Mayor Bloomberg is donating $25,000 apiece to six Democratic Virginia State Senate candidates to ensure that the party maintains control of the Senate and opposes weakening Virginia's already-lax gun laws. Five of them are from Northern Virginia (or "NoVa," for those who have survived it) and the sixth is in the Hampton Roads area. Virginia Republicans are pushing to loosen gun regulations, including the one gun per month restriction currently on the books. Virginia is New York's number one source of illegal handguns.
“Obviously what we’re concerned about is we don’t want a bad problem to get worse,” John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser tells the Washington Post. "What happens in the Virginia state legislature has a direct impact on the public safety of New Yorkers." In 2007, NYPD officer Russel Timoshenko was killed by a man using a gun purchased in Norfolk, Virginia.
Previously, Mayor Bloomberg has sent private investigators to show how easy it is to exploit Virginia's gun show loopholes, and did the same in Arizona after a fatal shooting in Tuscon left six dead and 14 others wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Gun control is an issue that the mayor has consistently championed. When reached for comment on his donations, a manager at A&P Arms in Hampton, Virginia told a Daily News reporter, "He's an arrogant bastard who shouldn't be meddling." This man will have his chance to tell Bloomberg what he thinks in person: the mayor plans to visit Virginia next week.