Virginia crime commission begins hearing on gun violence

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As the Virginia State Crime Commission began a hearing on proposals to stem gun violence, Gov. Ralph Northam urged lawmakers to pass “commonsense” measures and took a swipe at Republican leaders who called for further study.

Northam sent a letter to the commission Monday as a two-day hearing began to review legislation introduced following a May 31 mass shooting that killed 12 people in Virginia Beach.

The Democratic governor convened a special legislative session in July to consider universal background checks and other proposals. The Republican-controlled Legislature quickly adjourned the session and referred the legislation to the crime commission.

In his letter, Northam said the proposals “do not need further study.”

But state Sen. Mark Obenshain, the Republican chairman of the commission, criticized what he called a “politically driven agenda.”

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