Richmond, Virginia—Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox should follow Congressman Rob Wittman’s lead and change his stance on background checks for gun purchases. In the wake of shootings in Dayton, OH, El Paso, TX and most recently in Philadelphia, PA, Virginia voters are screaming for legislators to stop sending thoughts and prayers and take action to pass legislation. We need representatives who are willing to respond to their constituents and take action, but so far Kirk Cox has refused to do anything to combat tragic instances of gun violence.
“No one should have to live in fear that going to work, school, worship, or play will end in tragedy because of gun violence. But that’s the world we live in right now, and Republicans in the General Assembly like Speaker Cox have refused to act,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia said. “Speaker Cox should follow Congressman Wittman’s lead and find a path forward for reasonable gun safety measures like comprehensive background checks in the wake of these horrible tragedies that happen nearly every day in our country. Voters are sick and tired of Republican inaction, and if they don’t pass commonsense bills like universal background checks for gun purchases, we will vote for representatives who will.”
Speaker Cox adjourned the Gun Violence Prevention Special Session without taking any votes after just 90 minutes. Instead of doing his job, he punted the bills to the toothless Crime Commission, which is dominated by gun lobby-affiliated conservatives. The commission will meet next week to hear presentations and make recommendations on legislation.
- 94% of Virginia voters support requiring background checks for all gun buyers, with 90% of Republican voters supporting the measure.
- Gun violence claims the lives of 958 Virginia residents each year.
- Someone is killed with a gun every 9 hours in the Commonwealth.
- Black people are disproportionately affected by gun violence in the United States. Black men are 13 times more likely than non-Hispanic white men to be shot and killed with guns. The gun death rate for Black children and teens was nearly four times that for white children and teens.
- Currently, Virginia law does not require: