A bill that would have banned military-style rifles in Virginia was defeated in the state Senate on Monday, a sign of the limited power of the state’s new Democratic majority in enacting the most restrictive elements of its gun-control agenda and a blow to Governor Ralph Northam’s efforts to restrict gun possession.

The prohibition on military-style rifles was the most contentious of a series of gun-control bills making their way through the state Legislature this year and the centerpiece of Democrats’ attempts to restrict firearms after a gunman fatally shot 12 people in Virginia Beach last May.

The state is at the heart of a long-simmering debate related to the nation’s uneasy accommodation regarding gun laws, with Democrats in the state’s urban areas and suburbs supporting gun-control measures, while many rural residents have mounted large gun-rights protests in response.


The assault-weapons bill rejected Monday would have prohibited the sale, purchase, manufacture, and most transfers of military-style weapons, and large-capacity magazines holding more than 12 rounds. It would have also banned trigger activators, including bump stocks, designed to make weapons simulate automatic machine-gun fire.

Four Democrats on the 15-member Senate Judiciary Committee joined six Republicans in voting to send the proposal to a state commission for further study. The measure is likely to be debated again next year, lawmakers said.

The Democrats represent both suburban and urban areas, and each of the lawmakers had supported other gun-control measures this session.

But one of the Democrats, R. Creigh Deeds, said there was discomfort in enacting an outright ban because lawmakers had failed to arrive at a consensus definition of what constitutes an assault weapon despite weeks of negotiations. Deeds said there remained “a lot of questions” about the definition.

The initial version of the measure would have prohibited all assault-style weapons in the state, which would have required owners to turn them in. But that version was recently overhauled to allow owners to keep their weapons.


On Monday, Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the group that organized a massive gun-rights rally at the Virginia State Capitol last month, praised the vote on Twitter.

“VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Van Cleave tweeted.

New York Times

Miller nuptials illustrate difficulty of dating in D.C.

Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman, who met while he was developing the administration’s restrictive immigration policies and she was working as a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, were married at President Trump’s hotel Sunday evening.

The wedding details, dished out in increments by the bride to reporters over the past few months, illustrate what it meant for one notorious Trump aide to get married in a heavily Democratic town where the mere sight of him is known to create angry confrontations.

They hired security. Wedding invitations contained a card detailing the couple’s privacy requests. The registry was created under a fake name. Invited friends who might bring unruly partisans as their guests to the wedding were screened.

In the end, the nuptials were stocked with Trump administration officials, including Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the people who love the couple. (The people who don’t love them created a hashtag that mocked the event for being held at the president’s hotel.) The couple celebrated with monogrammed ice cubes, mutual statements of love, and a playlist selected by the groom.

“Spectacular and very special wedding tonight with new bride and groom Stephen and Katie Miller!” Reince Priebus, a former White House chief of staff, wrote on Twitter. “So much fun and still going with @RealDonaldTrump having fun and the band is going strong!”


But the scene reflected what has been an uncomfortable truth for young aides since the beginning of the administration: Washington’s highly politicized culture — a reality that the president and zealous officials like Miller have directly contributed to — can be brutal on dating life. This mirrors a larger trend taking place throughout the rest of America, according to specialists: Singles, particularly members of the under-40 crowd, do not want to meet or match with people outside their political tribe.

For young aides in this White House, one solution seems to be to meet and marry each other, or at least endeavor to find love inside the political bunker of the Trump administration.

New York Times

Trump campaign tweets old Daytona 500 photo

President Trump’s campaign manager on Sunday tweeted, and later deleted, a photo of Air Force One ascending above a crowd of NASCAR fans in Florida. The president, he wrote, ‘‘won the #Daytona500 before the race even started.’’

The image, it turned out, was 16 years old.

Brad Parscale deleted the tweet about three hours later and posted another tweet with an updated photo.

The president and Melania Trump attended the annual race in Daytona Beach on Sunday. The president served as the event’s grand marshal in what was widely seen as an opportunity to court his supporters in the swing state ahead of the November election.


‘‘Rubber will burn, fans will scream, and the Great American Race will begin,’’ the president said, before taking a lap on the track in his limousine, called ‘‘the Beast.’’ He commanded drivers to start their engines, but the race was ultimately postponed to Monday because of rain.

The stands were filled with revelers, some wearing Trump 2020 T-shirts and hats. His visit marked the second appearance at the race by a sitting president. The last was in 2004, when President George W. Bush helped kick off the event.

Photographer Jonathan Ferrey was there that year and took the photo of Air Force One that Parscale originally tweeted.

‘‘I have a lot of talented colleagues photographing the Daytona 500 this year,’’ Ferrey told CNN. ‘‘I am unfortunately not there today, but apparently I won the Daytona 500 photography before the race even started.’’

Washington Post