,

Jeanne T

52 responses here and 20, about 40 percent, come from "amerigirl", our most prolific poster.

amerigirl

[offtopic]So? I guess you have nothing to say.

tolerantleft

Perhaps AmeriLib should listen to Abe Lincoln, “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and to remove all doubt”. On Topic.

Hateyuppies

"Gun violence"is a myth,a term dreamed up by leftists to send two subliminal messages.The first is to demonize the gun and make it responsible for the criminal act.The second is to take the blame from the criminal and remove responsibility for his actions.This is why we hear "If guns weren't available,this never would have happened." If you don't want to defend yourself,fine,that's your choice,but don't try to take my right to defend my family and myself and the wherewithal to do so.

amerigirl

Saying it is a myth is making light of those who have suffered and died. No one demonizes the gun; they criminalize the shooter many of which should not have had access to guns due to mental problems to begin with. Who has ever said that if “guns†weren’t available this would not have happened? They have said that a certain person should not have access to guns or that if they didn’t sell assault style weapons not as many would have died. NOBODY thinks all guns should be outlawed. NOBODY thinks that most guns should be outlawed. It’s a far cry from your right to bear arms to protect your family, hunt or go to a range, to the nut cases right to have guns so they can kill people in schools, nightclubs and movie theaters. People’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be held to a higher standard so they don’t feel afraid for their lives just for doing everyday activities.

tolerantleft

Yes, the Dems are constantly trying to eliminate the 2nd Amendment. I’m heading to Richmond in 7/9 to participate in Lobby Day and will be bringing my firearm.

amerigirl

Scottva. Common sense is pretty self-explanatory. You should not have a gun with many different types of mental illness. Complete background checks even on private sales, including mental status (if being treated) record of restraining orders, not be able to stock pile them like the Las Vegas shooter did. Require licensing. Make registering mandatory along with reporting missing firearms. Limit the amount of ammo that can be used at one time to 25-50 rounds. The extent of a background check is about having a felony, use of firearms to commit a crime, commission of a crime with 2 or more years sentence, outstanding warrants, citizenship, 2 misdemeanor drug convictions in 3 years and as far as mental illness it will only be pertinent if one has been involuntarily admitted to a facility or involuntarily ordered to outpatient mental health treatment , and for domestic abuse you must be convicted, which many times just a restraining order is given. So basically, if you haven’t been found to be a felon or forcibly institutionalize you can have a gun. Oh yeah and you can have your rights restored too. “If you are denied the right to purchase a firearm because you have been convicted of a felony as described in Section 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia, you may still be eligible to purchase a firearm if your rights have been restored under both state and federal law. Information pertaining to the restoration of firearm rights is available at (website). It is legal to buy a gun privately, not through a dealer with a federal firearms license, at a gun show in Virginia and many other states. So, you can go to a gun show and purchase a gun, just not from a registered dealer, and the private sellers are allowed inside but can only sell to other Virginia residents. People even walk around with placards saying what types of guns they have available. It is not a great amount but it works.

Loudoun1965

"Limit the amount of ammo that can be used at one time to 25-50 rounds." This statement, combined with the fact that you admittedly "Google" everything you know, begs to question whether you have any authentic experience with firearms at all. The point of going to a range is to practice and build muscle memory so that in a life-threatening situation, a person carrying a handgun will not panic or freeze, both of which could cause more harm than good. "25-50" rounds downrange is what most experienced shooters would consider a "warm-up." Range time can be expensive, and maximizing your hour is not ideally done by shooting one bullet every one to two minutes. Rather than quoting from ''Google," perhaps you could benefit from some training and range time so that when issues such as these rear their ugly heads, as they do, we could have an intelligent dialogue?

amerigirl

I have very limited experience with firearms, I have said so in the past. I don't google everything I know but if I want the correct dates, situations, etc, I use it, mostly to go to fact checking sites. I prefer not to go to a range anymore than my husband makes me go to make sure I'm ready should something happen. You know how many rednecks are there? I have seen people who have been drinking there, which I'm sure is not permitted, but that didn't stop them. You have no clue of my intellect, which makes me question yours for making that statement.

tolerantleft

Amerigirl, "redneck" is an offensive term. As a member of the perpetually aggrieved radical left, you should understand.

ace10

This post should have been preceded by a designation that it was "Step 1." And then, in the interest of full and fair disclosure, it would have been followed by a much shorter second part which would be much easier to follow... Step 2: Seize all guns.

