VIRGINIA SENATE VOTES DOWN GUNS IN SCHOOLS, MOVES FORWARD WITH BACKGROUND CHECK BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Cabral, West End Strategy Team, heather@westendstrategy.com, Office: (202) 776-7700, Cell: (202) 550-6880

Richmond, VA−This afternoon, the Virginia Senate defeated legislation, SB 1132, which would have allowed individuals with concealed handgun permits to carry loaded firearms on school property outside of regular school hours. Some Republicans crossed the aisle to join with Democrats to defeat the bill by a vote of 20-18.

SB 1132 was sponsored by Senator Tom Garrett (R-22nd) and endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL).

“Today’s vote on SB 1132 is a tremendous victory for the safety of Virginia’s children,” said Lori Haas, Virginia State Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). “This bill was a weak attempt at a solution in search of a problem, as well as terrible public policy. That’s why it was roundly opposed by teachers and administrators in the Commonwealth.”

Earlier today, the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved SB 1441, a bill that would allow individuals without a Federal Firearms License to ask State Police to conduct on-site background checks on purchasers at Virginia gun shows. SB 1441 was among a package of gun violence prevention reforms proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe late last year.

“It looks like common sense is breaking out in the Virginia Senate,” said the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s executive director, Josh Horwitz. “It’s refreshing to see that—even with Republicans in charge of the chamber—the NRA can no longer count on legislators doing its bidding. Keeping our schools gun-free and making sure gun buyers undergo background checks are reasonable policies embraced by the overwhelming majority of Virginians.”


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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