RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia House Democrats introduced more than two dozen gun safety bills in the 2018 legislative session, but House Republicans did not allow a single one get to the floor.
Among the thwarted Democratic bills introduced this session were initiatives to:
The sole Democratic gun safety initiative to make it to the floor was a proposed rule change by Delegate Kathleen Murphy that would have prohibited the public from carrying guns into the gallery of the House chamber from one hour before session to one hour after session each day. House Republicans killed this initiative on a party-line vote. (Proposed changes to House rules do not follow the normal committee process).
House Republicans killed their own bill to allow guns in churches after they realized they did not have unanimous support within their own caucus. Republicans would have needed the votes of all 51 of their members to have passed the bill.
In an interview last week with WRIC, Delegate John McGuire succinctly summed up Republican strategy on the gun violence crisis by saying that it was too early to take legislative action.
“It seems like we’re playing whack-a-mole. Every time there’s a problem in society, we want to have a quick reaction,” Delegate McGuire said. “That’s why I say we need to stand back and see what’s going on.”
In a floor speech on the House of Delegates last week, Delegate Cheryl Turpinof Virginia Beach argued that instead we must take action.
“Our hearts cannot grow callous from the prevalence of tragedies,” said Delegate Turpin. “Our call to action is not a political one, but a plea for mercy. A plea to put politics aside and address this crisis head-on.”
Delegate Turpin also called on House Republicans, who have attempted to re-brand themselves as presenting “practical solutions to everyday issues,” to offer solutions to the gun violence crisis, which has tragically become an everyday issue.
Delegate Turpin’s remarks, which can be viewed on her Facebook page HERE, were covered by the Virginian-Pilot.
The Washington Post and Associated Press have both run stories that noted the difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to the gun crisis.