RICHMOND, Va. — A legislative special session called by Gov. Ralph Northam took a turn Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R – James City) announced that he will withdraw the gun bill he proposed only 24 hours before.
Norment filed a bill Monday that would extend a state prohibition on guns in courthouses to any “building owned or used by a locality for governmental purposes.” The proposal would also increase the penalty for breaking the law from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Political experts called Norment’s bill surprising and unexpected considering Republicans have historically blocked gun-control measures. So much so, the Virginia Senate GOP majority whip offered his resignation calling Norment’s proposal “a great betrayal,” CBS 6 reported.
Tuesday afternoon, Norment said he will withdraw the gun bill because “as currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention.”
“I do not support -nor will I support – any measure that restricts the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” Norment added.
Norment apologized to his caucus and moved to reinstate Stanley to his position as GOP majority whip, according to The Associated Press.