Special session on gun violence adjourns

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The special session of the General Assembly lasted less than two hours on Tuesday.

It was supposed to consider a package of bills from Governor Ralph Northam concerning firearms, but those bills will now have to wait until after election day in November.

Northam called for the special session in the wake of the mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on May 31.

The day started with people on both sides of the gun issue packing the General Assembly and Capitol buildings, some of whom brought their weapons with them.

Shortly after 12 p.m., Republicans in the Senate voted to adjourn until Nov. 18.

Several of Northam's bills were sent committees but they were tabled once the vote to adjourn occurred.

Charlottesville Democrat and House Minority Leader David Toscano said the day was a big disappointment.

"Not only do they want to vote down reasonable gun legislation, they don't seem to want to even talk about it," he said. "The reason to adjourn to that date was clearly to get it past the election to avoid having it considered as an election issue."

Republican John McGuire says he felt Northam's timing in calling for the special session was inappropriate.

"You shouldn't politicize the tragedy of Virginia Beach," he said. "I think if you look at other counties, cities and towns in the United States, not just Virginia where we have the strictest gun laws, I don't see where any of these policies would have helped in Virginia Beach."

The session will resume on Nov. 18.

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