Mourners at the Virginia Beach tribute site. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the state's legislature will begin a special session this summer on gun control, AP reports.

The big picture: Northam, a Democrat, said he wants the state to focus on "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers," forcing members of the Republican-controlled legislature to go on the record on the issue. The decision comes days after 12 people died in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

The state of play: Northam wants the legislature to debate bills that include ...

  • A ban on silencers.
  • A ban on high capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Granting local governments more power to limit guns in city buildings.

The other side: Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox said that Northam's decision is "more likely to inflame political tensions than produce substantive public policy changes." He signaled that Republicans in the legislature would pursue a different path for reform, increasing mandatory minimums and efforts to strengthen mental health systems.

"The Governor's call to Special Session is hasty and suspect when considered against the backdrop of the last few months, While the Governor can call a special session, he cannot specify what the General Assembly chooses to consider or how we do our work. We intend to use that time to take productive steps to address gun violence by holding criminals accountable with tougher sentences — including mandatory minimums."

Go deeper: What we know so far: 12 dead in Virginia Beach shooting

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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