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Gun Violence Survivor Andy Parker, Virginia Moms Criticize Virginia Governor’s Apparent Willingness to Give in to Gun Lobby’s Efforts to Weaken Commonwealth’s Gun Laws

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia resident Andy Parker, whose daughter Alison was shot and killed on live television in August, and the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today criticized Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe amid reports that he is negotiating with the gun lobby to weaken the Commonwealth’s gun laws.

Just last month, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring strengthened enforcement of existing Virginia law by refusing to recognize out-of-state concealed carry permits from 25 states with laws weaker than Virginia’s. Now, McAuliffe is reportedly on the brink of reversing course – which would endanger Virginians by having different standards for concealed carry permit-holders, a strong one for Virginia residents and weaker standards for everyone else.

STATEMENT FROM ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF MURDERED WDBJ-TV REPORTER ALISON PARKER AND MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK:

“Since my daughter, Alison, was killed on live television in August, I’ve stood by Gov. McAuliffe’s side and applauded his leadership on gun safety – and he has been a friend and source of support for me and my family. That is why if reports are true that he’ll put the gun lobby agenda ahead of the safety of Virginians, I am beyond disappointed,” said Andy Parker, father of murdered WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “Virginia’s concealed carry laws are only as strong as the carry permits that we recognize here. That is why gun violence survivors like my wife, Barbara, and I were so pleased when Attorney General Herring took action to strengthen enforcement of existing Virginia law.

“Gov. McAuliffe should not be willing to recognize concealed carry permits from states where you can get a permit with no safety training, or even if you have a violent criminal record or a stalking conviction – all in exchange for the NRA’s support of watered-down gun safety bills. I urge the Governor to reconsider his plan and to continue deserving his reputation as a gun sense champion.”

STATEMENT FROM JENNIFER HERRERA, VOLUNTEER LEADER FOR THE VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Just this afternoon, more than 250 Moms Demand Action volunteers called the governor’s office to express their outrage at McAuliffe’s reported deal with the NRA.
We are outraged to hear that the Governor may be giving in to the NRA on one of the gun lobby’s highest priorities,” said Jennifer Herrera, the volunteer leader of the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.“Governor McAuliffe has always stood up to keep Virginia families safe from gun violence, and now is not the time to reverse course. If the Governor’s reported “deal” takes place, people from states with virtually non-existent gun safety standards could freely carry hidden, loaded guns here in Virginia. Virginians who get concealed carry permits have to go through training and an extensive safety check, but in many states that’s not the case. I fervently hope that it is not too late for Gov. McAuliffe to stand up to the gun lobby and abandon this dangerous ‘deal.’”

Attorney General Herring’s actions last month ensure that people visiting Virginia are subject to the same safety standards as residents of the Commonwealth, as required by existing Virginia law. A January 2015 report from Everytown for Gun Safety detailed the vast discrepancies in permitting standards in states across the country. It highlights the gun lobby’s efforts to undermine strong state laws by passing federal legislation that forces them to recognize permits from all states.