RICHMOND — Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, said Tuesday that he offered his resignation as Senate majority whip to protest Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment's bill that would ban anyone from bringing a gun into a local government building.
Stanley spoke on the John Fredericks Radio Show on Tuesday as legislators prepared to convene at noon for Gov. Ralph Northam's special session on gun violence. Northam called the special session following the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach and hundreds of protesters on both sides of the issue gathered Tuesday near the state Capitol.
Stanley later said in an interview that his caucus "voted me back in."
Stanley had said on the radio show that Norment's bill would make a felon out of a grandmother with a concealed weapons permit who accidentally carried a gun into a municipal building in her purse.
"How is that a great strategy? Quite frankly, I think it's a betrayal," Stanley said.
"I offered my resignation as the majority whip because I think we've tried to fool our caucus. And I'm not standing for it. I didn't come down here for this," Stanley said.
"And so I'm upset. I am stunned. I am dumbfounded and I'm mad. And he knows it. The rest of the leadership knows it."
Stanley said that if Northam "gets one bill out of here he declares total victory."
Stanley said his Southside Senate district strongly backs the Second Amendment.
"I'm in leadership and I told everybody down there, Tommy's strong on the Second Amendment, don't you worry, we're never going to make a deal."
The Virginia Citizens Defense League said in a statement that Norment's legislation "stabs gun owners in the back."
Later Monday, Norment, after apologizing to the Republican caucus, had his bill stricken from the record.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.