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Virginia receives a D for gun safety laws

giffordsGiffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released the latest edition of its Annual Gun Law Scorecard, which grades and ranks each state on its gun laws, and gave Virginia a grade of D.

This comprehensive, 50-state analysis clearly shows fewer people die from gun violence in states with strong gun laws. In response to rising rates of gun violence in America, public demands for action intensified last year and as a result, many states passed gun safety measures, which improved their scores—some for the first time since Giffords Law Center began conducting this analysis in 2010.

Virginia did not enact any significant new gun laws in 2018. Though the state’s gun laws could be much stronger, Virginia does regulate gun shows and require employees of federally licensed firearms dealers to undergo background checks. To strengthen its D grade, Virginia should pass universal background checks, require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms, and enact an extreme risk protection order law.

  • Website: Learn more about Virginia’s ranking by visiting this year’s Scorecard.
  • Factsheet: Read more about how gun violence impacts Virginia.

“America’s devastating gun violence epidemic is growing and impacting every part of our country because too many lawmakers would rather wish it away than acknowledge their role in advancing solutions to make our communities safer,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “This public safety threat needs to be addressed with facts, evidence, and action. We’ve proven that lawmakers can save lives, reduce violence, and make their states safer by following a simple blueprint: pass gun violence prevention laws. Every year, our scorecard is a reminder to states that progress is possible, but also a reminder of the work we have left to accomplish. The Gun Law Scorecard should be both a resource and roadmap for elected leaders, activists, and concerned citizens to take action.”

In 2017, 109 people died each day from gun violence, resulting in almost 40,000 total gun deaths. This represents the third straight year of rising gun deaths. The Annual Gun Law Scorecard highlights the opportunity states have to reverse these numbers. Strengthening background checks, implementing child access prevention laws, passing extreme risk protection order laws, and banning military style-weapons are all policies that can reverse the growing gun death rate.

augusta free press
augusta free press