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Background check: U.S. DOJ codifies changes in legislation, closes gun show loophole

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A new rule by the U.S. Department of Justice codifies changes outlined in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to close the gun show loophole that has permitted the sale of firearms online and at gun shows without background checks.

Virginia Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine voted in favor of the legislation and applauded the new rule today.  

“When we passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we secured long overdue, broadly popular provisions to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” Warner said. “I’m glad to see this law take another concrete step forward and close a loophole that allowed some individuals to attain firearms without a background check. This is another key step forward to preventing needless violence and making our communities safer, and I look forward to continuing to watch this law enact commonsense provisions that promote public safety and passing additional laws that address the tragic and deadly gun violence epidemic.”

Warner and Kaine have long supported a comprehensive approach to curbing gun violence. They introduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence — a bill based on commonsense measures adopted by Virginia, including the closure of the gun show loophole and other background check loopholes, better safeguards for victims of domestic violence and incentives for states to implement Extreme Risk Protection Orders to remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others. They are also cosponsors of legislation to ban assault weapons and are consistent advocates for improved access to mental health services. 

“Virginia has a lot of scar tissue related to gun violence, and we have a responsibility to do all that we can to reduce the risk of future tragedies,” Kaine said. “Requiring background checks for purchasers of firearms is a commonsense step in the right direction, and I’m proud to have helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that made this progress possible. I will continue to do all that I can to build on this move to make our communities safer.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.