FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2020
(p) 202-408-0061 Ext. 1017
SB 240 Passes Senate – becomes latest gun violence prevention bill to pass Virginia Senate
Richmond, Virginia (January 22, 2020) – The Commonwealth of Virginia took another step toward becoming the 18th state to pass life-saving Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation. SB 240, sponsored by Senator George Barker (D), would establish a court process to issue protective orders to temporarily remove firearms and restrict their purchase while the individual is at a heightened risk of danger toward themselves or danger to others. SB 240 passed by a vote 21-19.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas issued the following statement:
“Today, Virginia is one step closer to reducing gun deaths across our great Commonwealth. The life-saving Extreme Risk Protection Order policy has been proven to prevent firearm suicide and has shown great promise at preventing potential mass shootings — including school shootings. Now with a gun violence prevention majority in the Senate, ERPO is finally on its way to becoming a reality. And it will save lives.
“Thank you to Senator Barker and Senator Surovell, and everyone who was involved in working with this bill to get it passed. We are hopeful to see the same success in the House of Delegates very soon.”
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz:
“As one of the architects of the Extreme Risk Protection Order in 2013 following the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut, I knew that one of the first places I wanted to try to implement this new policy was in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Since 2014, I have been standing in front of Senate and House committees and subcommittees explaining the evidence and data behind ERPO and how it can be used to prevent gun deaths. I believe that if the Commonwealth had passed this law six years ago, Virginians who are no longer with us would still be alive today. That breaks my heart.
“For years we have heard excuses and far flung scenarios from Republicans as they voted down ERPO. But today is a new day. With the new leadership in the Virginia Senate, we are seeing the first steps toward a safer Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Now our focus moves to the House of Delegates. Thank you to everyone involved in this process as we try to get this work done and save lives.”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. Follow them on Twitter at @CSGV and Instagram @coalitiontostopgunviolence