January 29, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Cabral, West End Strategy Team,, Office: (202) 776-7700, Cell: (202) 550-6880

Delegates reject legislation to disarm stalkers, domestic abusers

Richmond, VA−Despite riveting testimony from Lisette Johnson—who was shot five times by her abusive husband in Chesterfield County—and others personally affected by gun violence, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 voted down HB 2085 this evening. The bill sought to prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, sexual battery, and stalking from purchasing and possessing firearms.

“This is a great day for anyone who beats up their spouses and children,” said Lori Haas, Virginia State Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws (VRGL). “They can rest assured that the House of Delegates is protecting their ‘right’ to remain armed and dangerous.”

HB 2085 was also supported by the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Alliance.

At today’s hearing, House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 also voted down HB 1904, which would have made it a class 1 misdemeanor crime to knowingly authorize a child between the ages of 0-4 to use a firearm, and; HB 1923, which would have required background checks on all private sales of firearms (with an exemption for immediate family members).

The members of the subcommittee are Matthew Fariss (R-59th), Todd Gilbert (R-15th), Roslyn Tyler (D-75th), Michael Webert (R-18th) and Chair Thomas Wright (R-61st).

The companion bill to HB 2085, SB 943, was approved by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee yesterday and will soon be considered by the full Senate.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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