Richmond, Virginia—Republican members of the House Public Safety Subcommittee #1 recommended rejecting several bills today that would save lives due to gun violence. SB1382, sponsored by Senator Creigh Deeds, would have banned assault rifles, a weapon that is commonly used in mass shootings. SB1139, sponsored by Senator Jennifer Boysko, would simply require that people who have guns in homes they share with children have to store their guns in locked containers. This commonsense bill might have prevented the recent shooting of a teacher by a student at Richneck Elementary.
“It is appalling that Republicans would reject commonsense gun violence prevention bills that could literally save lives. Everyone should have the opportunity to live and work in a thriving community without fear of gun violence. But with Republicans like Delegate Nick Freitas and Speaker Todd Gilbert in charge, special interests like the NRA’s lobbyists get whatever they want,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “No one should live in fear of going to work, school, the movie theater, or the grocery store. We must come together with responsible gun owners and families in our community to make sure we keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who mean harm.”
The subcommittee recommended rejecting both SB1382 and SB1139. The bills will be heard in the full committee, but it would be very unlikely that the full committee would reject the subcommittee’s recommendation.
- In the 40 days of 2023 so far, there have been 63 mass shootings nationwide.
- In 2017, Virginia had the 32nd highest gun death rate among the states, with a gun death rate of 11.9 gun deaths per 100,000 persons—roughly the national average.
- 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, and the gun death rate for Black children and teens was nearly four times that for White children and teens.