Richmond, VA−The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence applauds Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for today presenting an important package of common-sense, life-saving gun violence prevention reforms, in preparation for the Virginia General Assembly resuming business on January 14, 2015.

Since the election, the Ed Fund has worked diligently with stakeholders to craft proposals to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. Many of the Ed Fund’s recommendations are designed to lead to policies that would prevent individuals from purchasing or possessing guns when they are at elevated risk of harming themselves or others. These recommendations came out of policy proposals identified by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, convened by the Ed Fund. The Consortium, a group of mental health and public health experts issued reports late last year to state and federal policy makers making the case for strengthening gun purchase and possession laws to restrict potentially dangerous individuals from having guns.The legislative package offered by the Governor’s office today includes the following reforms:

• The prohibition of possession of firearms for misdemeanor domestic violence offenders.
• A renewal of the state’s one-handgun-a-month law, which was repealed under former Gov. Bob McDonnell in February 2012.
• Revocation of the concealed handgun permits of parents who are delinquent in child support payments.
• A requirement that all buyers at Virginia gun shows undergo background checks, even when purchasing firearms from private sellers.
• Authority to Virginia State Police to process voluntary background check requests.

“Terry McAuliffe won the Governor’s seat in 2013 by campaigning aggressively for stronger gun laws,” said the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence’s Virginia state director, Lori Haas. “As Gov. McAuliffe said today, ‘past violence is one of the biggest predictors of future violence.’ He is making progress on his campaign promises to pursue good policy that will help prevent tragedies in Virginia by limiting access to firearms by dangerous individuals.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to positively impact gun violence prevention legislation in Virginia, the Ed Fund is preparing for two Richmond events in January.

First, the Ed Fund will sponsor a panel consisting of members of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy on Monday, January 12, in Richmond, at the State Capitol in advance of the start of the legislative session.

Secondly, the annual Vigil and Advocacy Day will be held Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, at the State Capitol in Richmond. Sponsored by the Virginia Center for Public Safety, the program will involve gun violence prevention groups from across the Commonwealth. That day, Virginia residents will meet directly with their state legislators to call for immediate action on McAuliffe’s proposals.

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is the 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The organization has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury. The Ed Fund can be found on Twitter.