Republican senators on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated several proposals to reduce gun violence on a party-line vote on Friday. These measures were all backed by substantial majorities of Virginians in recent opinion polls.
Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) said, “This is most unusual. The Republicans decided to hear every piece of gun-related legislation on a single day at an unscheduled committee meeting at an irregular time. It’s clear what the Republican agenda is: get rid of commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence when the public isn’t looking.”
Rejected: Universal Background Checks
Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), Democratic Caucus Chair, said, “I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues failed to support this commonsense measure to prevent terrorists, felons, or the mentally ill from obtaining dangerous weapons. Fixing background checks to include the sale of all firearms is supported by the evidence, law enforcement, and a majority of Virginians. Rejecting this measure flies in the face of mainstream opinion of both citizens and public safety officials. In light of the mass gun violence in the past year, this is the least we can do to prevent future tragedies.”
Rejected: Giving Localities Increased Flexibility
Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), Democratic Leader, said, “Localities currently don’t have any control over firearms on their property. This is just common sense: giving municipalities the ability to make their own rules about guns on property they own. I know the localities I represent need this flexibility.”
Rejected: Magazine Size Limit
Senator McEachin said, “Virginia Republicans are so far out of the mainstream they can’t even accept limiting the high-capacity magazines manufactured for just one purpose: killing people. Hunters don’t need super-high-capacity magazines to bring down a deer.”