The Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Virginia General Assembly advanced gun safety legislation to require background checks on all gun sales in Virginia. This legislation now heads to the governor’s desk, along with a slate of gun safety bills, including extreme risk legislation.
“Virginia’s lax gun laws have put lives at risk for years, and our communities have paid the price long enough,” said Liz Howley, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s past time the Commonwealth joined the list of states that require a background check on every gun sale, and we look forward to continuing the fight to strengthen Virginia’s gun laws for years to come.”
An Everytown investigation uncovered nearly 1.2 million ads in 2018 alone on the website Armslist for firearm sales that would not legally require a background check. Those ads included 43,558 ads for guns for sale in Virginia.
In November, gun safety was the number one issue for voters in Virginia, and both chambers flipped to gun sense majorities — even in the NRA’s own backyard. Recent polling has continued to show that a bipartisan majority of Virginians favor gun safety laws, with large majorities supporting background checks and red flag laws.
On the first day of the 2020 legislative session, the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action held their annual advocacy day and had more than 70 meetings with lawmakers to show their support. In January, as gun extremists descended on Richmond, Virginia to intimidate lawmakers, Moms Demand Action held a phone bank to support lawmakers who have stood up for common-sense gun safety policies. More than 100 volunteers with Moms Demand Action from Virginia and 23 states made nearly 3,000 calls that day alone.