Washington, D.C., February 7, 2020 - Today, Brady applauds the Virginia House of Delegates Public Safety Committee for passing HB 961, a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines in the Commonwealth. The bill passed in committee today will ensure that these deadly weapons — assault-style semi-automatic rifles and pistols, along with high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and silencers — do not threaten civilians and law enforcement.

Brady Vice President of Policy Christian Heyne testified at this morning’s hearing, stating:

“Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines undeniably make mass shooting incidents worse by equipping shooters with firepower capable of wounding and killing more victims and reducing the opportunities for escape, defensive action, or law-enforcement intervention. The ensuing suffering is broader than just the injuries and lives lost — survivors, first responders, friends and family of victims, affected communities, and society at large continue to suffer and live in fear.”

Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are uniquely lethal, creating legitimate and outsized public safety threats. These weapons are designed to kill as many people in as short time as possible, which is why they have so often been used in some of the worst mass shootings in modern American history.

In last year’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach, which killed 12 individuals and injured four others, the shooter was equipped with a handgun and multiple high-capacity magazines, allowed him to fire nearly continuously.

The bill passed today completes what has been termed “the Governor’s Package. These eight common-sense gun and public safety bills were proposed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam during the 2019 special session, but did not receive a vote in the State Assembly.

Heyne concluded:

“Today’s vote is a victory for common-sense public safety laws. Credit for this action should go to the voters, who demanded change at the ballot in November, sending a gun violence prevention majority to the Virginia General Assembly to enact policies like this. This is democracy in action. We are encouraged by this action and look forward to the full Virginia House of Delegates passing this bill next week.”

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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