Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment withdraws his gun bill

Sen. Tommy Norment of Williamsburg (Photo: VCU Capital News Service)

RICHMOND, Va. — A legislative special session called by Gov. Ralph Northam took a turn Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R – James City) announced that he will withdraw the gun bill he proposed only 24 hours before.

Norment filed a bill Monday that would extend a state prohibition on guns in courthouses to any “building owned or used by a locality for governmental purposes.” The proposal would also increase the penalty for breaking the law from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Political experts called Norment’s bill surprising and unexpected considering Republicans have historically blocked gun-control measures. So much so, the Virginia Senate GOP majority whip offered his resignation calling Norment’s proposal “a great betrayal,” CBS 6 reported.

Tuesday afternoon, Norment said he will withdraw the gun bill because “as currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention.”

“I do not support -nor will I support – any measure that restricts the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” Norment added.

Norment apologized to his caucus and moved to reinstate Stanley to his position as GOP majority whip, according to The Associated Press.

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