Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will call a special session of the general assembly to deal with gun violence in the commonwealth next month.
Tuesday evening, gun control was the topic of discussion at a roundtable event in Abingdon held by the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.
Many opposed Governor Northam’s call for gun control measures, which include universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and the restoration of a state law to restrict handgun purchases to one a month.
“Clearly the majority of this room felt that we were trying to take their right to defend and their second amendment right away, said Moran. “None of these pieces of legislation takes their right to defend themselves away.”
The roundtable began with a citizen reciting the second amendment. Southwest Virginian’s passionately voiced their concerns on how the proposed bills would limit their ability to protect themselves.
“I’ve actually had two family members killed here in Abingdon in the last 10 to 15 years, said Robert Barrett, from Meadowiew Virginia. “None of these laws were to stop that.”
Others asked the state to focus more heavily on those suffering from drug abuse and mental health. Claiming those people are the one’s that should not have guns, not educated citizens.
“They’ll chip away one right at a time, until they actually really get somebody hurt because they can’t protect themselves,” said Bobby Howard, of Lebanon Virginia.
Del. Chris Hurst of Blacksburg told the crowd that responsible gun owners will not be affected.
Northam’s administration organized six roundtables in the state of Virginia ahead of the special session. Moran says they will take the public’s feedback from this roundtable back to the governor.
Moran says he hopes the legislature will act on July 9th during the special legislative session .