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Senate GOP nixes universal background checks

Senator Adam Ebbin’s (D-Alexandria) SB 5 instituting universal background checks failed to report on a party line 9-6 vote on Monday.


“Background checks stopped guns from falling in the wrong hands in Virginia 3,584 times in 2017 alone,” Ebbin said. “Research shows a lower rate of gun fatalities in states with universal background checks. The General Assembly needs to step up and do all it can to reverse the horrible trend of gun violence in Virginia. If current trends continue, there will be well over 3,000 gun-related deaths over the next four years here in Virginia alone. Not a single one of those 3,000 people deserves to die.”


Ebbin’s bill had incorporated S.B. 412, introduced by Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth); S.B. 432, introduced by Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun);S.B. 145, introduced by Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke); and S.B. 447, introduced by Senator Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon).


“Let me be clear: Gun violence is a public health problem in Virginia,” Wexton said. “We know that if we enact universal background checks, fewer law enforcement officers will be shot and killed, fewer intimate partners will be shot and killed, and there will be fewer gun-related suicides. Gun violence is an epidemic and the time has come to act if we are going to keep our communities safe.”


“I am absolutely dismayed that my NRA-funded colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to prioritize the all-powerful gun lobby over the safety of their constituents,” Lucas said. “People are dying, and they are going to keep dying, because guns are falling into the wrong hands. ​’​Thoughts and prayers’​ are important, but that won’t stop the violence.”