RICHMOND (WRIC) – There's an outpouring of support for a Senate bill prohibiting anyone convicted of misdemeanor stalking, sexual battery or domestic violence from owning a firearm for five years.
This proposal passed in the Senate, but it was tabled in a house subcommittee on Friday.
Moms across Virginia say they won't take no for an answer.
The group moms demand action for gun sense in America flood the general assembly building holding what's called a stroller jam.
With their kids in tow, these women lobby for legislation protecting domestic violence victims like Lisette Johnson, a Midlothian mother herself, who was shot several times by her husband in 2009, before he took his own life.
"I feel very strongly that there is a pattern that is demonstrated in domestic violence and that pattern has been proven to escalate over time," Johnson says.
"Taking guns away from folks who have demonstrated violent behavior would make sense," says bill sponsor Sen. Barbara Favola. "I believe it does respect owner's rights but it also respects the rights of women and families to be safe."
But the Virginia Citizens Defense League says a measure like this is never the answer in cases where the court system has already spoken.
"We're trying to make sure that the concept that a misdemeanor taking away rights never catch hold," says Philip Van Cleave. "A misdemeanor by definition, a minor crime was never meant to take away rights, civil rights, and gun rights are one of those."
These moms know there's opposition but also know staying silent could mean more lost lives.
"I can't change my story but this bill could change many people's stories," Johnson says.
Favola says Virginia can't afford not to take action, quoting research on domestic violence what shows four thousand women are killed every year, with those in homes with a gun more than seven times at risk.
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