Loudoun1965

Amerigirl, please just stay in your lane; this one ain't it. No one can simply go to a gun shop or gun show and purchase a suppressor and walk out with it. You have to complete a background investigation, get finger printed at the Sheriff's office, get two mug shots, and create a trust fund for the device. Then, you have to pay the ATF $200.00 and send it all away to sit on a desk for anywhere from 6-12 months to get investigated again, get the trust confirmed, then wait until you get to the top of the pile to get the stamp. Only after all that can you actually walk out with a legal suppressor. And no one will sell one on the black market because they are so hard to get. You really don't get how they work either. A suppressed .223 rifle sounds about like a .22, and a suppressed 45 sounds about like a .22 pistol, which could easily be heard throughout an entire building. In other words, suppressed on not suppressed, it would not have made a difference in response time, especially considering the majority of responding cops were already in the building and HEARD the gunfire. Suppressors are not like movie "silencers" nor do they sound like them. The majority of people who have them shoot frequently, as a responsible gun owner should, and use them to protect themselves from long-term hearing damage. Those who shoot suppressed still wear hearing protection. It is virtually impossible to carry a suppressed pistol undetected for any length of time, which is why no one uses them unless on the range, or for hunting where legal to do so. Are these facts okay with you now?

ace10

Nice of you to post all that. I suspect that precisely 0.00% of it will register. But it was a fine effort.

amerigirl

Your right, I’m in the passing lane so keep to your right. According to the Silencer Shop on line ‘ ‘Fortunately, buying an NFA item (such as a silencer) is a simple process that generally requires less paperwork than buying a new refrigerator! (Plus, suppressors are way “cooler†than fridges. Ha!)’ and you can pick them up at a kiosk. Don’t need to be snide. I not okay with your facts until you can give me a place to verify them. After looking at the Silencer Shop site which show the recent law changes I have doubts.

ace10

Stop, just please stop. You have zero knowledge of this subject. It's painful to read your incessant commenting which is utterly devoid of facts and truthfulness.

amerigirl

acr, like I said, the site is Silencer Stop, check it out yourself. Still have to be nasty? Is that a part of your personality? If the site is wrong you could just be a normal person and explain why it is instead of being so nasty.

ace10

You pivot from being a subject matter expert to victim so quickly. If you don't like the truth, don't read and reply to my posts.

marv

amerigirl, a suppressor on a .45 only reduces the noise/sound, it does NOT eliminate it.

amerigirl

Yes I know, I can google too marv, but because the shots were suppressed one of the witnesses Christi Dewar thought she was hearing a nail gun.“If it was a regular gunshot we would've definitely known a lot sooner, " Dana Schrad, president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said in a text that silencers make it more difficult to quickly and accurately isolate the shooter’s location.“Silencers fall into the same category as bump stocks," she said. "They augment the shooter’s advantage in an assault situation."

marv

amerigirl seems to have an almost Encyclopedic knowledge of all subjects and it is presented in a style not unlike that of the Editorial Staff, therefor I can but wonder if it is not a pseudonym??

amerigirl

Excuse me marv, a pseudonym? I do not work for the paper, in fact I don't work anywhere. My knowledge is called google, and if I forget what I read or want any info I can google it. BTW the encyclopedia is on it too.

tolerantleft

We all can tell you don’t work, anywhere.... All of us here in the right have jobs and pay mire than our “fair share†of taxes so you don’t have to work, anywhere.

