Virginia lawmakers block assault weapons ban

This Monday an. 20, 2020 file photo shows pro gun demonstrators holding signs in front of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Va. In a state once synonymous with the Old South, Democrats are using their newfound legislative control to refashion Virginia as the region’s progressive leader on racial, social and economic issues. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia state senators on Monday rejected Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) push to ban the sale of assault weapons, with four moderate Democrats on the State Senate Judiciary Committee joining Republicans to shelve the bill.

Northam has tried to use his party’s new majorities in both houses of the state legislature to pass a broad package of gun-control laws. “We will be back next year,” Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said.

Democrats campaigned promising tough gun restrictions last year and won control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than two decades.

Their attempt to follow through has met pushback, with tens of thousands of gun-rights advocates protesting at the Capitol last month and more than 100 local governments declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.

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