House Republicans reject legislation to disarm stalkers, domestic abusers

state-capitol2Despite riveting testimony from a woman who was shot five times by her abusive husband, a Virginia House committee today refused to take common-sense steps to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals who have been convicted of crimes including domestic violence, sexual battery and stalking.

“This is a great day for anyone who beats up their spouses and children and can now rest assured that the Virginia legislature is protecting their right to remain armed and dangerous,” said Lori Haas, Virginia State Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws (VRGL).

The House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 rejected several pieces of gun-related legislation, includingHB 2085, which sought to prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, sexual battery, and stalking from purchasing and possessing firearms.

HB 2085 was also supported by the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Alliance.

At today’s hearing, House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 also voted down HB 1904, which would have made it a class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly authorize a child between the ages of 0-4 to use a firearm and; HB 1923, which would have required background checks on all private sales of firearms with an exemption for immediate family members.

The members of the subcommittee are Matthew Fariss (R-59th), Todd Gilbert (R-15th), Roslyn Tyler (D-75th), Michael Webert (R-18th) and Chair Thomas Wright (R-61st).

The companion bill to HB 2085, SB 943, was approved by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee yesterday and will soon be considered by the full Senate.

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