WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act, legislation to federally enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia last year. The bill includes provisions to close current background check loopholes, mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms, prevent children from accessing firearms, and implement a one-handgun-a-month policy.
“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” the Senators said. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”
The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2021 builds on Virginia’s 2020 commonsense framework to reduce gun violence by including the following provisions:
- Universal Background Checks: Closes loopholes in existing federal law by requiring background checks on all firearm sales and transfers, with exemptions for certain family members, law enforcement officers, servicemembers, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.
- One-Handgun-a-Month: Limits purchases of handguns to one per month to curtail the stockpiling and trafficking of firearms.
- Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms: Requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency within 48 hours. State and local law enforcement agencies would be directed to report data collected to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
- Preventing Firearm Access to Minors: Promotes responsible gun ownership and safe storage practices by holding individuals liable for leaving a loaded, unsecured gun in the presence of a minor.
- Protection Order Prohibitions: Strengthens safeguards for victims of domestic violence by closing the “boyfriend loophole,” which currently allows abusive non-spousal partners to possess firearms, and expands firearms laws to prohibit persons convicted of dating violence or stalking from possessing firearms.
- Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Establishes a federal extreme risk protection order process to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others and incentivizes states to implement their own extreme risk protection laws and court protocols.
You can view the full bill text here.
Warner and Kaine have long-supported a sensible, comprehensive approach to curbing gun violence, including the expansion of mental health services, background record checks prior to gun purchases, and responsible limits on combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. In March, the Senators reintroduced the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Kaine has also introduced legislation to close the Charleston loophole, which allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours.