If it’s good for Virginia, it’s good for the entire country.
That is the logic behind Mark Warner and Tim Kaine’s new legislation the “Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2020.”
These two U.S. Senators from the Commonwealth, both Dems by the way, believe that all of the following will reduce violence on a national level if enacted by Congress:
- 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.
- 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, incentivizes states to implement their own extreme risk protection laws and court protocols.
- One-Handgun-a-Month: Limits purchases of handguns to one per month to curtail firearm stockpiling and trafficking.
- 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 recklessly leaving a loaded, unsecured gun in the presence of a minor.
- Protection Order Prohibitions: Bolsters safeguards for victims of domestic violence by closing the “boyfriend loophole,” expanding firearms laws to prohibit persons convicted of dating violence from possessing firearms, and prohibiting persons convicted of stalking from possessing firearms.
“Too many communities across the Commonwealth have been affected by gun violence. That’s why earlier this month, Virginia led the charge by adopting reasonable measures to help prevent future tragedies. Now it’s time for Congress to act,” Warner said in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
The Virginia General Assembly passed commonsense reforms to take on gun violence and it’s time for Congress to follow suit. Today I’m proud to introduce the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act with my friend @MarkWarner—because we can’t be bystanders in this fight. https://t.co/NEjvPczRwL— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) July 22, 2020
“Today, we are introducing a commonsense approach to help make our communities safer by helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands while still respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” he continued. “We owe it to victims and their families to stop talking about the problem and start doing something to address it and this bill is an important step in that direction.”
Sen. Kaine added, “For too long, Congress has remained a bystander while states like Virginia have taken action. While no single piece of legislation can eradicate gun violence, as elected officials we have a responsibility to act.”
As GunsAmerica previously reported, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed into law many of the same measures back in April.
Because Virginia is considered by some to be a purple state, not thoroughly blue nor fully red, despite its Democratically-controlled General Assembly, many view it as a proxy for what may be possible nationally.
But it’s safe to say, at least right now, that the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate would not agree to sign-off on any one of these measures, let alone all of them at a single stroke.
Plus, one should also expect serious resistance from President Trump in the off chance that this bill landed on his desk. Trump claims to be a pro-gun president and has the full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
Gun owners would not forgive him nor re-elect him if he backed legislation that systematically infringes on the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens, which is exactly what the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2020 does.
In a nutshell, it criminalizes private transfers and the possession of unsecured guns, limits citizens’ access to handguns, allows authorities to confiscate firearms from people accused (not convicted nor adjudicated) of being a threat to public safety, holds gun owners responsible for the actions of gun thieves and irresponsible teens, and lowers the evidentiary bar for permanently revoking 2A rights.
All very bad things that will do absolutely nothing to stop violent criminals. You can read the entire bill below: