The Latest: Activists rally outside Virginia gun law session
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Virginia's special legislative session to consider stricter gun laws after another mass shooting (all times local):
Advocates for and against stricter gun laws are holding rallies at the Virginia Capitol as lawmakers gather for a special session.
Gun-control supporters demonstrated on Capitol Square Tuesday morning to urge lawmakers to pass a package of measures proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam. The Democratic leader called a special session in response to the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach in which a city employee killed a dozen people.
The rally started with advocates reading out the names of the state's recent gun violence victims, including those in Virginia Beach.
Northam then led the gun-control advocates in chants of "enough is enough."
A small group of gun-rights supporters also gathered. One man said the Virginia Beach shooting shouldn't prompt the government to take away his guns.
Virginia lawmakers are set to debate and vote on new gun laws after a gunman killed a dozen people in a local government building.
Gov. Ralph Northam ordered lawmakers to return to the Capitol and called for passage of a wide range of gun-control measures. The Democrat said people need "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers" after a Virginia Beach city employee shot and killed 12 people on May 31.
GOP lawmakers criticized Northam as trying to exploit a tragedy for political gain. And in the leadup to Tuesday's session, Republican leaders who control the legislature signaled they wouldn't pass gun controls, focusing instead on increasing criminal penalties after gun crimes.
But Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment filed surprise legislation Monday to broadly ban guns in any government building.