Marsden introduces gun-control bills
State Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax) announced legislation to promote gun owner responsibility. Together, the two bills will make it substantially harder for criminals or the mentally ill to obtain the type of dangerous weapons used to commit mass killings in Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn., and countless other American cities.
“Gun ownership is a constitutional right, and responsible gun ownership can save lives. Irresponsible ownership can lead to needless deaths. Gun owners have a special responsibility to secure their firearms from mentally unstable individuals due to the potential those weapons have to harm others,” said Marsden.
The first bill, the Gun Owners Responsibility and Accountability Act, will make gun owners civilly liable if their guns are used in the commission of a crime and they failed to take adequate care and control to prevent the theft.
The second bill will set a $250 penalty for failing to report the theft of one’s gun.
“Every single gun owner needs to take personal responsibility and follow basic safety measures to protect their property from misuse by criminals or the mentally ill. We’ve all seen how even a single irresponsible gun owner can enable a chain of events that leads to horrific casualties,” said Marsden.
“Responsible gun owners, who use basic precautions like trigger locks or gun safes to safely secure their firearms, will not be affected by these proposals,” he added.
Marsden is also joining Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) in an effort to close the “gun show loophole,” which allows the purchase of guns without a background check at gun shows in Virginia.
Howell said, “Every responsible Virginian agrees that we have to keep guns far away from those with mental illness or a history of violence. Yet, in Virginia, there is a gaping hole in requirements for background checks. Anyone can purchase all types of firearms — including assault weapons — at gun shows and avoid going through the instant background check process. This must end.”
“I look forward to working with Sen. Marsden to close the gun show loophole and make it harder for people to commit violent crimes. Together, we can work to stop this tide of senseless gun violence,” added Howell.