RICHMOND, Va. – In a statement Tweeted yesterday, President Donald Trump declared his support for comprehensive background checks and banning the sale of bumpstocks – two Democratic initiatives that were recently killed by Republican-controlled subcommittees in party-line votes.
House Republicans killed the bumpstock ban in spite of the poignant testimony of a Virginia survivor of the Las Vegas shooting, and they killed universal background checks in spite of the support of 84 percent of Virginia voters.
House Republicans even killed a Democratic bill that would have required that minors obtain parental permission to keep firearms in their homes, although one Republican voted for it.
“House Republicans stopped more than two dozen gun safety bills from getting to the floor of the House of Delegates, including legislation to ban bumpstocks and ensure universal background checks,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “Children are dying, and we must act. Now is the time to stand up, not back.”
In an appearance Wednesday night on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber,” Delegate Chris Hurst spoke in support of the courageous students who are demanding action from their elected leaders. Delegate Hurst also called out House Republicans for gumming up a debate over a license plate that would read “Stop Gun Violence.”
“We have to do something to address the issue. The problem is, there’s intransigence on the other side,” said Delegate Hurst, noting that guns have been a firewall issue for the Republican Party. “As the children from Parkland have been so eloquently stating, if we can’t change their minds, we need to change their seats.”
Following the Florida shooting, Virginia House Republicans doubled down on their commitment to inaction. Delegate John McGuire told a reporter from WRIC, “It seems like we’re playing whack-a-mole. Every time there’s a problem in society, we want to have a quick reaction That’s why I say we need to stand back and see what’s going on.”