Democrats reject bills to further relax gun laws one day after pro-gun rally

RICHMOND — A subcommittee controlled by Democrats rejected a raft of Republican-sponsored bills to loosen restrictions on firearms Tuesday, one day after a major gun-rights rally and over the passionate objections of a man who lost his wife in last year's mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

Among the defeated bills was one that would have allowed Virginians to carry concealed weapons without a permit, and another allowing them to bring firearms into places of worship.

“I think what we saw today is this is a new day in Virginia,” said Del. Jeffrey M. Bourne (D-Richmond), chairman of the firearms subcommittee of the House Public Safety Committee. “We’re going to go beyond thoughts and prayers. We’re going to give voters laws that will make Virginia safer.”

A day earlier, thousands of people flocked to the Capitol for a gun rights rally that drew militia groups from across the country. Some of the rallygoers came to Tuesday’s meeting dressed in t-shirts and other attire proclaiming their cause.

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