Virginia governor calls to take up gun control measures in the wake of Virginia Beach shooting

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called a special session of the state legislature to take up gun-control measures in the wake of Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

“I will summon the members of the Senate and the House of Delegates to meet in special session for the purpose of passing common sense public safety laws,” Northam said at a press conference Tuesday.

He added, “I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”

Twelve people were killed in an attack at a Virginia Beach city building after a gunman, who was a former employee, opened fire Friday afternoon. Law enforcement officers found two .45-caliber pistols legally purchased by the shooter at the scene — one pistol had a suppressor and several empty extended magazines, police said.

Northam said “this weekend’s tragedy” must “instill in us a new level of urgency to act.”

“If we can save one life because we acted now, it is worth it,” he argued.

Back in January, Northam introduced a slate of gun control bills ahead of the start of the year’s legislative session, including a universal background checks bill, a ban on assault firearms, and an “extreme risk protective order.”

Northam said Tuesday he will propose many of the same ideas he pushed in January.

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