The spectator left after the committee chairman summoned Capitol Police. Otherwise, Van Cleave said, he has been well received this year. Cohen “is a comedian; I think most people get it,” he said.

Democrats said a few more bills aimed at gun safety could yet gain traction. Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax), the House minority leader, is proposing to eliminate sales tax for certain types of gun safes costing less than $1,000; her bill gained support last year from Van Cleave’s group. And, as importantly, it’s not before Fariss’s subcommittee.

But the GOP blockade against gun control may hand Democrats in competitive suburban districts an issue to run on in November.

“At the end of the day I tell people, sometimes you can’t change people’s minds and so you need to change their seats,” Northam said in a recent interview. “And so that’s what I plan to work on in ’19.”