Governor McAuliffe Statement on Passage of Public Safety Legislation
Governor Terry McAuliffe today issued a statement on the passage of public safety legislation by both chambers of the General Assembly:
“Today the General Assembly finalized its work on a bipartisan public safety agreement that will save lives. I look forward to signing this legislation into law. These bills are the result of intensive discussions involving law enforcement, advocates and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to achieve meaningful improvements in the laws governing firearm safety.
“In 2014, there were112 domestic violence related deaths, 66of which occurred with firearms. Previous efforts to strengthen protections by prohibiting individuals under a permanent protective order from possessing firearms have been unsuccessful for at least two decades -- until today. The legislation passed this afternoon will require domestic abusers to relinquish their guns within 24 hours of being served with a permanent protective order or face prosecution for a Class 6 felony. With my signature, Virginia will have one of the strongest laws in the nation aimed at preventing gun-related domestic violence homicides.
“Additionally, these bills offer an opportunity to change the culture at gun shows in Virginia by providing all sellers with access to criminal background checks. Today marks a positive milestone in Virginia's long and difficult debate over gun violence prevention laws. We should be proud of the progress we have made, but also remain committed to further actions that will keep our families and communities safe from gun violence.”