Jun 2, 2019

Virginia GOP previously blocked bill to ban large-capacity magazine sales

A makeshif memorial outside Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A state bill seeking to ban sales of large-capacity magazines similar to those used by the Virginia Beach gunman was rejected in committee in a GOP party-line vote in January, the Washington Post first reported Saturday.

Details: The move against the bill, SB1748, received little public attention because it was seen as a foregone conclusion, according to the Post.

The big picture: Mike Fox, the legislative lead for the Charlottesville chapter of Moms Demand Action, tweeted a series of gun control bills the GOP had blocked. Gun Violence Prevention Caucus co-chair Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who sponsored SB1748, told the Post a big reason for the bills' failure was "the political influence of gun rights organizations."

The other side: Gun rights groups have accused those calling for greater weapons control of politicizing a tragedy. National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch responded to a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) calling for the U.S. to "immediately confront the power of the NRA" following the Virginia Beach shooting.

"This was a heinous tragedy. Your remarks move me to ask: What do 5 million members of the NRA have to do with this man’s crime? Was this man a card-carrying member? His purchases were legal, whose fault is that? Does he bear any blame at all? Serious questions."

Go deeper: The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

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John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.