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Special session prompts round table discussions about gun control in the Commonwealth

ABINGDON, VA (WVVA) Nearly three weeks after the shooting in Virginia Beach, Governor Ralph Northam is ordering a special session. He is calling legislators in to tighten up the Commonwealth’s gun laws. Now, officials from his office are going around the state to hear from citizens of the Commonwealth about their concerns and support of the session.

In Abingdon, Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security Brian Moran spoke to a crowd of people questioning the need for new laws.

Moran noted several of Northam’s proposed solutions including universal background checks and reinstating the one hand gun a month law. But many in attendance say the laws are unnecessary and infringe on their second amendment rights.

“This is confiscation without representation,” said one attendee. Many in the crowd voice how they believe all of Northam’s proposed plans will eventually lead to more control in how law abiding citizens use their guns.

Despite the obvious divide of parties, there is one item that brings both sides a little closer: mental health. Secretary Moran says the governor has the ‘Extreme Risk Protective’ law that allows law enforcement to step in when someone could be in danger of harming themselves or others take away their firearms.

“If you’re involuntarily committed or if you’re a danger to others, I don’t think you should have access to firearms,” says Steven Statzer. While Statzer heavily favors the second amendment, he does the mental health aspect as both sides of the isle can work together on.

The special session will be on July 9.

Ashley Smith

Multimedia Journalist

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