The special legislative session convening July 9 at the request of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to consider gun legislation will draw both supporters and opponents to Richmond that day.
The special session was called in response to the shootings at a Virginia Beach municipal building on May 31 that left 12 people dead.
The General Assembly is being asked to consider passing measures that previously failed to pass:
- Universal background checks
- Child access prevention
- A one-gun purchase per month limit
- Banning assault weapons and bump stocks
- Requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns
- Allowing localities to ban firearms from municipal buildings
- “Red flag” laws that permit police or family members to petition a court to order removal of a firearm from someone deemed a threat.
“There will be a lot of groups coming to make their voices heard and make sure the legislature knows that the majority of Virginians favor common-sense gun safety measures,” said Donna Cywinski of Fauquier Indivisible, an organization that opposes the policies of President Donald Trump and supports the election of Democratic candidates.
“It’s a crazy thing that the legislators are not doing what the majority of Virginians want,” said Cywinski, who lives in Catlett and teaches history at Germanna Community College. She’s a member of the steering committee of Fauquier Indivisible, which has more than 600 members, she said. Indivisible Northern Virginia West has about 1,500 members, she said.
Fauquier Indivisible is teaming up with Indivisible Northern Virginia West to make the trip to Richmond. Some are going by bus, others by car.
A 50-passenger bus will pick up passengers from the Walmart parking lot in Gainesville at 7 a.m. on July 9, then stop at the commuter lot on U.S. 29 in Warrenton at 7:30 a.m. Another stop for passengers will be made in Fredericksburg before heading to Richmond.
The rally in Richmond outside the state capitol begins at 10 a.m.
Fauquier Indivisible can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group from Fauquier representing Moms Demand Action will also take part in the Richmond rally.
Carolyn Darrow from the Fauquier Moms group said one in four firearms purchases are made online or through a private sale and so currently aren’t regulated.
The “red flag” order removing guns from someone would provide a tool to law enforcement or family member could use to remove a threat. It should be one piece of legislation that could win bipartisan support, Darrow reasoned.
Darrow said many other groups advocating gun safety legislation will be in Richmond as well, among them the Brady Campaign, Progress Virginia and March for Our Lives.
The issue “has certainly energized a lot of people,” Darrow said.
Moms Demand Action can be contacted at momsdemandaction.org.
Reach James Ivancic at email@example.com.