VA Senators Kaine and Warner reintroduce legislation to reduce gun violence

Politics

CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are reintroducing their Virginia Plan to reduce gun violence.

“The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act” has been introduced to enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures adopted by the Commonwealth last year. According to the Senators, this bill will include provisions to close current background check loopholes, mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms, prevent children from accessing firearms, and implement a one-handgun-a-month policy.

Sen. Tim Kaine said, “These are laws that are generally designed to keep the hands out of people who pose a danger to themselves and others, and who have been determined by law to be prohibited from having a weapon, at least for a temporary period of time. For some instances because of egregious behavior for longer than that. Mark and I have the feeling if we can do it in Virginia we can do it in Congress.”

The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2021 builds on Virginia’s 2020 commonsense framework to reduce gun violence by including the following provisions:         

  • Universal Background Checks: Closes loopholes in existing federal law by requiring background checks on all firearm sales and transfers, with exemptions for certain family members, law enforcement officers, servicemembers, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.
  • One-Handgun-a-Month: Limits purchases of handguns to one per month to curtail the stockpiling and trafficking of firearms.
  • Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms: Requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency within 48 hours. State and local law enforcement agencies would be directed to report data collected to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
  • Preventing Firearm Access to Minors: Promotes responsible gun ownership and safe storage practices by holding individuals liable for leaving a loaded, unsecured gun in the presence of a minor.
  • Protection Order Prohibitions: Strengthens safeguards for victims of domestic violence by closing the “boyfriend loophole,” which currently allows abusive non-spousal partners to possess firearms, and expands firearms laws to prohibit persons convicted of dating violence or stalking from possessing firearms.
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Establishes a federal extreme risk protection order process to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others and incentivizes states to implement their own extreme risk protection laws and court protocols.

Both senators said they have seen the consequences of gun violence in the tragedies of Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, and the countless drive-by shootings.

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