Press Release: GOVERNOR USES NOVA LEGISLATORS’ LANGUAGE IN AMENDMENT THAT PROTECTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
Richmond, VA – Governor McAuliffe amended HB 2286, a bill that allows felons whose right to carry has been restored by another state to carry in Virginia. The Governor’s amendment is based on the language of legislation originally proposed by Sen. Favola (D-Arlington), Del. Simon (D-Fairfax) and Del. Murphy (D-McLean). If approved by the General Assembly, the amendment will prohibit individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors from possessing or carrying a firearm for a certain time period following their convictions. The misdemeanors all pertain to violence against a household or family member and include stalking, sexual assault, and assault and battery.
Sen. Favola praised the Governor’s actions: “I strongly approve of Governor McAuliffe’s common sense amendment to protect women and domestic violence survivors while restricting firearm access for violent offenders. Studies show that violent behavior always escalates. The Governor’s amendment reflects this evidence-based approach to protecting domestic violence survivors.”
“I was thrilled to see the Governor has proposed responsible amendments to Delegate Webert's bill to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers," said Del. Simon. "My very first bill as a member of the House of Delegates was an attempt to do the same thing, but I could never get it out of committee. Thanks to the Governor's leadership, we have another opportunity to make this happen.”
“"I am grateful to the Governor for including this amendment.” Del. Murphy said. “This is a common sense measure to keep guns out of the hands of convicted repeat domestic abusers. It is something we can all agree will help keep abused women safer. There is no excuse to oppose this.”
At least two people die every day from firearm-related injuries in Virginia. Domestic violence disproportionately affects women, who represent 85% of all domestic violence victims. The Virginia Sheriff’s Association, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police supported legislation similar to the Governor’s amendment in the 2015 General Assembly session.