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Petitioning Governor Terry McAuliffe and 1 other

Institute a comprehensive background check for all gun purchases in Virginia

Like many, I was shocked and deeply saddened to see the recent footage of the shooting of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward in Moneta, Virginia. As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, I’ve seen gun control bills fail time and again in the state legislature, blocked by the power of the gun lobby.

That ends now. We need to put our politics aside and finally institute a comprehensive background check for all gun purchases in Virginia, to stop the next tragedy before it happens. 

Currently, Virginia has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer. That means that thousands of guns can be bought and sold without background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows and other events. The “gun show loophole” is a clear ploy to avoid taking common-sense precautions that can, and do, save lives.

Without universal background check for gun purchases, many people can circumvent the law and easily access a gun -- giving them the opportunity to take away a life in seconds. The great people of Virginia have persevered through the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, but we as elected officials haven’t done enough to do better for them since then. We must get this right.

Recent polling shows that more than 92 percent of voters in Virginia agree that background checks at gun shows are a good idea, but a small, vocal minority keeps them from becoming law. Governor McAuliffe is once again calling for the passage of this law in the wake of the tragedy. I know we can make a real, life-saving change if we work together right now to make our voices heard -- here in Virginia and across the country.

Please sign my petition calling on my colleagues in the Virginia General Assembly to finally pass a background check law that keeps guns out of the hands of potential criminals.

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