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 passed a slate of gun safety bills, including extreme risk legislation, which would empower law enforcement to seek extreme risk protection orders when an individual exhibits dangerous warning signs. The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk for signing.
“The overwhelming majority of gun deaths in the Commonwealth are from gun suicide, and an extreme risk law can help change that,” said Robyn Sordelett, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Giving law enforcement a way to temporarily remove guns from people who pose a risk to themselves or others saves lives. After years of tireless work from so many people across Virginia, we’re thrilled to see this head to the governor’s desk.”
In Virgina, there are 14 hours between gun suicide deaths. Extreme risk laws have been shown to be an effective tool in reducing gun suicides. On Tuesday, New Mexico became the most recent state to enact extreme risk legislation; 18 states and the District of Columbia have now enacted extreme risk laws.
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.