A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003.
Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger from inside the gun’s trigger-guard — a basic gun-safety practice.
“I don’t think you should be able to possess an assault rifle,” Morrissey told ABC News on Friday.
But while Morrissey introduced a gun-control bill Thursday aimed at reducing criminal violence in Virginia, he has a history that involves physical violence of another kind.