amerigirl

Tolerentnot, so my being disabled is bad for you because you “in the right†have jobs and pay taxes? Shame on you. You are ignorant of how many years I have worked and paid taxes. You say that I “don’t have to work†and you pay for me? HOW? I have not collected 1 cent of government money and won’t until I get social security. You seem to think that everyone should be working. I think that is a decision that families should be able to make not you.

amerigirl

Jeanne, there is really no comparison there. The rhetoric is that Chicago has the toughest gun laws but if you fact check it you will see that is an outdated notion. Chicago itself has some tough laws, like an assault-weapons ban in Cook County. At one point, it did have much tougher laws, it had banned handguns in the city limits, but a 2008 Supreme Court ruling declared that ban unconstitutional, and a 2010 ruling reaffirmed that. The city also had had a gun registry program since 1968, but ended it in 2013 when the state passed a law allowing the concealed carry of weapons. Chicago is next to Wisconsin and Indiana who both have weak laws, no waiting period or permit required, and is where the guns are coming from. New York blames Virginia for its gun problem because our laws are lax and so many of the confiscated guns in NY come from here. But this is Virginia, how do you compare that to a city, 1 city, when there are other cities and states with strict gun laws that have lowered crime drastically? Did you know that in the 13 states that require background checks the homicide rate is 3.3 per 100,000 and in the 37 where they don’t it is 5.2 per 100,000?

swampfiller

First of all, NY will blame anybody but themselves for their problems. CHICAGO is self explanitory. ASSAULT WEAPONS are already illegal every where without a special permit by federal law. AR-15's and the like are not assault weapons nor are they automatic weapons. The traditional 30-06 hunting rifle is better than these immitation assault rifles, assuming you want to hit what you are aiming at. BY THE WAY, an assault rifle is an automatic, like a M-16, m-4, AK-47, and they are already illegal under federal and state law. Guns don't kill people, ignorant politicians do. We do not need more laws, just better enforcement of existing laws. Governor, we have asked you before, please stay out of Loudoun County All you do is withhold our fare share of tax money. Why are Loudoun citIzens oultraged about that, then maybe we could enforce some of these laws. May we ought to have a law that require laws to be enforced and laws that would keep Richmond politicions from cheating N VA. WHERE ARE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS?

tolerantleft

Some people really go off the rails whenever the subject is liberal gun confiscation and after-birth abortion, both part of Democrat party platform.

amerigirl

some people are tired of hearing the same old lies.

amerigirl

Why do you say liberal gun confiscation when nobody wants to take your guns? That is an old NRA fear tactic. That statement would only hold true if 90% of the people are liberals since that is how many people want some form of gun control.

Jeanne T

LOL

Jeanne T

Provide the sources for your information.......

amerigirl

You can check it yourself on snopes, or politifact. If you can’t find the sources on your own, I’ll help you but I check facts out before I post them. My opinion is mine.

marv

Chicago with the stringent gun laws espoused by Northam had more people killed over the weekend, but that never received any publicity. However the actions of an idiot were. WHY?? If Northam was as misguided in medicine as he seems to be about firearms, 95% of his patients would expire. Do you blame the car for DUI or speeding?? Do you restrict the ownership or driving privileges of millions of honest citizens because of the actions of a few? (yes, a car like a gun can be used to kill, but it is the actions of the loose nut holding the steering wheel or the loose nut holding the trigger) )

amerigirl

Why does everyone mention the absolute worst place (Chicago) and try to compare an entire state to an extremely bad city? Considering Virginia had the largest school mass shooting and shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach has now joined the list of America's deadliest mass shootings That remark about the car is trite. No one blames the car but you would lose your privileged to drive a car just as you should lose your privileged to own guns if you can't meet certain standards, like not being mentally ill. Having common sense gun laws and background checks (which 90% approve of) just seems so logical when we have so many innocent people being killed. You can still own you guns, nobody says you can't, as long as you meet those requirements. Just like you can own a car if you meet the requirements. If you agree that it is the "nut" holding the gun why shouldn't there be background checks?

