Congressman Bobby Scott hosts roundtable on gun violence

Posted at 10:02 AM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 10:03:11-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – More than a dozen policymakers, law enforcement and community stakeholders gathered in Newport News Monday to talk gun violence.

Congressman Bobby Scott hosted the roundtable on what he calls an "epidemic."

“We repealed 'one gun month,' and during the time when one-gun-a-month was in effect, it was logistically impossible to have a gun-running operation," the congressman explained. 

Over the past few months, shootings with multiple victims have taken place in Hampton, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

The shootings resulted in 13 deaths and dozens of injuries, including several children.

“The number of funerals I have attended... it is obvious that action needs to occur and that there is an urgency of now," Del. Marcia Price explained. 

Congressman Scott met the group ahead of a special session in the General Assembly that Governor Ralph Northam has called. The special session takes place Tuesday in Richmond.

"We will see what the members of the General Assembly do tomorrow. I think the voters have to take that into consideration in November," Congressman Scott said. 

Here are the Governor's eight proposals:

  • expanding background checks
  • banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and silencers
  • reinstating Virginia's one handgun a month law where people can only purchase one handgun every 30 days
  • requiring lost or stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours
  • allowing law enforcement to temporarily take away a person's guns if the person is deemed a threat
  • prohibiting all people facing final protective orders from having guns
  • increasing the punishment for allowing a child to access a gun to a felony
  • allowing local governments to create stricter laws than at the state level

“There is no one solution. Primary prevention, getting young people on the right track and keeping them on the right track. Mental health to address some of the problems out there," Scott said. 

Other suggestions brought up during the roundtable included funding community youth programs and stress management courses in schools.

“If you don’t have emergency grief response counseling for the kids that are around them, the family that is around them - in 48 hours, I guarantee you they’ll find a gun and retaliate," said James Braxton, who spoke about reactions after a loved ones is killed due to gun violence. 

Republicans have also introduced their own ideas like tougher sentences for criminals.