Home Ken Plum: Debatable gun safety deal
Local

Ken Plum: Debatable gun safety deal

Contributors

ken plumOpponents of legislation to prevent gun violence have said for years that current laws on the books should be enforced before new laws were passed, but they quickly changed their minds when Attorney General Mark Herring moved to enforce Virginia’s law on recognizing concealed weapon permits from other states. At least 25 states have standards for allowing concealed weapons that are less stringent than Virginia, and his ruling would have ended reciprocity with these states.

Representatives of the National Rifle Association (NRA) came to the McAuliffe administration to offer concessions on other gun safety proposals if reciprocity with other states could be reestablished. The gun advocates agreed that they would drop their opposition to voluntary background checks and to taking guns from those for whom a permanent protective order had been issued if reciprocity was restored. This so-called “deal” between the McAuliffe administration and the NRA will continue to be argued as to who was the winner. The legislation to effect the compromise will be debated by the legislature in the coming weeks. I expect to vote for the voluntary background check bill; even though it is limited, it is at least a small step forward. A subcommittee of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee defeated my bill that would have closed the gun show loophole by requiring a background check for all gun sales at gun shows. Under the compromise bill a state police officer will be at all gun shows to do a voluntary background check on sales that do not include a licensed gun show dealer. I will also vote for the bill that will take guns from those against whom a permanent protective order has been issued. While this bill is part of the deal, it needs to be expanded to include temporary and emergency protective orders.

I will not vote for a bill that surrenders Virginia’s right to set its own standards for issuing concealed weapon permits. While the NRA clearly favors expanded concealed weapon laws across the states, I do not think it is in the best public safety interest to recognize concealed weapon permits from states with limited standards including those that will issue such permits to convicted felons. I commend Attorney General Mark Herring for the courageous position he has taken on this issue, and I will continue to support him.

Working together across party lines is important to the legislative process. The deal before the General Assembly on preventing gun violence has been described as a small, modest improvement. As I made clear in a speech on the floor of the House of Delegates, I view this as just a beginning. As the advocates with whom I participate in a vigil at NRA headquarters on the 14th of every month–the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings–make clear, we will not forget, and we will continue to work for more common sense gun safety measures.

Ken Plum is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Contributors

Contributors

Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

missing person
Local

Police: Charlottesville family concerned about 23-year-old man last seen in May

college world series
Sports

Live Coverage: UVA, UNC tied at 1-1 in the fourth in 2024 College World Series opener

UVA (46-15), the #12 national seed, faces North Carolina (47-14), the #4 national seed, in the opening game of the 2024 College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.

elijah gertrude
Sports

Breaking News: UVA finally confirms Elijah Gertrude out for 2024-2025 season

It’s finally official: UVA Basketball announced Friday, in a conveniently timed news dump, with the focus of the UVA Athletics fan base on the College World Series, that Elijah Gertrude is out for the season after a scooter accident on April 30.

family concept two boys IVF twins
Health, Politics, U.S. & World News

‘How dare you?’: Senate Republicans reject legislation to protect IVF access

woman inside her home with hand fan
U.S. & World News

Beating the extreme heat: Funds available for AC for families in public housing

richard sanders and weapons seized
Local

Charlottesville: Man arrested with machine gun in Tonsler Park

road work
Local

Traffic alert: Travel lane shifts in Harrisonburg on westbound Route 33 begin June 18