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Youngkin on the clock to sign gun safety bills passed by both Virginia chambers

Crystal Graham
glenn youngkin
(© lev radin – Shutterstock)

Lawmakers in Richmond have passed critical gun safety measures in the House and Senate. Now, it’s up to Virginia’s governor to sign off on the bills.

In an average year in Virginia, 1,121 people die by guns and 1,911 people are wounded. More than 70 percent of people in a recent poll said they would support gun safety measures including safe storage of firearms and prohibiting ghost guns.

The bills that passed through both chambers will:

  • Prohibit ghost guns and auto sears
  • Require the secure storage of firearms in homes with children or prohibited persons
  • Create a five-day waiting period prior to the completion of firearms sales
  • Hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable when their misconduct harms Virginians
  • Keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers

With the passage of the bills in both chambers of the General Assembly, the bills will now go to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk.

“The passage of these gun violence prevention bills today is proof of what happens when we vote gun-sense champions into office – they get work done,” said Gretchen Browne, a volunteer with the Virginia Chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network. “Every single one of these measures are long overdue and critical to keeping guns out of the hands of anyone who poses a danger to themselves or others.

“Soon it will be time for Governor Youngkin to decide if he wants to put our safety first by signing these bills into law or continue to prioritize the failing gun lobby’s agenda.”

Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action, said Virginia voters made it clear that they want their leaders to strengthen gun safety laws.

“The pieces of legislation that passed out of the House today have the potential to save lives, and are now one step away from becoming law thanks to Virginia volunteers working tirelessly to turn good policy into good politics,” said Ferrell-Zabala. “Once they hit his desk, Governor Youngkin has a responsibility to his constituents to sign these common-sense, popular bills into law.”

In the 2023 election, nine Moms Demand Actions volunteers were elected to the House of Delegates.

‘Rally for a Safer Virginia’ planned for Saturday

Virginia Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers will gather for a rally in Richmond on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Advocates for gun violence prevention from across Virginia will attend the “Rally for a Safer Virginia” to show support for the gun-safety bills passed in both Chambers of the General Assembly.

The advocates are calling on Gov. Glenn Youngkin to prioritize the safety of Virginians and sign the bills into law.

A number of legislators and coalitions are expected to be present at the rally including:

  • Sen. Jennifer Boysko
  • Del. Marcus Simon
  • Del. Mike Jones
  • Shannon Taylor, Henrico Commonwealth Attorney
  • Rev. Emanuel Harris, former president of the Central Virginia Baptist Ministers Conference
  • LaKeisha Cook, board member of the Virginia Interfaith Center
  • Brigette Russell, a survivor of gun violence and volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action
  • Shantell Rock, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action
  • Blue Ridge Coalition Against Gun Violence
  • Charlottesville Citizens Against Gun Violence
  • Concerned Citizens Against Gun Violence
  • Virginia Center for Public Safety
  • Virginia Gun Violence Prevention Coalition
  • Virginia Interfaith Center
  • Virginia NAACP
  • Brady United
  • Team Enough
  • Moms Demand Action
  • Students Demand Action
  • Giffords Gun Owners for Safety

The rally will be held at the bell tower at the Virginia State Capitol at 101 N. 9th St. in Richmond.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.