After a shooter killed two journalists and injured another person in Roanoke, Virginia, during a live news segment this morning, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is calling for tougher gun laws in his state.
"I've proposed this now twice to the General Assembly," McAuliffe said in response to a listener question on local radio station WTOP's monthly "Ask the Governor" segment, which aired live shortly after the shootings ran on the topic. "It was part of my platform that we need tougher gun laws in the Commonwealth, I have advocated for background checks. Everyone who purchases a firearm in the commonwealth of Virginia should have to go through a background check."
"I will continue to push [gun control] as I have in two legislative sessions so far," McAuliffe added. "I put it up again last year. It never sees the light of day."
In the most recent parliamentary session in Virginia, McAuliffe proposed gun control measures including required backgrounds checks before all firearm purchases, the Washington Post writes, but they did not get past a state senate committee.
“I am disappointed to see these common-sense measures to keep Virginians safe fall to special interest politics. Too many families in Virginia and across the nation have lost loved ones to gun crimes that these proposals could help prevent," he said at the time, according to the Post.
McAuliffe said that Virginia could not afford to ignore the issue given incidents like the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, but that the state legislature has not been receptive to any of his gun control proposals.
Another Virginia legislator, state senator Creigh Deeds, whose mentally ill son attacked him and then shot himself in 2013, has also been an outspoken proponent of gun control laws in the state–though he has said his stance has nothing to do with his son. He tweeted this morning after the shooting:
On a national level, President Barack Obama has said that gun control is the area where he's been the most frustrated with a lack of progress during his time in the White House.
"If you ask me where is the one area where I feel that I have been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient, common sense, gun safety laws," Obama said, according to CNN. "Even in the face of repeated mass killings."