Richmond, VA - A bill that would have required background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows, S.B. 1257, was defeated in the Virginia Senate today by a vote of 19-21. This legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Henry Marsh (D-Richmond) and Senator Janet Howell (D-Reston) and had the backing of Governor Tim Kaine, the Virginia State Police, and an overwhelming majority of Virginia residents. In a 2008 poll by Christopher Newport University, 68% of Virginians listed “requiring gun purchasers at gun shows to undergo the same background check required for guns purchased at gun shops” as their highest priority for the Virginia General Assembly.
For more information about the Gun Show Loophole, please visit the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence's webpage on the topic.
The Virginia Tech Review Panel also recommended regulating private firearm sales at gun shows, stating, “In an age of widespread information technology, it should not be too difficult for anyone, including private sellers, to contact the Virginia Firearms Transaction Program for a background check that usually only takes minutes before transferring a firearm.” Several families from the Virginia Tech tragedy lobbied the Senate to pass S.B. 1257 and close the loophole permanently.
“The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence has been honored to join victims and survivors from the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech and representatives from Protest Easy Guns, the Virginia Chapters of the Million Mom March, the Virginia Center for Public Safety, the Angel Fund, Students for Gun Free Schools and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in this campaign to close the Gun Show Loophole,” said Ed Fund Executive Director Josh Horwitz. “We’re disappointed that the full Senate did not approve this legislation, but encouraged by the progress we made this year. We will communicate the results of this vote to our supporters and continue our campaign—legislative session after legislative session—until this dangerous loophole is closed and public safety is given priority in the Commonwealth.”
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. For more information about the Ed Fund, visit www.efsgv.org.