RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Crime Commission tasked with studying gun laws in Virginia and a systematic review of the Virginia Beach mass shooting produced no recommendations in a three-page report released Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, Jr. and Speaker Kirk Cox requested the report after the Republican-controlled chambers abruptly voted to adjourn a special session called by Gov. Ralph Northam to address gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting that left 12 dead.
After the session was adjourned after only 90 minutes and Norment and Cox tasked the crime commission with studying the issue.
Crime commission staff members determined that “inconclusive evidence” exists to develop recommendations.
“While staff researched a wide variety of policies and many other matters related to gun violence, the overall findings from the research were often insufficient, mixed, contradictory, or based on limited methodology,” staff wrote. “The absence of recommendations should not be interpreted as a finding that no changes to Virginia’s laws are necessary. Any changes to these laws are policy decisions which can only be made by the General Assembly.”
Staff concluded by saying they can provide technical assistance to members of the General Assembly concerning the large amount of information that was collected and numerous policy considerations that were identified in relation to gun violence and the proposed changes to Virginia’s laws.
Now that Democrats have taken control of the Virginia House and Senate for the first time in more than 20 years, Northam announced that he will reintroduce gun control measures in the upcoming legislative sessions.
Northam and Democrats will now have an advantage in the General Assembly to pursue gun control measures that were previously blocked by Republicans.