A Richmond-area lawmaker brandished an AK-47 on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday in a wild stunt aimed at rallying support for tougher gun laws.
Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Highland Springs, pulled the weapon out shortly after the day's session got underway, a time when legislators typically welcome school groups and other visitors in the chamber's gallery.
Morrissey assured his colleagues the gun was not loaded and pointed it toward the ceiling as he pleaded for Republican House Speaker Bill Howell to help push through a subcommittee the assault weapons ban that Morrissey is proposing.
"A lot of people don't know that in many locations in the commonwealth, you can take this gun, you can walk in the middle of Main Street loaded and not be in violation of the law," Morrissey said. "Even though the law right now says you can't bring this gun into a high school or elementary or middle school, there is nothing from keeping you from walking in front of [an elementary school with a gun]."
A House subcommittee late Thursday effectively killed Morrissey's bill, which mirrored President Obama's call for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammo magazines following the mass killing of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school. The same panel also rejected universal background checks for gun buyers and sent a proposal to arm school staff to Gov. Bob McDonnell's school safety task force.