Senate Democrats Comment on Virginia Crime Commission’s Failure to Act to End Gun Violence

Richmond--This evening, the Virginia Crime Commission meeting concluded without any action taken to reduce gun violence in the Commonwealth. The two day meeting, led by NRA-endorsed lawmakers Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Rob Bell, heard testimony from various state and federal agencies and the public before ending the meeting with no legislative recommendations. Following the quick adjournment of the July special session, the General Assembly will not reconvene until after the November elections where all 140 seats are on the ballot this year. 

Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw had this to say about Republican inaction: “Every day that we fail to take action to end gun violence, we lose more innocent lives in our Commonwealth. Senate Democrats have introduced gun violence prevention legislation year after year and every year, Virginia Republicans refuse to consider, debate, or vote on it. Their silence on the issue is deafening.” 

“Virginia Republicans’ refusal to take action on gun safety is inexcusable,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke. “We lose more than 1,000 Virginians a year to gun violence, yet Republicans continue to side with the NRA over the people they represent. If we can’t change their minds, we’ll change their seats in November.” 

Gun Violence Prevention Caucus Co-Chair Senator Adam Ebbin stated, “Today’s Republican-led Crime Commission meeting was a disappointing political stunt. Instead of addressing gun violence during the special session last month, Republicans punted all legislation until after the November elections and adjourned after only ninety minutes. Democrats know Virginians deserve better and we will continue to fight for common sense gun violence prevention measures to ensure the safety of all Virginians.” 

 

Senate Democrats presented the commonsense bills that they introduced during the special session called last month before the Commission today. Those bills included: 

  • Universal Background Checks, Sponsored by Senator Louis Lucas and Senator Dick Saslaw
  • Extreme Risk Protective Order,  Sponsored by Senator George Barker
  • Local authority to ban guns from government buildings, Sponsored by Senator John Edwards 
  • A ban on military-style weapons, to include suppressors, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines, Sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin
  • Reinstating the one-gun-a-month law, Sponsored by Senator Mamie Locke
  • Child access prevention, Sponsored by Senator Janet Howell
  • Requiring people to report lost and stolen firearms, Sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan 
  • Preventing domestic abusers from owning a firearm, Sponsored by Senator Janet Howell

 

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