Special session on guns expected to be contentious

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers are set to assemble Tuesday for what will likely be a contentious legislative session on gun laws.

Gov. Ralph Northam called the special session last month shortly after a Virginia Beach city employee opened fire on his coworkers at a municipal building on May 31 and killed 12 people.

Northam is a Democrat faced with a gun-friendly, Republican-controlled General Assembly. He is urging action on a several gun-control measures. He said lawmakers owe the victims of gun violence “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”

Republicans have criticized the governor as an opportunist trying to exploit a tragedy for political gain. They’ve indicated they plan to push legislation implementing new mandatory minimum penalties for repeat domestic abusers, which Northam has said he won’t sign.

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