Virginia Crime Commission releases report, issues no recommendations on findings

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia State Crime Commission released its latest report on gun violence on Tuesday. In the report, no recommendations were made made to the Commonwealth's public safety and firearms laws.

It was intended to find recommendations based on the events during the events of the Virginia Beach mass shooting and proposed changes to firearms and public safety laws.

The commission said it could not issue any recommendations because of what it calls "inconclusive evidence." Del. Stephen Heretick, representative of the Virginia House of Delegates' 79th District said he is upset by the report's findings.

"The crime commission has done precisely nothing," Heretick said. "They should be ashamed of themselves."

The report comes after a special session called by Governor Ralph Northam after the May 31 shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. The report was requested to examine the state's laws on firearms and public safety.

The report stated the commission's findings were "insufficient, mixed and contradictory." The reported also stated staff researched a variety of policies and other matters related to gun violence.

"The crime commission came down with advice on precisely nothing," Heretick said. "I have to tell you that, you know, it's insulting to to Virginians no matter which side of the gun debate you happen to be on."

Though there are no specific recommendations, the report said that does not mean changes should not be made. The report stated, "The absence of recommendations should not be interpreted as meaning that no changes to Virginia’s laws are necessary, but rather that any changes are policy decisions which can only be made by the General Assembly."

"I think it amazes me that no matter what side of the gun debate you happen to be on," Heretick said, "we were all looking to the crime commission for some objective analysis in terms of ways that we can make Virginia a safer Commonwealth for our neighbors."

Heretick said recognized the report identified issues including red flag laws, suicide prevention, domestic violence and child access prevention, among others.

"These are hot-button topics in Virginia politics right now," he said. "In fact, I would suggest that this is one of those areas that probably just resulted in the election that we just had last week."

News 3 reached out to other elected state representatives from Hampton Roads and will update this story with their responses as we get them.

Click here to see the report in its entirety.

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