(Richmond) — House Democrats today lauded the considerable strides taken over the past year to finally address gun violence in Virginia. In the face of Republican inaction on this vital issue, the House Democratic Caucus launched the Safe Virginia Initiative (SVI), a series of town halls held across the Commonwealth that afforded citizens a platform to voice their experiences with gun violence.
Hundreds of Virginians attended these events and discussed a wide range of issues related to gun violence, including safety measures, mental health resources, and domestic violence. SVI gave Virginians a voice, elevating the discourse surrounding gun violence and culminating in a series of recommendations for reasonable reforms. This package of legislation would make our communities safer while preserving the opportunity for law-abiding Virginians to own firearms.
Unfortunately, House Republicans defeated all of the gun safety bills that they considered today during a hearing of the subcommittee on Militia, Police and Public Safety on party-line votes, despite wide public support and the input of Virginians across the Commonwealth. The momentum for reform, however, cannot be stopped so easily, and Democrats will continue to expand upon the work of the SVI as they seek to realize the dream of a better and safer Virginia for all.
“While we are disappointed in the Republicans’ refusal to give these bills on the critical issue of gun violence the attention they deserve, we are proud of all the hard work that went into this initiative,” said SVI co-chairs Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn and Delegate Kathleen Murphy in a statement. “Thousands of Virginians had a chance to finally make their voices heard, and our bills provided real solutions to make the Commonwealth a safer place. We will not give up in our efforts to make Virginia safer.”
SVI bills considered today include:
HB 1644 Firearms; reporting when lost or stolen, civil penalty (Delegate Jeff Bourne)
HB 1763 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk of injury to himself, etc., penalties. (Delegate Rip Sullivan)
HB 2285 Minors; allowing access by minors, penalty (Delegate Cliff Hayes)
HB 2479 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty (Delegate Ken Plum)
HB 2604 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty (Delegate Jeion Ward)