January 29, 2016 News & Press Releases

Governor McAuliffe’s Bipartisan Gun Deal Represents Unity and Progress

by DPVA Communications

January 29, 2016
CONTACT: Emily Bolton, Emily@vademocrats.org


Governor McAuliffe’s Bipartisan Gun Deal Represents Unity and Progress

Today at a press conference with leaders from both parties and both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly, Governor McAuliffe announced a bipartisan deal on firearm safety in the Commonwealth to keep guns way from domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks. This deal builds upon Democrats’ ongoing efforts to make Virginia communities safer by keeping guns out of dangerous hands.

“This action represents a rare and historic moment where an issue transcended politics for the greater good,” said Emily Bolton of the Democratic Party of Virginia. “We commend the Governor for delivering on his call for unity and progress as expressed in his State of the Commonwealth address. We also applaud Attorney General Herring’s courageous leadership that provided the necessary momentum to elevate this issue.”

A description of the common sense legislation can be found below:

Voluntary Background Checks at Firearms Shows: Delegate Lingamfelter (HB1386) and Senator Edwards (SB715)

Currently, only firearms dealers with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) can access the National Instant Checks System (NICS) to perform background checks on firearms purchases/transfers, and the Virginia State Police (VSP) can’t currently access the system on behalf of private citizens selling or tor transferring firearms.

This bill addresses that problem by giving statutory authority to perform background checks on private citizens at firearms shows. This also allows private sellers to obtain the results of a background check prior to selling or transferring a firearm access.  This bill also requires the Virginia State Police to be present at every firearms show in the Commonwealth to perform background checks on a voluntary basis.

Protective orders: Delegate Murphy and Senator Howell (Bill number pending)

Currently, a person subject to a protective order is prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm, but not from possessing a firearm. This bill would prohibit a person subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm for the duration of the order. Permanent protective orders are issued by a judge and are served to the subject and they can last up to 2 years and can be extended by the judge as necessary.

This bill allows the subject of the protective order 24 hours to transfer or sell the firearm to a non-prohibited person. The subject of the protective order may possess or transport the firearm during that 24-hour period only for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm. If a person violates this section, they could be guilty of a class 6 felony.