Senate Democrats Respond to Virginia Republicans Cowardly Behavior During Special Session

Richmond--Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke issued the following statement after Virginia Republicans adjourned the gun violence prevention special session without considering a single bill: 

“This is the single most irresponsible act we’ve witnessed during our time in elected office. Virginia Republicans would rather work for the gun lobby than the Virginians who elected them. Hundreds of people traveled to Richmond today to advocate for loved ones they’ve lost to gun violence and to demand action from their representatives. They were met with political games and distractions. 

“Today’s behavior was a master class in cowardice. From the legislative games played by Senate Republicans to the refusal to consider a single gun violence prevention measure put forth, Virginia Republicans abdicated their responsibility to lead. We were all elected to propose solutions to the issues impacting our communities and to debate, consider, and vote on those proposals. Republicans have made their unwillingness to act clear. We will make sure voters remember their negligence in November. If we can’t change their minds, we’ll change their seats.” 


Virginia Republicans adjourned the House and Senate until November 18th, without considering a single bill introduced during special session. Instead, they’ve referred all bills to the Crime Commission for further study. These bills don’t require additional study--each of those proposed has been introduced in a previous session of the General Assembly.  Many have been implemented by other states and studied by major universities. Additionally, there has not been a single bill to curb gun violence passed since the Virginia Tech massacre twelve years ago. We lose nearly 1,000 Virginians to gun violence each year and lost more than 11,000 Virginians to gun violence in the time between the Virginia Tech Massacre and the Virginia Beach shooting in May of this year. 

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