MCLEAN, Va. - Should there be a mandatory "cooling-off period" when people go to purchase a gun?
It’s one of several proposals involving guns currently being debated by Virginia lawmakers.
"We need to act, and I promised these families that that’s what I would do," explained Del. Cliff Hayes. He represents Chesapeake, Virginia, where police say a Walmart supervisor fatally shot six co-workers in November with a gun he’d purchased hours before.
If passed, Hayes’ legislation would create a three-day waiting period when you purchase a gun — similar to laws already on the books in Maryland and D.C.
"We have got to look at this example of this Walmart shooting as an opportunity to slow down or curb the chance for that scenario happening again," Hayes told FOX 5.
Others, however, strongly disagree.
WASHINGTON, USA - JANUARY 9: AR-15 style rifles and shotguns for sale at Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Va., USA on January 9, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
"Sometimes, a person is buying a gun because they’re under immediate threat," said Philip Van Cleave, who is the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which organized a rally for gun rights Monday in Richmond. They may have just learned that their ex-spouse is planning on killing them. They need a gun. Well if you have to wait three days, that might be three days too long."
"I don’t know what part of shall not be infringed our friends on the other side don’t understand," Del. John McGuire said at the event.
It remains to be seen whether any significant gun legislation will make it to the governor’s desk this legislative session, with Republicans controlling the House of Delegates and Democrats in charge of the Senate.