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January 29, 2016 Published in Non-Profits, Top Stories

Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Group Responds To Gun Safety Deal

Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Group Sees Real Progress In Legislation That Will Take Guns Away From Persons Subject To Protective Orders

Today, Governor McAuliffe announced a three-part bipartisan deal related to firearms intended to keep Virginians safer. In particular, one component of this deal will have a broad-reaching, positive impact on victims of domestic violence: prohibiting possession of a firearm for all persons subject to a “permanent” Protective Order.

The connection between guns and lethal domestic violence in Virginia is clear: 36% of all homicides in 2013 in Virginia were attributed to family and intimate partner violence.1 Over a 10  year period, firearms were used in more than half of intimate partner homicides in Virginia.

Under current Virginia law, persons subject to a “permanent” Protective Order (lasting up to two years) may not purchase or transport a firearm. The new legislation, carried by Senator Janet Howell and Delegate Kathleen Murphy, would bring Virginia in line with current federal law to expand the prohibition to possession of a firearm. A person would be required to sell or transfer all guns within 24 hours of the issuance of the Protective Order.

“As Virginia’s leading advocacy organization on sexual and domestic violence, we are pleased to see this kind of real progress on taking guns away from violent offenders” said Kristi VanAudenhove, Action Alliance Executive Director. “We hope this will help legislators on both sides of the aisle see the value in continuing to come together to strengthen limitations on access to guns for perpetrators of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, and other types of violent offenses,” said Kristi VanAudenhove, Action Alliance Executive Director.

The Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Virginia’s leading voice on sexual and domestic violence, applauds the bipartisan efforts to come together in an effort to enact common sense gun legislation to reduce lethal gun violence.  For more information, click here.

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