We believe that weapons of war are made for one purpose. They are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Polling indicates that public support for new gun control legislation is at its highest point in two decades.
The following are common-sense reforms we believe could make the most impact in the shortest amount of time.
Ban Bump Stocks and Trigger Acceleration
We support bipartisan legislation to ban the manufacture, sale, and use of “bump stocks”* and similar “trigger acceleration” devices. Successful legislation would charge anyone who manufactures, imports into Virginia, sells, or owns a bump stock to be classified with a felony.
Increase the Age Limit
We believe that a short-term fix of raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for purchasing semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 is useful in the interim until such weapons can be banned and eliminated. We support the increase of national minimum age for purchases of so-called long guns.
Implement Universal Background Checks
Though more than 90% of the American public supports background checks for all gun sales, a dangerous and deadly loophole in federal gun laws still exempts unlicensed sellers from having to perform any background check whatsoever before selling a firearm. With this loophole, guns easily find their way into the hands of illegal buyers and gun traffickers, dramatically increasing the likelihood of gun murders and suicides.
Close Gun Sales Loopholes
We support closing loopholes that allow guns to be sold at gun shows without a background check. We also believe that gun sales between unlicensed persons should be implemented. Approximately 40 percent of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are done without a background check.
Prevent Terrorists from Buying Firearms
We support legislation to deny the sale of firearms to those on the No-Fly list. The bipartisan Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act would give the United States Attorney General the ability to prevent individuals on the “No-Fly” and Selectee lists from legally purchasing firearms and explosives. It would also create a process for American citizens and lawful permanent residents to appeal a denial in the Federal Court.
Ban Weapons of War
We support regulation to ban any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic or burst fire, including the AR-15 rifle, the type used in the Parkland shooting. A “Weapons of War Ban” prohibits the “sale, transfer, production, and importation” of semi-automatic rifles and pistols that can hold a detachable magazine, as well as semi-automatic rifles with a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Additionally, successful legislation would ban the sale, transfer, production, and importation of semi-automatic shotguns with features such as a pistol grip or detachable stock, and ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Require Permits For Gun Ownership
We support a state permit system to be required to purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Residents may purchase firearms from any licensed Federal Firearms Licensee, even if they are out of state. The open carrying of a handgun in Virginia is lawful, assuming proper permits are earned.
Ration Gun Sales to One Gun Per Month
We support a bill to prohibit any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Restrict Number of Rounds in Magazines
We support prohibiting any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. We support reducing from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" or “weapon of war.”
Report Any Lost/Stolen Firearm
We believe that persons who lawfully possess a firearm should be required to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The relevant law-enforcement agency would enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
Restrict Guns for “Signs of Violence”
We support bills that would make it possible for individuals to petition a court to remove someone’s guns if they show signs of violence or are diagnosed with mental illness.