Virginia House Democrats unveiled policy proposals Monday aimed at curbing gun violence. The move comes days after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outlined his own gun safety measures.
Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox formed a bipartisan committee on school safety last year, in response to the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But it focused on security and emergency preparedness, not guns. So, frustrated House Democrats created the “Safe Virginia Initiative.”
“Overall we recognized that guns are the issue,” said co-chair Delegate Kathleen Murphy. “Guns are the issue. Guns in the wrong hands are the problem.”
Members of the initiative held six town halls across the state to here community concerns and suggestions for combating gun violence. The proposed measures include reinstating Virginia’s one-handgun purchase per month law, requiring universal background checks and enacting special protective orders to prevent people at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms.
The full list of policy recommendations can be found here.
Many of the same proposals failed previously in Virginia’s Republican-controlled General Assembly.
House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn says this year will be different. “We can show you that the bills that we’re introducing are not focused on taking anyone’s guns away,” Filler-Corn said. “These are common sense measures that are needed and are called for.”