Republican Speaker of the House Kirk Cox has released committee assignments for the 2018 session. This comes after a tidal wave election where the GOP lost 15 seats and narrowed their majority to 51-49.
Democrats notably picked up seats on Appropriations which deals with spending. But many of the more controversial committees remain ideologically consistent, like House Militia, Police and Public Safety.
That’s the committee which handles bills dealing with guns. It has traditionally favored less regulations on gun ownership. Philip Van Cleve, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, says he’s pleased with the makeup of the committee. “You’ve got a lot of people that really understand guns. You want people on the committee that know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of,” said Van Cleve.
Lori Haas, Virginia State Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, was less encouraged about the committee membership but remained hopeful. “We expect them to look seriously at things like background checks and regulations regarding domestic violence abusers and people in crisis. What are we going to do about those situations?” asked Haas.
Committees will begin hearing legislation next week.