After a Mass Shooting, Virginia Is Rethinking Its Gun Laws—and Rewiring the 2020 Race (Mother Jones)

Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, suggests it might: “The price of retaining the Republican majority in the legislature will probably involve a serious step toward increasing gun control in the state,” he says. “No action on gun control may very well be the issue that establishes Democratic majority control in both chambers.”

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After Another Mass Shooting, Another Virginia Governor Tries to Change Gun Laws (New York Times)

“This is how the politics of Virginia have changed so dramatically in just a few years,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. “For decades, any Democrat who talked about tightening the rules on guns was taking a big political risk. The risk in 2019, in the wake of the tragedy of Virginia Beach, would be borne by Republicans.”

After Another Mass Shooting, Another Virginia Governor Tries to Change Gun Laws (New York Times)

Gov. Northam will convene special session of Virginia legislature to take up gun control (Washington Post)

Republicans are in a risky position, though, because opinion polls have consistently shown that most Virginians favor stricter gun laws, said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. “Failing to respond to that public feeling, particularly in the aftermath of Virginia Beach, would be politically problematic for Republicans,” Farnsworth said. He added that Northam will get credit if the legislature acts, while a lack of results would give Democrats something to blame on Republicans this fall.

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What Impacts Could the Special Session Have In November? (NPR)

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says that changes the dynamic significantly.

“If the Republicans bottle everything up in committee the way that occurred during the general session, the Republicans are probably going to lose their legislative majorities and these bills may very well pass next year,” says Farnsworth.

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What Impacts Could the Special Session Have In November? (NPR)