RICHMOND, Va. – Today, Virginians Andy and Barbara Parker, whose daughter Alison was shot and killed on live television in August, other Virginia gun violence survivors and members of the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America delivered to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office the signatures of more than 3,000 Virginians opposed to his deal with the gun lobby announced last week – and urged the governor to reconsider it. A fact sheet on how rolling back the Commonwealth’s concealed carry law would undermine Virginia’s safety is available here.
Since last Friday, the Everytown Survivor Network and Virginia Moms Demand Action, along with partners CREDO and CeaseFirePA, have collected the more than 3,000 signatures from Virginians that piggyback on an open letter 20 Virginia gun violence survivors sent to McAuliffe last Friday (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.”
The Everytown Survivor Network and Moms Demand Action petition can be viewed here and the CREDO petition is available here. In addition, more than 1,000 people have called the governor’s office to ask him to reconsider the deal.
STATEMENT FROM ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF MURDERED WDBJ-TV REPORTER ALISON PARKER AND MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK:
“Governor McAuliffe has been a true friend to me in my darkest hours, but his deal with the gun lobby is a giveaway,” said Andy Parker, father or murdered WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “Unfortunately, survivors like myself and gun safety advocates had no chance to weigh in before this deal was struck. If this had been a real compromise, the Governor would have included folks like the ones here today in his negotiations. If this had been a true compromise, he might have come to understand that this bad deal could have implications well beyond the borders of this Commonwealth. This deal is bad for the Commonwealth and our country. I implore the governor, my friend, to reconsider.”
STATEMENT FROM REBECCA CAFFREY, VOLUNTEER WITH THE VIRGINIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Virginians understand that people seeking to carry a concealed weapon should have to go through training and an extensive safety check before getting permitted,” said Rebecca Caffrey, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That’s why our permit system works. But other states are different, with some having virtually no standards whatsoever. As a mom, a small business owner and a Virginian, I urge the governor to go back to the drawing board on this deal. Virginia should not allow people with permits from every single state that has a permitting system to carry hidden, loaded guns here in Virginia. That’s a terrible idea.”
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. In a deal with the gun lobby, McAuliffe has undone that action. What’s more, his “deal” opens Virginia’s doors to people with permits from every state that offers them – allowing dangerous criminals to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public in the Commonwealth. This endangers Virginians because other states have weaker standards for concealed carry permits than Virginia does. This deal also makes it easy for Virginians to end-run Commonwealth gun safety laws by getting permits from states with virtually non-existent standards. More details on this proposal are available here.
Attorney General Herring’s actions last month ensured 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 states to recognize permits from all other states.