I strongly support Americans’ right to bear arms. As a lawyer I fought to constitutionally protect the right of all Virginians to hunt and fish and I respect the rights of responsible gun owners, like myself, in Virginia and across the nation. But I also believe we must take concrete steps to reduce gun violence.
I support a comprehensive approach to curb gun violence which includes expanding mental health services, background record checks prior to gun purchases and responsible limits on combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.
I’ve been disappointed to see the Senate block commonsense legislation to address these issues but will continue to advocate for ways to make our country safer.
I supported the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns, including sales at gun shows and internet sales, as well as strengthened the existing instant check system by encouraging states to put all their available records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In addition, I cosponsored legislation to close a loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun. I also authored the Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act, which would hold people responsible if they sell or transfer a firearm to someone who is barred by federal law from possessing firearms. Ultimately, efforts to reduce gun violence must focus on multiple solutions, but passage of these bills would be an important step in the right direction.
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