Local Democrat ‘disappointed and disgusted’ after Republicans cancel important gun control meeting

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Local Democrats are calling on Republicans across the Commonwealth to take heed and listen to voters.

“I was disappointed and disgusted that we could not move forward because they were upset about the election results,” Del. Marcia Price (D-95) explained to News 3’s Brian Hill.

Those results she referenced saw Democrats gain control of both the Senate and House of Delegates.

Republican leaders canceled a meeting for Tuesday, where the Virginia Crime Commission was going to discuss their recommendations on preventing gun violence.

Del. Marcia Price

“I think that it underscores that people chose the right people to be in place for this 2020 session,” Del. Price explained.

The commission’s chairman stated Tuesday’s election results and comments the Governor made about the legislation as the reasons behind the cancellation.

“For reasons both practical and pragmatic, the Crime Commission will not meet on Tuesday,” Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham) said. “The results of Tuesday’s elections, coupled with recent comments from Governor Northam regarding the fate of the legislation we’ve been reviewing, makes holding a meeting impractical.”

They now want to discuss the issue in January.

"January is coming, and I have already started to draft my bills,” Price said.

After the cancellation of Tuesday's meeting, the GOP announced their special session for next week will now be a pro forma session.

Lawmakers tell News 3 this means there won’t be any discussion or a vote.

Republicans believe it would be a waste of taxpayer resources to have a session with no chance of producing legislation.

“The November 18 special session was an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come to the table and have a comprehensive conversation,” Del. Price said.

With this setback, Democrats said they will double down on their efforts. Price has four bills she plans to put forth.

“Right now, there is a ban on localities putting into place policies that would impact guns or ammunition. Let the localities best figure out how to keep their people safe,” she explained.

“Governor Northam made it clear that he and the incoming majority caucus have their own agenda, and any legislation to come out of the special session would likely be met with a veto," House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert explained. "The incoming majority will have the opportunity to propose and make their case in January for policies that reduce gun violence while hopefully protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Republicans stand ready to propose our own ideas for reducing gun violence just as we have done in this special session.”

Starting November 18, lawmakers can start filing bills for the January session.

Click here for our full coverage on the 2019 Virginia General Assembly election. 

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