RICHMOND – House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) released the following statement after General Assembly Republicans abruptly adjourned the special session on gun violence prevention without allowing consideration of any bills.
“Virginia Republicans’ actions today – or more accurately, their blatant inaction – are reprehensible but not surprising. After all, they’ve blocked meaningful gun violence prevention legislation for years, despite thousands of firearm fatalities. Elected Republicans always say it is ‘too soon’ to talk about gun violence; they always fail to acknowledge that for the victims and their loved ones, it is far too late.
“Today, House and Senate Republicans accused Democrats of rushing into action and bypassing the ‘precedent’ set after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. The ‘precedent’ that Speaker Cox and Senator Norment are referring to is all too clear. It’s a precedent in which Republicans pay lip service to victims – or at least the ones who make the news – while demonstrating an unwavering loyalty to the gun lobby. In the twelve years since Virginia Tech, gun laws in Virginia have only gotten looser.
“House Democrats refuse to set that precedent. We refuse to let the victims’ memories fade. And we refuse to let Republican inaction stymie progress on gun violence prevention any longer. We called for full floor votes on our bills in this gun violence prevention session, and Republicans chose instead to run from constituents and from their responsibilities. Speaker Cox and House Republicans blocked those votes from happening – but they can’t block Virginians from voting in November.”