It took way too long for this and way too many families grieving loved ones lost due to gun violence. The day is finally here, and we have passed a bill to require universal background checks for all gun purchases in Virginia. The law went into effect on July 1, and it will go far towards ensuring that our communities won’t have to live in fear of gun violence ravaging their communities.
94% of Virginia voters support universal background checks. Because voters demanded action and voted for legislators who shared their values, we finally did it. When Connecticut passed a similar law requiring handgun background checks for a purchase permit at the point of sale, the state experienced a 40% reduction in gun homicide and a 15% reduction in gun suicide rate. Hopefully, Virginia will follow in their footsteps!
While this is a great victory, and we should absolutely take some time to celebrate our win, we still have work to do. Just because we passed universal background checks doesn’t mean that gun violence is over in Virginia. We need to keep working until everyone has the opportunity to live and work in a thriving community without fear of gun violence. Together, we can ensure that powerful special interest groups like the NRA and the politicians who support them like Delegate Todd Gilbert and Senator Tommy Norment aren’t able to undo our hard work.
That starts by pledging to vote for candidates who support common sense gun violence prevention measures in the elections on November 3. Then sign up for our email list to stay informed about how you can take action to prevent gun violence in our communities.
Check out our other bills highlighted in Progress Virginia’s Christmas in July: