Gov. Ralph Northam Seeks ‘Bump Stock’ Ban After VA Beach Shooting

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is calling a special session of the state legislature for the purpose of securing a “bump stock” ban in response to the May 31, 2019, Virginia Beach handgun shooting.

Northam gave a speech Monday morning, saying, “We hear folks offer their thoughts and prayers, we do appreciate and need them… But we must do more than give our thoughts and prayers, we must give Virginians the action they deserve.”

He continued, “It is wrong, it is outrageous, it is unforgivable to turn our municipal centers, our schools, our churches, our synagogues, our mosques, into battlefields. No one should go to work, to school, or to church wondering if they will come home.”

Northam then called on state lawmakers to ban “assault weapons,” suppressors, and bump stocks, and to re-implement Virginia’s one handgun-a-month law. He also called for an expansion of local authority to regulate firearms, including in government buildings, and other gun control measures.

Northam said, “I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”

Ironically, not one of the ideas being pushed by Northam would have prevented the Virginia Beach attack. After all, the attacker used handguns, not rifles, and his suppressor use was not integral to the attack because he attacked employees in an area were they were mandated to be gun-free. Moreover, a suppressor does not eliminate the sound of gun shots any way, as Northam even admitted that officers responding to the May 31, 2019, shooting found the gunman by moving toward the sound of gunfire.

Bump stocks were not used in the attack, and they are already banned, and a monthly limit on handgun purchases would not have kept the attacker from having at least one gun to use against his unarmed, fellow employees.

In the end, Northam’s gun controls would only go further in rendering law-abiding citizens defenseless the next time an attack occurs.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.