RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- A taking pictures at a Virginia college is reigniting conversations round gun violence prevention as early voting is already underway in statewide races.
On Monday, a scholar at Heritage High School in Newport News shot and injured two classmates, in line with police. The accidents are usually not anticipated to be life-threatening.
Attorney General Mark Herring, who’s up for re-election, hosted the final of a number of spherical tables on gun violence prevention in Richmond on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Del. Jason Miyares–the Republican decide for the state’s prime prosecutor–offered a really completely different imaginative and prescient for dealing with the disaster in a one-on-one interview.
The focus of Herring’s discussion board was to debate the best way to develop community-based gun violence prevention applications within the hardest hit areas utilizing new funding from the General Assembly.
Some advocates were disappointed within the quantity Democratic leaders determined to decide to the trigger however referred to as it a step in the fitting path.
“Listening to experiences here in Richmond, we see there is a lot of work being done but we can amplify that work,” Herring stated. “I see this as just a start and what we need to do is build on that so that everyone feels safe in their home, in their school, at the park and on the streets.”
Herring stated one other a part of the issue is that it’s nonetheless too straightforward to entry firearms.
Herring has already defended varied gun management insurance policies handed by the General Assembly’s Democratic majority in courtroom, together with expanded background checks, a one-handgun-per-month limit and a red flag law. Moving ahead, he desires to see his celebration construct on that by revisiting a invoice that failed in 2020.
“There is no reason why we should have assault weapons out on the streets in any community. These are weapons of war. That’s what they are designed for,” Herring stated.
While serving within the House of Delegates, Miyares voted towards all of these gun management reforms. He additionally opposed legal guidelines requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms inside 48 hours, increasing the penalty for recklessly leaving a loaded firearm in method that endangers an individual beneath 14, and giving localities the authority to set firearm bans in varied locations.
Miyares didn’t vote on a bill to ban an individual topic to a “permanent protective order” with a most period of two years from knowingly possessing a firearm whereas that order is in impact.
Earlier this 12 months, Miyares proposed an modification to present the Attorney General’s workplace extra energy prosecute unlawful gun gross sales on the state degree, particularly straw purchases. That’s when somebody buys a gun on behalf of one other one that is prohibited by regulation from possessing one. That proposal failed because it was included in a sweeping package deal of Republican asks largely thought-about lifeless on arrival.
Asked about his help for prevention applications, Miyares stated he sponsored Project Safe Streets, which is geared toward stopping cycles of gang violence by group outreach. He furthered, “I absolutely support investment in the community but if you think that’s the only way to lower gun violence that is simply naive.”
Miyares criticized Herring’s help for varied prison justice reforms, calling them proof of a “victim last, criminal first” mentality that’s enabling gun violence to proceed. He slammed Herring for not cracking down on the Parole Board after the state’s watchdog company accused them of breaking the regulation. He added that he would help a constitutional modification to abolish parole for violent offenders.
“I’ve actually prosecuted gun crimes and I would support the policies that are proven to actually lower gun violence, which is you go after repeat violent offenders and get them off our streets,” Miyares stated.
Miyares additionally accused Herring of “playing politics with people’s safety.” He stated Herring declined to just accept federal gun violence prevention funds after President Donald Trump tied the cash to Immigration and Customs Enforcement necessities.
“That’s completely wrong,” Herring responded. “The President illegally withheld that money from Virginia and other states. I had to sue the President and we won and that money is now coming in.”
Furthermore, Miyares stated the taking pictures in Newport News demonstrates the necessity to have college useful resource officers in each constructing as some Democrats name to take away them. Miyares additionally desires to revive a coverage requiring college leaders to report scholar offenses to regulation enforcement. It’s not clear the place Herring stands on that concern however different members of his celebration have beforehand referred to as it a contributor to mass incarceration of black youth.