Virginia lawmakers to debate new gun laws in wake of latest mass shooting

/ CBS/AP

Virginia governor urges action on gun reform

Virginia lawmakers are set to debate and vote on new gun laws after a gunman killed a dozen people in a local government building.

Gov. Ralph Northam ordered lawmakers to return to the Capitol and called for passage of a wide range of gun-control measures. The Democrat said people need "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers" after a Virginia Beach city employee shot and killed 12 people on May 31.

Northam proposed legislation that would include expanding background checks in the state and a review of potential restrictions on gun "silencers," or suppressors, like the one used in the latest shooting.

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What else Northam is proposing:

GOP lawmakers criticized Northam as trying to exploit a tragedy for political gain. And in the leadup to Tuesday's session, Republican leaders who control the legislature signaled they wouldn't pass gun controls, focusing instead on increasing criminal penalties after gun crimes.

But Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment filed surprise legislation Monday to broadly ban guns in any government building.

First published on July 9, 2019 / 7:53 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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