Virginia’s governor and attorney general were on hand Wednesday at the state capitol to back a list of recommendations from gun control advocates.
Armed with a study provided by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund), a sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring challenged lawmakers to close what the report terms “lethal loopholes” in the state’s domestic violence laws. Among the proposals is one to impound firearms from the scene of any domestic violence complaint.
“Too many abusers can still get a gun and inflict violence on their partner or their family members and that’s why we need the legislature to step up and say, ‘We stand with survivors of domestic violence,'” said Herring.
The report from the Ed Fund proposes to enhance state laws to:
- Prohibit subjects of protective orders from possessing firearms and require subjects of protective orders to surrender any firearms they own or possess to law enforcement for the duration of the order.
- Prohibit individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm and require such persons to surrender any firearms they own or possess to law enforcement.
- Require courts to notify those subject to a domestic violence protective order or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence when they become prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.
- Explicitly authorize or require law enforcement to remove firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.
Prefiling of bills for the General Assembly’s 2016 regular session begins November 16, 2015.