State Democrats push gun reform ahead of 2023 General Assembly session

Gun legislation will be a hot topic for next year’s Virginia General Assembly session.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Gun legislation will be a hot topic for next year’s Virginia General Assembly session. In 2020, state Democrats added red flag laws, universal background checks and limited the number of handguns someone can purchase each month.

“We’re going to come back again with safe storage laws. I think there are some other things we can do. Look at assault weapons legislation, look at age increase to be able to buy some of these weapons,” said State Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, (D) 72nd District.

State Senator Joe Morrissey’s office confirms the Democrat supports an assault weapons ban and plans to introduce legislation. But, even when they had total power, there wasn’t a willingness among Democrats to pass an assault weapons ban.

“We need federal action. We’ve taken some bold steps in Virginia, and we need to see similar actions occur in Congress,” said State Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, (D) 10th District.

Earlier this year, House Republicans defeated a measure to ban the parts that individuals use to build ghost guns by ensuring manufacturers had to put serial numbers on these undetectable parts.

Republican State Senator Amanda Chase says even with all the measures passed in 2020, violent crime in the state continues to go up.

“All these measures have done us disarm law abiding citizens because they are the only ones who follow these laws anyways,” said State Sen. Amanda Chase, (R) 11th District.

Governor Glenn Youngkin created a Violent Crime Task Force, which will take a comprehensive look at the problem and the potential solutions.

School resource officers will also see a $22.5 million boost and several new security measures, including digital mapping of school buildings for first responders.

“Right now, our schools are gun-free zones, and the criminals know that, which makes our kids vulnerable,” said State Sen. Chase.

Lawmakers return to the State Capitol for the 2023 session on January 11.

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