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Virginia Senate blocks another Northam-backed gun bill

Virginia Senate blocks another Northam-backed gun bill

by WTOP  |  Published on February 4, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate blocked one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s top gun-control bills Monday, adding to the list of measures the Democratic governor supports that may not pass the legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted against a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a way that endangers a minor.

It’s one of eight gun-related proposals that Northam, a Democrat, has urged lawmakers to adopt. Virginia has become ground zero in the nation’s raging debate over gun control and mass shootings as a new Democratic majority seeks to enact strict new limits. Last month, tens of thousands of guns-rights activists from around the country flooded the Capitol and surrounding area in protest, some donning tactical gear and carrying military rifles.

Two moderate Democrats — Sens. Creigh Deeds and Chap Petersen — joined with Republicans to defeat the bill Monday over concerns that law-abiding gun owners could be unfairly punished.

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