Decision On Virginia's Gun Control Bill Postponed | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Decision On Virginia's Gun Control Bill Postponed

Play associated audio

Uncertainty prevailed over one of the few gun-control measures that actually made it to the floor of the Virginia state Senate. Initially the bill would have imposed a $250 civil fine if any weapon that was lost or stolen was not reported. But the watered-down version was still met with opposition, in part, because of language that centered on the "assault weapons" debate.

The new version would require police to store the information in a national database if the owner reported it. But Sen. Tom Garrett objected to the new language. He believes the terms "handgun" and "assault firearm" that replaced the word "weapon," add to the stigmatization of firearms.

"There's a relatively popular .22 caliber target pistol — the Ruger 22/45, which comes with a threaded barrel that I don't think is an assault weapon, so there's real ambiguity within the definition," says Garrett. "The definition is not applicable in any way, shape, or form to a non-criminal offense environment, and I just think the bill is fatally flawed."

Bill sponsor Sen. Dave Marsden scrambled to assure its survival.

"The language that's in the bill at this point in time was placed in by the authors of the amendment," says Marsden. "It was not the original language of the bill that made any reference to assault weapons, and that was added by the committee, and I saw no need to change that."

The vote on the bill was postponed, giving supporters time to rework a strategy that gives it a better chance of passage.

NPR

'Little Dancer' Musical Imagines The Story Behind Degas' Mysterious Muse

Ballerina Marie Van Goethem started modeling for Edgar Degas around 1878 and inspired his statue Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. But history lost track of her after she left the Paris Opera.
NPR

Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi talks with Rachel Martin about the difference between supermarket hummus and Middle Eastern hummus and why he doesn't like to call his cookbooks "vegetarian."
NPR

Turf Shifts In Culture Wars As Support For Gay Marriage Rises

Campaigning against gay marriage used to help Republicans win elections — but now GOP candidates in tight races are backing away from mentioning social issues on the stump.
NPR

Getting Medical Advice Is Often Just A Tap Away

NPR's Arun Rath speaks with infectious disease specialist and HealthTap member Dr. Jonathan Po about telemedicine and hypochondria in a time of heightened health concern.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.