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Virtual vigil will highlight continued efforts to prevent gun violence

virginia state capitol
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The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and partner groups are holding a virtual vigil on Monday to highlight continued efforts to stem the epidemic of gun violence.

This as gun rights groups plan to descend on the State Capitol to reprise, amid social distancing restrictions, a 2020 Lobby Day event that drew more than 20,000 people to Richmond in a show of political force.

The virtual vigil, taking place on Monday, which is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, will honor the memory of the civil rights leader, who was killed by an assassin in 1968.

The vigil is slated to begin at 1:15 p.m., and will feature remarks from Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and members from the coalition, including Pastor Dr. Emanuel C. Harris, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Richmond and Vicinity.

Attendeeds are required to register online. Registration is available here.

“Virginia loses on average 1,000 lives a year due to senseless gun violence,” said Lori Haas, Virginia state director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, whose daughter was shot in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

“Gun violence is an epidemic here in the Commonwealth and across the nation, which we must work to end through common-sense firearm laws that protect people and save lives,” Haas said. “Virginia made incredible strides in 2020, and with armed insurrectionism and intimidation at a terrifying peak nationwide right now, it’s critical that we raise our voices to speak up for a safer state and country.”

Update: Gun violence prevention bills in the hopper in 2021

Some of the bills that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is following as they are developed and make their way through the Virginia General Assembly:

  • prohibit guns at polling places, the capitol grounds and in state buildings in order to protect our right to vote, legislate and assemble without the threat of armed intimidation.
  • prohibit firearm possession by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.
  • ban the possession of ghost guns, or untraceable firearms.
  • ensure police accountability by allowing citizens to bring civil action for certain police behaviors.
  • repeal mandatory minimum sentences.
  • provide a path to automatic restoration of civil rights for returning citizens.
  • hrough a clean slate bill, allow persons to apply for jobs, housing, etc. without fear that a prior conviction will negatively impact their opportunities.

augusta free press
augusta free press