RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WWBT) - The Virginia General Assembly has voted to adjourn until November, as Republicans rejected Democrats’ request to vote on a series of gun control measures.
The move comes after Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment says he’s spiking his gun-control legislation, only a day after proposing to ban guns in all government buildings statewide.
The reversal followed Senate GOP majority whip Sen. Bill Stanley’s resignation in protest to Norment’s bill.
Stanley told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he’s resigned as majority whip of the GOP Senate caucus after Norment sponsored legislation to implement a broad ban on government buildings.
Norment's legislation caught both Republicans and gun-control advocates off guard. His GOP colleagues immediately pushed back. They say it's an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens to prevent them from carrying guns into government buildings.
Norment is married to a lobbyist for the city of Virginia Beach, where a municipal worker gunned down his co-workers in a mass shooting.
He now says he won’t support “any measure that restricts the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” His statement says he’ll ask that Senate Bill 4013 be stricken in committee, because “as currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention.”
The session ended just 90 minutes after it started.
“That was pathetic. Virginians deserve better," said Attorney General Mark R Herring in a statement.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam called the special session in response to the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach in which a city employee killed a dozen people.