Date set for session on guns after Virginia Beach shooting

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, center, attends a vigil held to honor the lives lost in a mass shooting Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va. DeWayne Craddock, a longtime city employee, opened fire at the municipal building Friday before police shot and killed him, authorities said. (Kristen Zeis/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s governor has set a July 9 start date for a special legislative session on gun-related legislation after last week’s deadly shooting rampage in Virginia Beach.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the date Friday.

The Democratic governor says the best way to respond to the May 31 mass shooting at a municipal building is with “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.” He wants the Republican-led General

Assembly to consider gun-control measures including universal background checks and a ban on silencers. Police say the gunman who fatally shot 12 people used a silencer.

Northam can call the session but can’t dictate how it’s conducted. Republican leaders have given little indication they plan to follow his agenda.

Instead, they’ve said they’ll propose tougher penalties for those who use guns to commit crimes.
 

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