Every Virginian has the right to keep and bear arms, as members of the Unorganized Militia and for self-defense. Every Virginian also has a right to enjoy public spaces, especially schools and churches, without fear of intimidation or attack by someone with a firearm. I believe we need to ensure that good guys – the trusted and trained – have the means to help law enforcement protect communities from those who would do us harm.
I propose these specific policies:
- Require comprehensive background checks and 14-day waiting periods for all gun transfers, including transfers between friends and family members. This would include a review of any domestic abuse convictions and mental health treatment.
- End firearm transfers at gun shows and require purchasers to appear in person at an established dealer to take possession of a firearm.
- Prohibit sale and possession of any weapon or magazine that permits firing more than 20 rounds without reloading.
- Prohibit sale and possession of any weapon with a maximum effective range over 150 meters without registration with and permit from the City Police or County Sheriff.
- Prohibit the carry of loaded firearms in public places, whether open or concealed, by anyone who has not completed an in-person safety training and marksmanship class and passed a marksmanship qualification test within the last two years.
- Limit firearm purchases to 3 in any 30-day period.
- Hold firearm owners criminally and civilly liable for misuse of their weapons whether intentional or accidental.
None of these regulations would keep responsible and law-abiding Virginians from keeping arms or bearing them during militia service or self-defense. But it would make Virginia safer by holding those who wish to keep and bear arms responsible for proper use and security of the arms they keep and bear.
Government at all levels exists in large part to protect public safety, and we know one thing for sure: more guns – especially more powerful guns – mean more gun violence and needless death. More guns don’t save lives. More guns lead to more suicide, homicide, and tragic accidents.