Washington, D.C., February 24, 2020 - Today, the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee passed all seven common-sense gun safety bills remaining from the ‘Governor’s Package,’ sending these bills to the full Virginia Senate for a vote.
Brady President, Virginia resident and voter Kris Brown stated:
“We are heartened that the Senate Judiciary Committee, which just one week ago tabled an essential debate on the banning assault weapons in Virginia, has reported the remaining seven bills in the Governor’s Package to the full Senate for a vote. Voters demanded these bills, having gone to the polls in November to pass this package after the General Assembly set them aside during last year’s special session. This vote is recognition that these are essential policies. They are common-sense policies. Virginians can celebrate today, knowing that the General Assembly is listening to their demands and working to make our Commonwealth safer.
This is the final stretch for this effort and it is vital that all members of the General Assembly hold firm in their commitment to enacting the will of the voters. We look forward to the full Senate passing these bills and sending them to Gov. Northam.”
Today’s action will move these bills to the full Virginia Senate for a vote. Brady looks forward to these bills becoming law.
About These Seven Bills:
HB 2 – Extended Background Checks: This bill would extend background check requirements for private sales with limited exceptions.
HB 9 – Lost & Stolen Firearms: This bill would require an individual to report the loss or theft of a legally owned firearm within 24 hours of discovering the loss or theft to a local law enforcement agency or state police. This will help to prevent firearms from being stolen and diverted to the criminal gun market. Lost and stolen guns are notoriously difficult to trace and this bill will help ensure law enforcement can do their jobs effectively.
HB 421 – Local Authority: This bill would allow local governments to have more authority to enact gun laws in their localities, thus overturning portions of the current "preemption" law on the books in the Commonwealth. Currently, Virginia law handcuffs local governments, preventing them from taking action to reduce violence in their jurisdictions. It is critical that local governments have the authority to adopt gun violence preventionmeasures that are tailored to address the gun violence closest to home and have the ability to direct local resources to effectively implementing those solutions.
HB 674 – Extreme Risk Laws: This bill would create an extreme risk protective order (broadly known as an "extreme risk law") in the state of Virginia. This bill would enable law enforcement to file a civil petition before a court in Virginia to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis when there is presented evidence before the court that the individual is at risk of harming themselves or others. These laws have been implemented in 17 states and Washington D.C. and evidence suggests they can prevent suicides, interpersonal violence, and even mass shootings. These laws follow a civil, not criminal, process.
HB 812 – One Handgun A Month Law: This bill would limit the cadence of handgun purchases to one per month, to help stem the flow of guns being diverted to the criminal market via trafficking and straw purchasing, as Virginia has long been a top “exporter” of crime guns to other states with strict gun laws.
HB 1004 – Protective Order Expansion: This bill would extend and update Virginia's law regarding firearms prohibition for those under permanent protective orders, helping to protect those in critical periods of danger by ensuring that all individuals under a permanent protective order do not possess a weapon.
HB 1083 – Child Access Prevention: This bill would update Virginia's child access prevention law to protect children and teens through the Commonwealth by creating stronger deterrents to ensure that children are not in the position access unsecured firearms.
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.