NEW YORK – As the Virginia legislature today gave final passage to a legislative package proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and the gun lobby, the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to the legislation’s dangerous shortcomings.
Senate Bill 610 opens Virginia’s doors to people with concealed carry permits from every state that offers them. Most other states have weaker standards for concealed carry permits than Virginia does – and this bill allows dangerous criminals and people with no safety training to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public in the Commonwealth. Additionally, the measure also makes it easier for Virginians to end-run Commonwealth gun safety laws by getting permits from states with virtually non-existent standards. A fact sheet on SB 610 is available here.
What’s more, Senate Bill 49 and House Bill 1391, while aiming to keep victims of domestic abuse safe, leave a dangerous loophole intact by omitting language that would explicitly require domestic abusers to actually surrender their firearms and setting forth a process for surrender. A fact sheet on SB 49 and HB 1391 is available here.
STATEMENT FROM JENNIFER HERRERA, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER, VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA
“Governor McAuliffe let his constituents down, striking a deal with the NRA that will allow concealed carry permit-holders from across the country to avoid Virginia’s laws on who can carry hidden, loaded weapons in the commonwealth. Virginia has long had strong safety standards that this deal will gut, which is flat-out dangerous for our state. This deal declares that concealed-carry standards just don’t matter. It was a give-away to the gun lobby, and as a mother and a Virginian, I expect more from my leaders – and once again urge Governor McAuliffe to veto the concealed carry bill.”
Since Governor McAuliffe announced his deal in January, the Everytown Survivor Network and Virginia Moms Demand Action, along with partners CREDO and CeaseFirePA, collected the more than 3,000 signatures from Virginians that piggybacked on an open letter that 20 Virginia gun violence survivors sent to McAuliffe (available here) stating that “this deal is a dangerous rollback that puts public safety at risk” and asking him to “reconsider and continue to be a leader in Virginia on this important issue.” Additionally, the governor received more than 1,000 calls and postcards signed by nearly 29,000 people in opposition to the deal. The groups also ran social media and print ads urging the governor to reconsider the deal.