Tuesday's 6-6 tie vote means any legislation filed to close the loophole -- where private sellers at gun shows are not required to perform background checks on buyers -- will not get the commission's seal of approval.
The vote came after much political maneuvering.
Commission Chairman David Albo held off the vote until Republican Delegate Jerry Kilgore showed up at the meeting, more than an hour after it started. The tie vote was cast by Delegate Ward Armstrong, a Democrat from a southwest Virginia district that favors guns. Republican leaders appointed Armstrong to the commission days ago to replace former Delegate Brian Moran, a Democrat in favor of closing the loophole who resigned to run for governor.