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Virginia lawmakers shut down Gov. Ralph Northam's gun control session after only 90 minutes

'The call for this session was premature'

Alex Edelman/Getty Images

After Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) called a special session of the state Legislature to take up gun control legislation, state lawmakers adjourned after just 90 minutes on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the Virginia Senate gaveled in just after noon on Tuesday before voting 20-18 at around 1:30 in the afternoon to adjourn until mid-November. Shortly thereafter, the Old Dominion's lower chamber — the House of Delegates — followed suit.

Northam called the special gun-control-focused session after a gunman killed a dozen people at a municipal building in Virginia Beach in late May.

"The call for this session was premature," House Speaker Kirk Cox (R) told reporters after adjourning. "The whole thing is just an election-year stunt."

Virginia will hold elections for its state Legislature in November. Republicans are in a precarious position, with one-seat majorities in both chambers.

Needless to say, Democrats and other gun control advocates were less than pleased with Tuesday's outcome.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, who represents a district in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Northern Virginia, criticized Republican lawmakers who "couldn't even take a whole day to do their jobs and vote on one single gun violence prevention measure to save lives after Virginia Beach."

"The Republicans in this state are totally controlled — I mean 100 percent — controlled by the National Rifle Association," fumed Senate Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D) after the vote, according to the Post. "Anybody who doubts that, go take a look where the money is spent and go take a look at their votes."

Virginia Republicans "had a choice today: stand with public safety or stand with the gun lobby," a statement from the national anti-gun group Giffords said. "They chose wrong. Virginians deserve better."

"We spent more time protesting outside the VA Capitol than the VA General Assembly spent on the floor," March for Our Lives tweeted. "We'll remember in November."

While several groups came out to voice their support of gun control, others showed up to defend their Second Amendment rights.

"I haven't done anything wrong, and they want to take guns away from me," Virginia Citizens Defense League Vice President Jim Snyder told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "A lot of people say, 'Well, we've got to find common ground,' which means 'We've got to find gun control that you'll accept.'"

One last thing…
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