Virginia Senate Passes Measure Allowing Guns in Places of Worship | Sojourners

Virginia Senate Passes Measure Allowing Guns in Places of Worship

The Virginia Senate voted Tuesday to repeal a law banning guns from places of worship.

According to Washington Post, Republican Sen. A. Benton Chafin Jr. said the law is archaic, treads on private property rights, and threatens the safety of worshippers. He referenced the massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Virginia law prohibits carrying guns, pistols, bowie knifes, daggers, or other dangerous weapons into places of worship. Chafin argued that people cannot depend on the law to protect them if someone intended to do them harm.

The bill now heads to the House of Delegates, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans after incumbent Republican David Yancey won his seat in a literal draw earlier this month.

From Washington Post:

Through a spokesman, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signaled he will veto the measure if it reaches his desk. “The governor is ready to work with the General Assembly to promote responsible gun ownership, but he does not believe more guns in more locations is a solution to the real problem of gun violence,” Northam spokesman Brian Coy said.

Just this week, a school shooting in Kentucky left two 15-year-olds dead and 18 people injured — and, as the New York Times reported, it was the 11th school shooting this year. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks and verifies reports of gun violence, there have been 3,484 gun incidents so far in 2018, including 1 ,711 injuries and 972 deaths.

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