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Victory in Virginia: Virginia General Assembly Passes Three Common-Sense Gun Violence Preventions Bills

The Virginia Senate has passed bills banning guns at polling places, extending the background check period, and prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing and possessing firearms, clearing their way for the Governor’s signature

Washington, D.C., February 18, 2021 - Brady applauds the Virginia General Assembly for passing three, common-sense gun violence prevention bills. Today, the Virginia Senate passed HB 2081 and HB 1992, bills that prohibit firearms at polling places and prohibit domestic abusers from possessing or purchasing a firearm for three years, respectively, and passed HB 2128, a bill increasing the number of days that the Virginia State Police have to complete a background check, on Monday. With these votes, each bill has been passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and will be either certified or finalized in conference and then sent to Governor Ralph Northam for his signature. Each of these bills will make Virginians safer and Brady urges Gov. Northam to sign them as soon as he receives them.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“The General Assembly has once again shown that they will serve in the best interest of all Virginians by passing these common-sense bills. Each of these policies, soon to be laws, will make our Commonwealth safer. By prohibiting firearms at polling places, the General Assembly will protect the most fundamental right in our democracy: to vote and to ensure our voices and opinions are heard. Armed intimidation is voter suppression, and this tactic has historically been employed to intimidate Black and Brown voters. It will now be explicitly prohibited.

By ensuring that those convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse cannot possess firearms for three years, the General Assembly will help to protect our families. A gun in a home with a history of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent. This bill will give law enforcement new and effective tools to prevent such tragedies.

Finally, the bill providing Virginia State Police more time to complete background checks is a common-sense solution to ensure that firearms are only sold to those who are legally able - under federal and state law - to purchase and possess them. During the global COVID-19 pandemic and amid panic buying across the country, the Commonwealth saw a nearly 40 percent increase of background checks initiated from the previous year. Giving Virginia State Police additional time to process these requests ensures that they can do so properly, regardless of future surges or strains to the system.

The General Assembly has done its job and once again proved their desire to enact the laws demanded by constituents throughout the Commonwealth. We eagerly await Governor Northam’s signature of these bills as soon as he is able.”

About These Bills:

HB 1992 - This bill will prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from purchasing or possessing a firearm for three years.

HB 2081 - This bill will prohibit firearms within 40 feet of a polling place, or any building being used during an electoral board meeting or location of a recount.

HB 2128 – This bill expands the number of days that the Virginia State Police have to complete a background check from three to five business days, before the firearm can be legally transferred.

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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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