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Virginia's Democrat governor watches helplessly as his gun-control agenda goes down in flames

The new Democratic governor of Virginia is vowing to keep fighting for gun control after Republicans in the state legislature killed most of the bills that made up his agenda on his first day in office.

Gov. Ralph Northam, D, told hundreds of gun-control activists gathered at a rally at the Virginia Capitol that he would "continue to fight for responsible gun ownership across the commonwealth of Virginia," the Washington Post reported Monday.

“I served during Desert Storm,” said Northam, who served as a United States Army medical officer, achieving the rank of major after eight years of service. “I saw firsthand what weapons of war do to human beings. We do not need them on the streets.”

Earlier that day, Republicans on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated a Democratic bill mandating universal background checks for firearms purchases — squashing a key Northam campaign promise. Another bill supported by the governor failed in committee. It was to permit localities to ban firearms at public gatherings for which groups must get permits.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that one bill, to ban "bump stocks," passed the committee by an 11-4 margin and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.

Republicans hold razor-thin majorities in each house of the state legislature after a blowout election swept Democrats into office and put Northam in the governor's mansion. In the state senate, Republicans hold a 21-19 majority over the Democrats, and in the House of Delegates, they have a feeble 51-49 majority.

The situation being what it is, it's nice to see Republicans somewhere in the country standing up to a Democratic governor and protecting the Second Amendment rights of their constituents.

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