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Scott, Connolly, Beyer, Spanberger, Wexton & McClellan Introduce Gun Violence Prevention Legislation to Implement Successful Virginia Strategies at the Federal Level

Today, Representative Bobby Scott (VA-03), a Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, along with Representatives Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Donald Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), and Jennifer McClellan (VA-04) introduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act to enact a series of gun violence prevention measures at the federal level. This bill introduction is timely as June is Gun Violence Awareness Month.

“Too many families and communities have had their lives shattered by gun violence,” said Rep. Scott. “The Commonwealth of Virginia has taken a number of successful legislative actions in recent years to help curb gun violence in our communities. This legislation will build on those successes at the national level, so that we can try to finally end this epidemic.”

“Virginia knows firsthand the pain and suffering inflicted on our communities by gun violence,” said Rep. Connolly. “We also know that we are not powerless in the fight for gun safety. This legislation, based on Virginia’s successful gun violence prevention agenda, will save lives, make our communities safer, and inject some badly needed Virginia commonsense into our federal gun laws.”

“The United States faces a gun violence crisis that is unique in its deadliness and scale, and there is much more we can do to protect our communities from the scourge of senseless violence and prevent mass shootings,” said Rep. Beyer. “Virginia has made great progress in gun violence prevention by implementing effective and sensible measures such as extreme risk protection orders for those who pose a danger to themselves or others and empowering family members to safeguard their guns away from children. Implementing similar legislation at the federal level would extend proven protections nationwide and save many lives.”

“As a former federal agent who carried a firearm every day, I know what responsible gun ownership entails. I also understand that keeping guns out of the hands of those who might put themselves or others in danger can help keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Spanberger. “No American should have to fear gun violence in their classroom, at their workplace, in their local Walmart, on their neighborhood playground, or while walking home from school. By following Virginia’s lead and taking these commonsense steps — like passing Lucia’s Law at the federal level, Congress can help prevent tragedies before they happen, curb our nation’s scourge of gun violence, and save lives.”

“The gun violence crisis has torn apart families in every community across our Commonwealth and country,” said Rep. Wexton. “In Congress, I proudly supported the most significant gun safety law in decades, but it's clear there is more work to do to keep our kids and communities safe. Virginia has made significant strides to combat gun violence in recent years and we must continue to build upon this progress across the country. I'm proud to join my fellow Virginia Members of Congress to introduce these common sense reforms at the federal level.”

No one should have to fear for their life in the classroom, grocery store, or their place of worship,” said Rep. McClellan. “As a state legislator, I championed several successful initiatives to curb gun violence and address its root causes. Now, I’m working with my Virginia congressional colleagues to extend those reforms nationwide to keep our communities safe.

The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2024 would build on Virginia’s framework to reduce gun violence from 2020 and Lucia’s Law, which takes effect in Virginia on July 1, 2024, through the following provisions:      

  • One-Handgun-a-Month: Limits purchases of handguns to one per month to curtail the stockpiling and trafficking of firearms, promoting domestic and international security.
  • Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms: Requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency within 48 hours. State and local law enforcement agencies would be directed to report data collected to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
  • Preventing Firearm Access to Minors: Promotes responsible gun ownership and safe storage practices by holding individuals liable for leaving a loaded, unsecured gun in the presence of a minor. This will prevent the most common cause of accidental shooting deaths among children.
  • Protection Order Prohibitions: Strengthens safeguards for victims of domestic violence by closing the “boyfriend loophole,” which currently allows abusive non-spousal partners to possess firearms, and expands firearm laws to prohibit persons convicted of stalking or subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing firearms.
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Establishes a federal extreme risk protection order process to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others and incentivizes states to implement their own extreme risk protection laws and court protocols.
  • Lucia’s Law: Establishes criminal liability for a caregiver who gives a child in their care access to a firearm when they are aware that child poses a risk of violence to themselves or others.

Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (Both D-VA) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

Last Congress, Congressional Democrats voted for a number of gun violence prevention initiatives including the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on June 25, 2022. That bill marked the first major piece of gun violence legislation to be enacted at the federal level in nearly three decades.

To read the bill text of the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act, please CLICK HERE