The General Assembly Gun Violence Prevention Caucus today announce their three legislative priorities for the 2019 General Assembly Session including Universal Background Checks, Red Flag Laws, and Child Access Prevention.
“An overwhelming majority of Virginians support these measures. This year our caucus is focused on targeting the areas that could save the most lives. Every ten hours a Virginian dies from gun violence, we simply don’t have time to waste” said Co-Chair Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria).
“Our caucus focus on three key issue will provide substantial opportunity to reduce the scourge of gun violence in Virginia. Our focused, coordinated approach provides our colleagues a chance to pass evidence-supported approaches to reducing the death toll in our state” said Co-Chair Delegate Kathleen Murphy (D-McLean).
The Caucus is endorsing the following legislation to address their three priorities:
Red Flag Laws (substantial risk protection orders) which allow judges to temporarily prohibit a person from possessing guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that they pose a significant danger to themself or others. Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington) and Senator George Barker (D-Fairfax) will be introducing this legislation.
“Every death by gun violence is a tragedy, and one of the most heartbreaking facts is that many of these are preventable. This bill, which mirrors legislative steps taken in numerous states from Florida to California, would enable family and friends to stop an individual from committing gun violence before a single shot is fired, with plenty of due process and respect for Second Amendment rights," said Delegate Sullivan (D-Arlington). "Not only would this bill help stop horrific events like school shootings, it will help address one of the less talked-about crises in Virginia – suicide by firearm”
Universal Background Checks, which will close significant loopholes in the Virginia code on firearms sales, blocking those who are legally prevented from possessing firearms from purchasing them through third party dealers. Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Delegate Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) will be sponsoring companion bills dealing with this issue.
Child Access Prevention, the caucus supports legislation patroned by Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) which makes it a crime to leave a loaded firearm easily accessible to a child under 18.
More than 30 General Assembly members belong to the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, which works to reduce the more than one thousand gun violence-related deaths a year in Virginia.