Ralph Northam on Gun Control
Common sense gun laws do not violate Second Amendment
Last summer, after the terrible shooting in Virginia Beach, I called the previous General Assembly into special session to take immediate action. I proposed eight common-sense measures, designed to keep firearms away from dangerous persons.
But there was no action. The measures I proposed did not receive a hearing.
We are back, with eight common-sense measures to keep dangerous persons away from firearms.
This common-sense legislation does not violate the Second Amendment. No one is calling out the National Guard. No one is cutting off your electricity or turning off the Internet. No one is going door-to-door to confiscate guns.
These laws are intended to keep Virginians safe. Period. It's time to act.
Source: 2020 Virginia State of the State address
, Jan 8, 2020
Ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines
A Virginia Senate committee killed a bill that would have banned the sale of assault-style weapons and possession of high-capacity magazines, handing gun rights activists a rare win in a Capitol that Democrats won last year on the promise
of sweeping gun control.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D) backed the legislation, part of a package of eight gun-control measures he advanced after a shooter killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building on May 31. Republicans' refusal to act on those
bills last summer, in a special session that they gaveled out in 90 minutes, became a rallying cry for Democrats in November elections. They flipped the state House and Senate blue for the first time in a generation.
The House has passed all
eight of Northam's bills. But four Democrats sided with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the assault weapons bill for the year. On a 10-to-5 vote, the committee sent the measure to the state's Crime Commission for study.
Source: Washington Post on 2020 Virginia voting record
, Feb 17, 2019
More deaths due to guns than car accidents: so let's act
In 2017, 1,028 Virginians died of gun-related causes.
In comparison, that's more deaths due to gun violence than the 956 Virginians who died due to vehicle accidents in 2017.
We have recognized that we have a problem with road safety and vehicle
deaths--and we have acted together to prevent future ones [such as] the Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, and efforts to strengthen our Move Over law, aimed at protecting our first responders.
If we are able to agree that we need to act
when we have a problem with highway safety and preventable deaths, then surely we can agree to work together to keep more Virginians alive by improving gun safety. This has to be a dialogue--that's a two-way exchange of ideas.
This year I'm proposing we act to approve an "extreme risk law." It creates a legal way for law enforcement and the courts to temporarily remove firearms from someone who has shown dangerous behavior, and who poses a risk to themselves or others.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Virginia legislature
, Jan 9, 2019
Start with universal background checks
We should work together this year to address the public health crisis of gun violence. Gunshots kill more people in Virginia every year than car accidents, but if you walk into the right gun show, it's easier to get a firearm than it is to rent a car.
There are many actions we should take over our time together to save lives by reducing gun violence. Let's start by keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them by passing universal background checks.
As long as Virginians' lives are at risk because there are too many guns in the hands of people who would use them to harm others, we will fight on this ground. As long as schools, churches, offices and concert venues are exposed to horrific,
preventable violence, we will fight on this ground. As long as the people who sent us all here continue to cry out for solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, we will fight on this ground.
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Virginia legislature
, Jan 16, 2018
Supports universal background checks
Yesterday, Governor-elect Northam and I stood together and outlined several pieces of legislation that we hope the new General Assembly will pass this year. They include:
Source: Terry McAuliffe's 2018 Virginia State of the State address
, Jan 10, 2018
- Keeping families safe from gun violence by requiring background
checks for every firearm purchase.
- Finally raising the threshold for felony larceny from $200 to $1000 so that one mistake does not ruin a person's entire life.
- Cut carbon and create clean energy jobs
No concealed carry without a permit
Legislative Summary: Allows any person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun openly within the Commonwealth.
If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, any pistol, knife, blackjack, or flailing instrument (known as a nun-chucks), or any weapon of like kind, he is guilty of a misdemeanor.
A second violation shall be punishable as a felony. It shall be an affirmative defense regarding a handgun violation, that a person had been issued a valid concealed handgun permit.
Introduced Dec. 15; failed Senate 20-20 on Feb. 1, with tie-breaker vote by Lt. Governor Northam (who voted NAY).
Source: Virginia Legislative voting records on SB48
, Feb 1, 2016
Keep guns out of the hands of criminals & the mentally ill
Being smart on crime is just as important as being tough on crime. We need to take low cost steps to help Virginia's finest do their jobs: keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, utilize drug courts and jail diversion to keep
non-violent offenders from being incarcerated at taxpayer expense, and work with the federal government to enforce immigration laws, rather than diverting scarce state and local resources from other responsibilities.
Source: 2016-17 VA gubernatorial campaign website NorthamForLG.com
, Nov 1, 2013
Page last updated: Jun 30, 2020