The Virginia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee for defeating four bills meant to repeal the significant gun safety reforms passed by the legislature in 2020. The bills would have reopened the Charleston Loophole, ended the requirement that a person promptly report a lost or stolen firearm to authorities, rolled back the state’s extreme risk protection law, which allows law enforcement to temporarily prevent people in crisis from accessing firearms, and stripped the authority away from localities to prohibit guns in sensitive places. Volunteers drove more than a 100 emails to lawmakers urging them to halt the bills.
“The Virginia Senate has heeded our call and taken action to preserve meaningful, common sense gun safety laws that are keeping Virginians across the Commonwealth safe,” said Amber Bowmer, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These repeals would have bulldozed years of progress in the gun violence prevention movement in the interest of the gun lobby’s ‘guns everywhere’ agenda. We are grateful to our lawmakers for standing up to these unfortunate attempts to put our communities at risk.”
The laws that were in jeopardy of repeal have been widely relied upon in the years since their enactment. For instance, since a gun sense majority in Richmond empowered cities and towns across Virginia to pass gun safety ordinances in July 2020, 16 localities — home to over 2.8 million Virginians — passed local ordinances to prohibit guns in sensitive places.
In an average year, 1,065 people die by guns in Virginia, and 2,050 more are wounded. Gun violence costs Virginia $7.1 billion each year, of which $292.5 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Virginia is available here.