The NRA appears to be having difficulty deciding whether or not to release their “A-” assessment of Sen. Glen Sturtevant’s (R-10) voting record on gun legislation. Earlier this week, BlueVirginia reported the NRA had taken Sturtevant’s rating down from their website. A few days later it was back up.
The back-and-forth makes more sense when you consider the political make-up of Sturtevant’s district, where voters overwhelmingly backed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Sen. Tim Kaine. That means Sturtevant has to appease Democratic voters while toeing the Republican party-line.
When running for the General Assembly in 2015, Sturtevant signaled that he would be tough on guns. In an ad he said he had “zero tolerance for gun violence,” and that lawmakers must “enforce our strong federal and state gun laws and focus on mental illness to help those suffering before they turn to violence.”
But when it came time to vote, Sturtevant voted time and time and time again to kill gun safety legislation. And at the special session called by Gov. Northam in the wake of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Sturtevant voted with his Republican colleagues to adjourn after 90 minutes and no debate on any gun safety legislation.
The only time Sturtevant showed some flexibility was in January, when he voted in favor of the so-called “red flag” law. Red flag laws typically allow law enforcement officers to request a judge to confiscate guns from a person deemed “a substantial risk of injury to himself or others.” But Sturtevant asked for significant modifications to the bill, pushing for shorter time period before a hearing was held. Ultimately, the bill failed to advance from his Senate committee, following a 7-7 vote.
Sturtevant is facing off next month against Democratic challenger Ghazala Hashmi, who has made gun safety a central element of her campaign. On her campaign website, she endorses “universal background checks and banning high-capacity magazines.” In contrast to Sturtevant, Hashmi received an “F” grade from the NRA.