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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Condemn Failure of Virginia House Republicans to Advance Life-Saving Gun Safety Bills

January 27, 2023

The Virginia House Public Safety Subcommittee Voted Against Bills to Strengthen Secure Storage Laws In Homes, Disarm Domestic Abusers, and Prohibit Assault Weapons, Require Microstamping of Firearms 

The Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement condemning the failure of the Virginia House Public Safety Subcommittee to advance gun safety legislation yesterday evening that would require firearms to be securely stored in homes when a minor is present, add new safeguards to disarm domestic abusers, help solve gun crimes and prevent gun trafficking by requiring firearms to be microstamped, and prohibit assault weapons. 

“Lawmakers continue to do political acrobatics, take orders from a gun industry that continues to rake in billions of dollars as it continues to fuel a public health crisis,” said Therése Addington, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Meanwhile this week, in less than 48 hours, our country experienced back to back shootings in California that killed 18 people and wounded at least 10 others, and in our own backyard we continue to grapple with the failures across the board that led to a six year old accessing a gun, shooting, and seriously wounding his teacher — what will it take for our lawmakers to respond?”

Moms Demand Action volunteers have been on the frontlines, advocating for gun safety at the statehouse. During their Advocacy Day earlier this month, they met with lawmakers to find common ground to get these bills passed and have been testifying at hearings. The chapter applauds the swift and courageous action that the Senate Judiciary and Transportation Committees took in advancing their bills earlier this week and looks forward to continuing to move the needle forward on gun safety. 

Although gun lobby allies are blocking progress on gun safety this session, gun safety advocates have come incredibly far in the fight against gun violence throughout the Commonwealth — especially as they celebrate the 10 years of life-saving work of Moms Demand Action. After helping to flip the state legislature, in 2019, volunteers in Virginia secured major legislative and electoral wins for gun safety including background checks on all gun sales and prohibiting guns in sensitive locations like Capitol Square and polling places. They have also worked to give local governments the power to decide if they want to prohibit guns in government buildings and at permitted events. As of now, 17 localities covering 2.8 million Virginians have enacted such ordinances – ordinances which could have helped to prevent the armed extremist attack in Charlottesville in 2017.

Moms Demand Action volunteers also had major success this past election cycle — across the country 150 Moms Demand Action volunteers won their race for office. In Virginia, volunteers hosted four weekends of action, canvassed, phonebanked, sent texts and postcards to help elect four gun sense candidates to the House of Representatives despite – being in the NRA’s backyard and having a Governor that continues to make decisions that put politics over the safety of our communities. 

In an average year, 1,065 people die by guns in Virginia, and 1,911 more are wounded. Gun violence costs Virginia $14.2 billion each year, of which $288.3 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Virginia is available here

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