Lobby Day draws hundreds to Virginia Statehouse

Lawmakers at the Virginia State Capitol got an earful on Lobby Day with a heavy focus on new gun laws or repeals.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 2:02 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Lawmakers at the Virginia State Capitol got an earful on Lobby Day with a heavy focus on new gun laws or repeals.

“Whether it’s a suicide, a homicide an accident or an injury gun violence is preventable. It’s preventable,” said Lori Haas, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Monday morning, house democrats unveiled several bills as part of their gun violence prevention platform.

Their legislation includes studying the effects of gun violence on communities, prohibiting the sale of assault firearms and large-capacity firearm magazines, and raising the age to buy assault weapons to 21.

Democrats say Petersburg had the highest rate of firearm injuries in 2019 and they’ve seen a 129% jump in the number of children dying by guns from 2009 to 2019.

“This is happening in every single home, every single day, in our homes, in our communities. Families in Virginia are suffering and we’ve got to do something about it,” said Del. Patrick Hope, (D) 47th District.

The house is controlled by republicans, so any effort to push these suggestions forward will likely be knocked down in committee. But one democrat says a coalition is forming with support for safe storage and gun lock legislation.

“We can’t talk about the coalition that’s being formed right now but it’s an interesting coalition and I hope there’s good news going forward,” said Del. Alfonso Lopez, (D) 49th District.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League rallied in Richmond. They are calling on lawmakers to repeal gun laws added in recent years including gun-free zones.

“I don’t know what part about shall not be infringed our friends on the other side don’t understand. It’s our god given right to protect ourselves our family and our children,” said Del. John McGuire, (R) 56th District.

Meanwhile, State Senator Amanda Chase is carrying legislation to repeal red flag laws in the Commonwealth.

“It’s so important that you have legislators that are not just republicans but who truly live by and support the second amendment,” said State Sen. Amanda Chase, (R) 11th District.