Hateyuppies

Onve again a liberal Democrat seeks to disarm law-abiding citizens.There are roughly 2000 gun laws on the books in this country,seeking to dispose the myth of "gun violence",yet these laws do nothing to remove violence of any kind.People call conservatives paranoid,when in fact we aren't buying the lies of the Left.When conservatives propose an agenda we are up front about what we are doing and why.

amerigirl

total paranoia, who is out to get your guns? Please tell me where I can find these 2000 gun laws, I'd love to see it. The NRA has been saying for years that liberals are trying to take your guns, like there are no liberals that own guns, such a farce. But you guys keep them in business by falling for it. So sad! What agenda have conservatives been upfront about? Northam was very upfront about what he wants to address if you read the article or even the first couple of paragraphs you would know exactly what he is proposing. It sounds like you are afraid of buying into lies because you don't listen to the truth to begin with.Again what have the conservatives been upfront about?

amerigirl

Loudoun1965. The reason so many people were killed in Va.Beach is because the shooter had a silencer and others may not have been aware they were under attack because they didn’t hear it according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera. You don’t have to wait hardly any time for a silencer or gun if you buy then at a gun show or online. I guess all you have to offer is thoughts and prayers, not action.

ace10

Further... the sounds from a typical suppressed 45 ACP handgun will register in the 135-140 decibel range. As compared to 160db+ without the device. Please do go find yourself 135 or 140 decibels of sound pressure and let me know how it feels.

amerigirl

I have been where a silencer has been fired, It was some time ago and they have probably improved them since then. I don't think people 2 floors away in a busy office would recognize it as gunfire, a backfire maybe.

swampfiller

What's the db's on a HK MP-5 with silencer, they have a pretty distictive sound? No briefcase.

Levrier

That is simply not correct. To purchase a silencer you must go through an ATF background check (separate from the FBI check), get approved and then pay a $200 transfer tax. The whole process is currently taking 9-12 months to complete.

amerigirl

I'll believe you since you seem to know what you're talking about. I just used google, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

tolerantleft

You CANNOT purchase a suppressor without ATF approval. Period. I bet you can't explain what "universal background check" means either.

amerigirl

Caps much? Can you ever write a post without challenging someone personally instead of the issue? Might I suggest anger management classes? Also your "fake news" on infanticide is really old, once again, educate yourself.

scottva

@amerigirl - Where do you come up with this stuff? A silencer was NOT used in the Florida school shooting last year and he killed more people. Las Vegas shooting, no silencer involved there either. The VA Beach shooter was not trying to be sneaky or discrete, if he was, he would have tried the method the DC Snipers used, it's called concealment/hiding. So many people were killed because of: #1 Determination and #2 Semi-Auto+extended magazines. It really is that simple. So you might now say "ban all extended magazines". Any idea how fast someone can reload or how many guns someone can carry? I know lets ban ALL guns, that will solve the problem. Chicago is living proof of how well that philosophy works.

amerigirl

Why do you deny the facts? True,no silencer, but look at the differences. At parkland he used an AR-15 semi-automatic military style weapon, and a greater accessibility to a higher number of victims. The VA Beach shooter used Two .45 ACP pistols and had to cover 3 levels of the building. Maybe they should ban all extended magazines that would have cut down the number of victims in Las Vegas, Orlando, etc. More people are injured and killed in mass shooting that involve assault style weapons vs. hand guns for the amount of time the shooter is active.

