Moms Demand Action volunteers from across the Commonwealth of Virginia turned out in droves Wednesday to welcome lawmakers, many of them newly elected gun sense champions, on the first day of the 2020 session. Volunteers from places like Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Loudoun county and beyond held more than 70 scheduled meetings with elected officials.
In case you weren’t able to make it to Richmond, here’s what you missed:
Volunteers who attended Wednesday’s advocacy day are available for interviews about what they’re looking for from lawmakers this legislative session.
As a reminder, volunteers spent countless hours making phone calls and canvassing to elect candidates running on a gun safety platform in 2019. On election night, Virginians sent a clear message: the time for common-sense gun safety legislation is now.
Gun safety was the number one issue for voters in Virginia, and in November both chambers flipped to gun sense majorities — even in the NRA’s own backyard. Since then, gun extremists have fueled efforts to create lawless counties, asking officials to disregard their duty to enforce duly enacted and constitutional laws and to ignore the will of Virginians. Policy experts and law enforcement alike have agreed these resolutions hold no legal merit, but most importantly, do not represent the views of responsible gun owners and the majority of Virginians.
Going forward, the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action will prioritize the following gun violence prevention initiatives:
- Background check legislation HB 2, which would require a background check on all firearm sales and close a dangerous loophole that makes it easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers to buy guns.
- Extreme risk legislation HB 674, which would temporarily restrict a person’s access to firearms if a court finds they pose a serious threat of harming themselves or others. 17 states and D.C. currently have extreme risk laws on the books, and the policy has received support from both sides of the aisle.
- Funding for city gun violence prevention, which has already been prioritized in the 2020 budget, which dedicates $2.6 million to city gun violence prevention and intervention programs. The funding would provide support for community-based organizations, nonprofits and municipalities with the resources they need to combat city gun violence. Volunteers will continue to support the proposal as it moves through the legislature for a vote.
In 2020, Virginia lawmakers have a historic opportunity to pass legislation that will save lives. And as yesterday showed, volunteers with Virginia Moms Demand Action will be there every step of the way.
If you have any questions about gun safety legislation this session or would like to speak with a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.