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Virginia Democrats Made Sweeping Progress on Gun Safety Legislation

Virginia Democrats Made Sweeping Progress on Gun Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON — On the 14th anniversary of the devastating Virginia Tech shooting, we honor the lives lost due to senseless gun violence — both in Virginia and in countless shootings across the country. Despite the desperate need to enact laws that will prevent gun violence, progress has largely been impeded at the national and state level thanks to greedy Republican politicians who would rather protect their NRA rating than American lives. But in Virginia, Democrats in the state legislature passed sweeping changes to the commonwealth’s gun laws after Republicans infamously shut down a special session focused on gun safety following yet another mass shooting in 2019. These bold policy changes were a move to finally address the epidemic of gun violence and improved the health and safety of all Virginians. 

WAMU: Virginia Democrats Advance Ambitious Legislative Agenda Before Deadline: “Guns topped the agenda for both Democrats and Republicans going into November’s elections. When Democrats flipped both chambers of the state legislature, they saw the victory as a clear mandate from voters on gun control. Voters were galvanized by a May shooting in Virginia Beach, when a gunman killed 12 people. In the wake of the shooting, Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, proposed eight gun safety measures, but Republicans shut down debate within 90 minutes. That sparked an outcry, and gun-control activists and outside groups flooded Democratic campaigns.” [WAMU, 2/11/20]

AP: Virginia emerges as South’s progressive leader under Dems: “In a state once synonymous with the Old South, Democrats are using their newfound legislative control to refashion Virginia as the region’s progressive leader on racial, social and economic issues. Lawmakers are on the verge of passing the South’s strictest gun laws, broadest LGBTQ protections, highest minimum wage and some of its loosest abortion restrictions, churning through landmark legislation on a near-daily basis.” [AP, 2/15/20]

Roanoke Times: History-making batch of gun control bills moves from legislature to Northam: “Virginia Democrats used their newfound control of the General Assembly to send a historic number of gun control bills to Gov. Ralph Northam. Northam, a Democrat, had eight gun control proposals on his agenda, and the legislature passed seven of them.” [Roanoke Times, 3/7/20] 

New York Times: Virginia’s New Laws on L.G.B.T. Protections, Guns and Marijuana Reflect a Shift in Power: “The chain of events began on Friday, when Mr. Northam said he had signed a series of gun control measures into law that includes a background check requirement for all firearm sales and a so-called red flag law that supporters said would give law enforcement officers a mechanism to confiscate the weapons of people deemed a danger to themselves or others. The measures drew acclaim from groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, the advocacy organization financed and created by the former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City. They go into effect on July 1.” [NYT, 4/13/20]

Roanoke Times: History-making batch of gun control bills moves from legislature to Northam: “Virginia Democrats used their newfound control of the General Assembly to send a historic number of gun control bills to Gov. Ralph Northam. Northam, a Democrat, had eight gun control proposals on his agenda, and the legislature passed seven of them.” [Roanoke Times, 3/7/20] 

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