Richmond (January 21, 2019) — House Democrats joined survivors and advocates to mourn the lives lost to gun violence at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence’s 27th annual vigil today. The vigil is held, fittingly, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day each year; Dr. King advocated for non-violence and was himself the victim of gun violence.
“The vigil on gun violence is an important opportunity to gather in grief for the victims and their families, and to share our collective desire for solutions to this public health crisis,” said Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, Leader of the House Democratic Caucus and Co-Chair of the Safe Virginia Initiative. “Today we remember the lives lost to gun violence, including Dr. King’s, but we continue to fight every day for common-sense legislation that will prevent more Virginians from becoming victims.”
During the 2018 General Assembly session, House Democrats organized the Safe Virginia Initiative to comprehensively address gun violence, including suicide, domestic abuse, and school shootings, among other issues. Throughout 2018, the Safe Virginia Initiative held town halls across the Commonwealth to hear community concerns and experiences. SVI members then compiled the collective feedback in a final report with policy recommendations.
House Democrats introduced a slate of gun safety bills this year, including legislation resulting from the Safe Virginia Initiative. While most failed in a single subcommittee hearing on January 17, there are several key bills that remain before the House of Delegates.
“We are hopeful that the House of Delegates will give these gun violence prevention bills the consideration they deserve,” continued Leader Filler-Corn. “Simply put, this legislation could save lives, while respecting the opportunity for law-abiding Virginians to responsibly own firearms.”
The following gun safety legislation, introduced by House Democrats, remains before the House of Delegates:
- HB1899 (Bell) – Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence [referred to Militia, Police and Public Safety]
- HB2206 (Filler-Corn) – Sales tax exemption; gun safes [referred to Finance]
- HB2504 (Murphy) – Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalties [referred to Courts of Justice]
- HB2777 (Herring) – DCJS; powers and duties, establishment of guidelines for the surrender of firearms [referred to Militia, Police and Public Safety]
- HB2797 (Filler-Corn) – Increases the age to purchase semi automatic assault style weapons to 21 [referred to Militia, Police and Public Safety]
The following bills failed in a Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee hearing on January 17 in party-line votes:
- HB1644 (Bourne) –Firearms; reporting when lost or stolen, civil penalty.
- HB2399 (Lopez) – Firearms; transfer, criminal history record check delay.
- HB1992 (Price) – Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings.
- HB1654 (Rasoul) –Prohibited public carrying of certain firearms in public areas; penalty.
- HB1763 (Sullivan) –Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk of injury to himself, etc., penalties.
- HB1956 (Toscano) – Firearms, etc.; permitted events.
- HB1957 (Toscano) – Children in need of services; disposition, certification by parent that firearms are secure.
- HB2492 (Tran) – Prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines and firearms; penalties.
- HB2604 (Ward) – Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
- HB2244 (Sullivan) – Possession or transportation of firearms following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes.
- HB2285 (Hayes) – Allowing access to firearms by minors; penalty.
- HB2479 (Plum) –Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty.
- HB1856 (McQuinn) –Firearms; libraries owned or operated by localities.
- HB1691 (Simon) – Manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of undetectable firearms; penalty.