Gun Laws Debated in Virginia - NBC4 Washington
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Gun Laws Debated in Virginia



    New Democratic Governor Gives Va. Gun Control Advocates Reason for Optimism

    Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports on the gun control versus gun rights debate in Virginia. (Published Monday, Jan. 20, 2014)

    Gun control versus gun rights is being debated in Virginia Monday.

    Supporters of gun control hope the new Democratic governor will help their side, but that's not been the case so far.

    At one rally, demonstrators carried their weapons and wore stickers bearing their chief message: Guns save lives.

    At the competing rally, they held 822 hearts representing gunfire deaths. Their stickers say: Background checks save lives. After years of seeing gun control bills fail, the recent Democratic sweep of statewide offices has boosted hopes in this camp.

    But gun rights activists are determined not only to hold their ground, but expand gun rights. Last year, in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, a bill to arm public school teachers failed. Now, they are putting the focus on private schools, arguing they should be able to decide for themselves.

    Gun control supporters continue their push for universal background checks, but so far almost every gun control bill has been killed by House Republicans.

    Gun rights leaders say they will try to block any gun control measure.