Virginia’s Senate Candidates Uninterested In Gun Control Following Colorado Shooting

Neither candidate for Senate from Virginia seemed inclined to call for stronger gun control in the aftermath of Friday’s shooting at a movie theater in Colorado, suggesting that the tragedy is unlikely to revive a national debate over the issue.

During a debate on Saturday hosted by the Virginia Bar Association, Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine appeared to dodge questions about whether tougher gun restrictions can help prevent gun violence (via CNN Director of Political Research Robert Yoon):

The alleged shooter James Holmes used four weapons in the shooting, including an AR-15 rife that would have been defined as a “semiautomatic assault weapon” under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 — which expired in 2004. “The type of ammunition magazine Holmes is accused of using was banned for new production under the old federal assault weapon ban.” Though once it expired, “gun manufacturers flooded the market with the type of high-capacity magazines Holmes used Friday.”

Allen has been endorsed by NRA, voted against renewal of assault weapons ban and was an original sponsor of act to repeal Washington, D.C.’s gun ban. He also introduced legislation that would allow national park visitors to carry concealed weapons. Kaine, meanwhile, does advocate for some gun limits, “including preventing felons and the mentally ill from purchasing weapons.”