With new clout, Virginia Democrats to push for gun control

In this Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 photo, manager of Bob Moates Sports Shop, David Hancock, poses with a firearm in the shop in Richmond, Va. Hancock says

In this Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 photo, manager of Bob Moates Sports Shop, David Hancock, poses with a firearm in the shop in Richmond, Va. Hancock says

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2017, file photo, an armed militia member stands guard at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia Democrats

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2017, file photo, Virginia Gov-elect, Ralph Northam, address a group of journalists in Glen Allen, Va. Virginia Democrats, who

FILE - This Aug. 31, 2016 file photo shows Phil Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, during a public hearing at the

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats say their major Election Day gains in November have boosted the odds of passing new gun control measures.

Democrats in the swing state swept three statewide offices and picked up at least 15 House seats, nearly erasing Republicans' lead in Virginia's lower chamber. Republicans narrowly lead the Senate.

Now one of Virginia's most influential gun rights groups is expressing concern. The Virginia Citizens Defense League said it expects Democrats to push for legislation seeking universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and other restrictions.

Guns are a perennial issue in Virginia, which is home to the National Rifle Association's headquarters and the site in 2007 of one of the country's deadliest mass shootings, at Virginia Tech.