RICHMOND, VA, 10 JANUARY 2020: Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) today issued the following statement regarding the enactment of a new weapons policy by the Joint Rules Committee of the Virginia General Assembly:
“Today, the Joint Rules Committee, comprised of just 16 of the General Assembly’s 140 legislators, imposed a new policy banning all firearms from the Capitol and the Pocahontas Building.
“The two Republican senators who serve on Joint Rules, Senator Vogel and myself, were first informed we were members of the Committee in an email we received after business hours last evening. We were told the Committee would hold its first meeting after session today, but given no agenda for that meeting and no indication of what would be discussed.
“Only after the meeting was convened were we given a copy of the policy that would be discussed. That policy bans all weapons from the Capitol, as well as lawmakers’ temporary offices in the Pocahontas Building.
“It is outrageous that the Democrats would enact a policy this far-reaching and consequential, affecting the public and their elected representatives, without providing proper notice to either lawmakers or citizens.
“For those promoting the policy to claim its enactment was being done at the request of the Capitol Police is unconscionable.
“Transparency is clearly not a concern of the General Assembly’s new majority caucuses, nor do they appear willing to allow dissenting voices an opportunity to be heard. Although this kind of behavior from the House Democrats is not entirely unexpected, the complicity of Senate Democrats is a genuine disappointment.
“Republican Senators will continue to fight for the rights of all Virginians, and to stand up for the transparency that was a hallmark of our years in the majority.”