This morning, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds called Omar Samaha, whose sister was killed during the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech.
Samaha has been a vocal proponent of stiffer gun laws in the Commonwealth. He has been particularly outspoken about Virginia’s so-called gun show looph0le, which allows the sale of firearms between private individuals without background checks.
Deeds spokesman Jared Leopold said the conversation was “friendly and productive,” but wouldn’t elaborate as to what what the pair discussed.
Back in June, Samaha e-mailed the Capitol press corps with a letter urging Democrats not to vote for Deeds in the nominating primary.
“Senator Deeds has a record on guns that worries us,” Samaha and another victim’s relative wrote.
“[K]eeping the people we love safe is the single most important issue to
us, and that’s why Senator Deeds won’t be getting our vote on Tuesday.”
The letter cited concerns about Deeds’ support for bills allowing concealed weapons permit holders to bring their guns into restaurants that serve alcohol and allowing Virginians to purchase more than one handgun a month.
During this year’s legislative session, Deeds supported measures to close the gun show loophole, despite opposing such changes in previous sessions. The state senator said conversations with Virginia Tech families largely influenced his decision.
Republican nominee Bob McDonnell does not support changes to the gun laws that would mandate background checks whenever a gun is sold.
Perhaps Deeds hopes to gain ground on McDonnell by garnering the support of Tech victims and victims’ families?