UPDATE: Surprising absolutely no one, the newly Democrat-controlled Virginia legislature has voted to ban firearms in the capitol building and legislative office buildings. As the AP reports . . .
“The overall goal here is to protect and ensure the safety of our members and of the people that are in our building coming and going,” Democratic Del. Marcus Simon said before the vote.
The ban would apply to lawmakers in addition to the general public.
Republicans have voiced opposition to banning guns at the Capitol and some GOP lawmakers routinely carry guns while at the legislature. “I feel this egregious, I think it’s an overreach.” said Del. Terry Austin.
The ban goes into effect at midnight tonight.
By the AP
Virginia lawmakers are set to vote Friday on whether to ban guns at the state Capitol.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have set a meeting to vote on new rules that are widely expected to include a proposed new gun ban for the Capitol and a legislative office building.
Republicans have voiced opposition to such a ban and some GOP lawmakers routinely carry guns into the Capitol.
Currently, anyone with a valid concealed handgun permit is allowed to bring a gun into the Capitol. Weapons are banned in certain parts of the building, which was designed by former President Thomas Jefferson, including the Senate gallery and the governor’s office on the third floor.
The debate on whether to ban guns in the Capitol is part of a larger fight on guns that’s set to dominate this year’s legislative session.
Democrats have a full majority at the state house for the first time in a generation and have promised significant new gun restrictions, including universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a red flag law that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.
Republicans and gun-rights groups have pledged stiff resistance. Gun owners are descending on local government offices to demand that officials establish sanctuaries for gun rights. More than 100 counties, cities and towns have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and vowed to oppose any new “unconstitutional restrictions” on guns.
A huge crowd of both pro-gun and gun-control advocates are expected to rally at the Capitol on Jan. 20.