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 in applauding the Virginia Senate for passing important bipartisan legislation that would put a renewed emphasis on tackling gun violence on the state level. The bill, SB 487, would create the Virginia Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention within the state government that would focus on strengthening the state’s efforts to reduce gun violence through research and data collection, partnerships with state public health agencies, providing support for and guidance to community-based violence intervention programs, and trainings and best practices for localities, community groups and law enforcement officials. The bill will now go to the House of Delegates for consideration.
“It takes a whole-of-government approach in Virginia to effectively and meaningfully address the gun violence crisis, and this bill is a transformative step to bolster those efforts,” said Joy McManus, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are very pleased to see the Senate take bipartisan action to pass this important bill, and we urge the House of Delegates to do the same.”
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.