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Father of slain reporter to meet with GOP chairman on gun bill

Father of slain reporter to meet with GOP chairman on gun bill
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The father of the television journalist shot and killed during a live broadcast will press House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) to strengthen the nation’s gun laws.

Goodlatte, whose committee has jurisdiction over gun-related legislation, will meet with Andy Parker on Friday, who is in town to champion gun control after his daughter, Alison Parker, and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down last month while interviewing a woman near Roanoke, Va.

Parker will press Goodlatte to take up legislation that would expand background checks for gun owners. Republicans have shied away from such measures in the past. Goodlatte represents the Virginia district where the shooting occurred and his staff reached out to Alison’s father to request a meeting.

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“Too many members of Congress remain in the pocket of the gun lobby, and that has got to change,” Parker declared Thursday at a rally organized by Everytown for Gun Safety, where he signaled out Goodlatte.

“If you won’t support background checks, we’ll find someone else who will,” he added.

The shooting reignited calls from gun control advocates to close "loopholes" in the law that allow people to purchase guns online and at gun shows without background checks.

Parker was joined at the rally by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the state’s two senators, Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting On The Money: Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle | White House rules out gas tax hike Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination MORE (D) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (D), who are ramping up pressure Goodlatte to act on background checks.

According to Parker, Goodlatte’s staff asked for a meeting Thursday morning, but he declined because it would have conflicted with the rally. They eventually rescheduled for Friday.

"Mr. Goodlatte has failed to even bring background checks up for a hearing,” Parker said at the rally. "Late in the afternoon yesterday, his staff reached out and asked if I would be available to meet with Rep. Goodlatte right now. I found it ironic and disingenuous that his office tried to schedule a meeting with me at the very time I’m appearing before you."

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New gun laws face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Congress, where they are unlikely to pass, but Kaine encouraged the gun control advocates to keep fighting.

“That has been the voice of evil in good people’s ears that nothing can be done,” Kaine said at the rally.

“You think the people advocating for civil rights gave up?” he asked. 

McAuliffe called Republicans opposed to expanding background checks “gutless politicians."

“I’m sick and tired of gutless politicians who are scared of the NRA [National Rifle Association],” McAuliffe said. “It’s time they pay the price. It’s time they get removed from office."

“Enough’s enough,” added Warner, who called on Congress to expand background checks by the end of the year.

--This story was updated at 4:48 p.m.