Virginia senator talks gun control amid Orlando tragedy

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says, “It was such a gut punch to get this news early in the morning.”

Senator Kaine is feeling like many others around world following the tragic shooting spree in Orlando.

He continues, “In Virginia we’ve got a lot of scar tissue when it comes to crimes of gun violence. The April 2007 shooting in Virginia Tech is something that’s still very fresh.”

Kaine is a Democratic gun owner of an open carry state. Virginia is also home to frequent gun control debates. Kaine is hoping Congress will dig in to what went wrong in Orlando; specifically as it relates to gun access and the circumstances that may have led to radicalization.

He goes on, “We owe it to people who have been killed and injured and their families to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.”

Kaine says there’s a federal list of people who are barred by law from having a weapon. The Orlando shooter was not on that register, but he was on the national terrorist watch list at one time.

Kaine supports a policy to add folks who are on the terrorist watch list to the no-purchase list. The highly contentious idea didn’t get enough votes back in December to move forward. However, Kaine says he’s still committed to it.

Kaine is currently supporting two pieces of legislation aimed at curbing gun violence. One would lift a 1996 ban on firearms safety and gun violence prevention research at the CDC.

The federal government didn’t want it appear the CDC had a stance on a controversial issue like gun control. The other strengthens background checks for private gun sales.

Larry Welsh says, “It’s a move in the right direction. It’s something we need to get very aggressive with and get started with.”

However, not all of Kaine’s constituents agree. Bobby Umphlett says, “The problem is the man with that finger. The gun won’t go off until that finger is put to the trigger. You got to get rid of these guys that’s ISIS related. Take care of them.”

Click here to see Senator Kaine’s reasoning in supporting those two pieces of legislation.

Other Democrats across the country have also weighed in on restricting gun access to terror threat suspects. Many have renewed their pledge in support of this legislation, hoping to pass this as early as tomorrow. Some Republicans have responded to reporters saying the recent tragedy indicates perhaps a need to focus on the mentally ill.

Categories: Local News