Simon

Nice try. It won’t pass. Please resign.

amerigirl

Confused. Nice try what?

swampfiller

Resign from what? Amerigal are you hiding something from me? And I thought we were on our way to a beautiful relationship.

romano

that this guy is in a position to demand anything from anyone is a sad testimony to the hypocrisy and weakness of today's Democrat party.

amerigirl

Voting for and demanding are two different things. What hypocrisy? Are you making this up as you go along?

scottva

@amerigrl - You're partially correct. People in VA VOTED in a racist baby killing moron and as a result of the fine people of VA voting this moron in, he's governor and can make demands, doesnt mean they will be met but he can make them.

amerigirl

scottva, no point getting into a discussion whit you when you present lies like the infanticide remark, it is illegal in VA. The true hypocrisy is that law was created by republicans decades ago. Fact check it.

swampfiller

Lawmakers, please ignor the governor, we have enough laws on the books. We are tired of his politcal games.

swampfiller

Why don't we just make murder against the law, to include all murders, b[y any method, gun, knife, scalpel, forcepts, vacuum. MURDER IS MURDER.

amerigirl

How about self defense? If a pregnancy will kill the woman is it murder then? If a child is going to be born just to die an excruciating death afterwards should the parents be forced to make the child go through that?

David Dickinson

After massacre, Gov. Northam demands deflection from his racist past

More Cowbell

The gov is a disgrace and should have resigned, hard for anyone to take him seriously. And not 1 thing he or anyone else could add would have stopped the killings. Just a waste of time and money.

amerigirl

I suppose common sense gun laws couldn't have stopped VA Tech shooting? If they stop even 1 person from being shot or killed then they are worth it. Look at Virginia's mass shootings just in the last month, 5/31/19 Virginia Beach 13 dead 5 injured, 5/26/19, La Crosse 5 injured, 5/25/19 Chesapeake 1 dead, 9 injured. Sad to say but it is so common place that it doesn’t even make the headlines anymore.

Jeanne T

"Mass shootings" occur every week in Chicago (yes, they are mass shootings). Apparently the strict gun laws there didn't save any lives.

scottva

@amerigirl - What exactly are "common sense gun laws"? I suspect you may say 'Universal background checks" and close "gun show loopholes" right? Did you know you cannot go into a gun shop and buy ANY type of gun without having an extensive background check first? Did you know that someone cannot guy into a gun show in VA and purchase a gun WITHOUT having an extensive background check first? However, there are private gun sales that do not require background checks and when these happen, at a gun show, it's always outside of the gun show never inside. So in reality, "common sense gun laws" amount to creating laws around private gun sales and NOT background checks or gun show loopholes.

Loudoun4Trump

After Northam's klan picture...I demand he resign....I hope the special session removes this stain from VA politics...

amerigirl

I would support that if he was proven guilty, How does our legal system work? Innocent until proven guilty?

Loudoun1965

Not if you work at Trailside. But how is making suppressors illegal going to stop gun violence? The waiting period is up to a year now from the BATF, so anyone even considering purchasing one has to go through more hoops than it takes to buy a handgun a month anyway. This is all posturing. "Even if it saves one life..." Including babies' lives?

scottva

@amerigirl - He's guilty of wanting to kill babies, it's on video but you may not see it as killing a baby, rather a thoughtful service

ace10

So Governor Coonman is against a device which preserves lawful gun owners' hearing, but is for the killing of babies. What a disgusting human being.

LoudounClear

You enjoyed typing coonman didn't you?

ace10

Enjoyed? Hardly. But I refuse to use this racist, baby killing jerk's name. If you're offended, kindly address your grievances directly to him.

scottva

Liberal login........ NY State just past a baby killing health law that can be administered by the ice-cream man. They also just past a law making it illegal to DECLAW a fricken CAT?

Chris McHale

I wonder how he feels about racism and hate violence?

tolerantleft

Oh, he supports them both along with infanticide, but hey, he can moon dance.

If the NRA is not stone cold gun nut crazy enough for you thank God there's always the Virginia Citizen's Defense League.

marv

Not valid

Loudoundad

Remember, Van Cleve was the idiot who was convinced to advocate arming toddlers.

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