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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Gun Safety Bills Pass Through Both Chambers of Virginia General Assembly Following Tireless Advocacy of Volunteers with Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action

February 21, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – Today, the Virginia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements after House lawmakers passed critical gun safety measures that were previously passed by the Senate earlier this year. Some of the bills that passed through both chambers include bills to prohibit ghost guns and auto sears, require the secure storage of firearms in homes with children or prohibited persons, create a five-day waiting period prior to the completion of firearm sales, hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable when their misconduct harms Virginians, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, among others. Now that these bills have passed both chambers of the General Assembly, they will soon go to Governor Youngkin’s desk. 

“The passage of these gun violence prevention bills today is proof of what happens when we vote gun sense champions into office – they get work done,” said Gretchen Browne, a volunteer with the Virginia Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Every single one of these measures are long overdue and critical to keeping guns out of the hands of anyone who poses a danger to themselves or others. Soon it will be time for Governor Youngkin to decide if he wants to put our safety first by signing these bills into law or continue to prioritize the failing gun lobby’s agenda.” 

“Last fall, Virginia voters made it clear that they want their leaders to enact and strengthen gun safety laws, and they elected the candidates they knew would fight for safer communities,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “The pieces of legislation that passed out of the House today have the potential to save lives, and are now one step away from becoming law thanks to Virginia volunteers working tirelessly to turn good policy into good politics. Once they hit his desk, Governor Youngkin has a responsibility to his constituents to sign these common-sense, popular bills into law.”

Virginia voters proved in the 2023 elections that the gun violence prevention movement is strong, flipping the House to a gunsense majority. Volunteers helped elect nine Moms Demand Action volunteers to the House of Delegates – which means that our Moms Demand Action Volunteers now make up nearly 20% of the new Gun Sense Majority in the Virginia House. 

Pre-election polling from Everytown showed that 80%+ of battleground area voters said a candidate’s position on guns was highly important, and those voters supported strengthening gun laws by more than two to one. Additional polling from earlier this year also demonstrated that 70% of respondents would support legislation that requires gun owners to securely store their firearms, and prohibits ghost guns, both of which are measures now heading to Governor Youngkin’s desk. 

In an average year in Virginia, 1,121 people die by guns and 1,911 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Virginia $14.2 billion each year, of which $288.3 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Virginia is available here.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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