A bill sponsored by Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) is a measure to close Virginia's "gun-show loophole."
It is scheduled to be considered by Subcommittee #1 of the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety at its meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday in the 4th Floor Conference Room (West) of the General Assembly Building.
This measure would ensure that all purchasers of guns at Virginia's
gun shows are treated equally so that unlicensed persons selling firearms at gun shows conduct the same short, simple and easy instant background checks as licensed firearms dealers.
Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre whose story is chronicled in the acclaimed documentary "Living for 32," plans to offer testimony to the subcommittee on what really happens at Virginia's gun shows.
Due to his travels to gun shows throughout Virginia, Goddard can offer a graphic, first-hand account of just how easy it can be for the most dangerous people to buy the most lethal weapons, with no questions asked and no identification, or any other information, provided.
Lori Haas, gun violence prevention advocate and mother of Emily Haas who also survived the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, says, "I am hopeful that the subcommittee today will respond to the call for
change echoing from all corners of Virginia; however, based on what has happened in years' past, frankly, I don't expect the leadership in the House to allow this long-overdue change to see the light of day.
"This Subcommittee has earned a reputation as a political 'graveyard' for reform efforts. When the sun sets today, HB 1669 likely will die and with it the hopes of those working on behalf of the more than 800 Virginians who will be killed in 2011 from senseless gun violence. Sadly, unless House leadership makes this a priority, we may have
to wait another whole year for our elected representatives to take one of the basic, practical steps that could help prevent some of these tragedies."
"An overwhelming majority of Virginians support closing the gun show
loophole, a majority that cuts across geographic, ethnic and gender lines," says Andy Goddard, President of the Virginia Center for Public Safety. "How many more lives need to be lost before the General Assembly steps up and does the right thing? I call on the leadership in the House of Delegates, including Speaker Howell and all the members of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, to listen to the many voices of those Virginians calling for reform."