Senate Democrats push gun bills

state-capitol2The Virginia Senate on Friday passed two Democratic bills that would curb gun violence. Both measures passed on a bipartisan vote, with strong Democratic support and several Republicans voting in favor.

SB 65, introduced by Senator Henry L. Marsh (D – Richmond), would prohibit random or non-targeted gunfire in populated areas, and is designed to reduce deaths and injuries from stray bullets. Senator Marsh introduced SB 65, also called “Brendon’s Law,” in response to the death of Brendon Mackey, a Midlothian child killed by a stray bullet on the fourth of July last year.

“The death of 7-year-old Brendon Mackey was a sad and horrible reminder that what goes up must come down,” said Senator Marsh. “State and local law enforcement officials testified that hundreds of man-hours were used addressing complaints due to celebratory gunfire around holidays. By preventing celebratory gunfire, we can help prevent more injuries and deaths due to stray bullets.”

SB 510, introduced by Senator Barbara Favola (D – Arlington), would prohibit those convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member from buying or owning a firearm for five years from the date of conviction.

Women are nearly six times more likely to be shot by their husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners than by male strangers, and a woman’s chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than seven times if he has access to a gun.

On the bill’s passage, Senator Favola said, “I’m glad my colleagues have chosen to help curb violent crime and keep women safe. Keeping guns out of the hands of violent and potentially violent criminals is an obvious, common-sense way to prevent additional harm.”


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