Gun show loophole debate starts again

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Another year, another battle over the so called "gun show loophole" at the state capitol. The latest on this fight was spawned out of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Every year since that awful day in Blacksburg, democrats in Richmond have put forth a number of bills to curb access to guns. The most controversial has been a plan to force people buying guns at gun shows to go through a background check.

Supporters of the bill, claim it would just be a simple step to keep unlawful and mentally ill people from purchasing guns and then using them for the wrong reasons. Opponents believe it is just another way to take firearms out of law abiding citizen's hands, with a long term goal of shutting down gun shows. Both sides don't appear to be giving in at all.

"There are ways that this can be done that will not overburden any individual vendors or sellers. I have not heard what the big deal is," said Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D) Richmond.

"Their request will never end. It doesn't matter what we give them. Until we hand over our last gun, there will always be another request looking for middle ground. We've given up all we are going to give," said Phillip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizen's Defense League.

Almost every year since it was originally introduced the bill has gone down to defeat, most times not even making it out of a committee.

Its fate doesn't appear to be much better this year. Especially with a republican governor and a GOP controlled House of Delegates.

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