Press Releases

WASHINGTON — Today, on the 17th anniversary of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine introduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act, legislation to federally enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures adopted by Virginia since 2020. The bill includes provisions to mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms, prevent children from accessing firearms, and implement a one-handgun-a-month policy. 

“17 years ago, 32 people tragically lost their lives at Virginia Tech. I was Virginia’s governor at the time, and I remember that day like it was yesterday—grieving with families, friends, and the Hokie community. Sadly, far too many communities throughout the United States know the pain of horrific gun violence,” said Kaine. “I’m proud of the steps the Commonwealth has taken in recent years to help keep Virginians safe, which is why I’m introducing this bill to build on our progress by implementing those commonsense measures on the national level. We must do more to ensure everyone can go to school, work, their place of worship, a grocery store, or concert without the terror of gun violence.”     

“On the 17th anniversary of Virginia’s deadliest mass shooting, I’m joining my friend Sen. Kaine in introducing the Virginia Plan, legislation to bring the commonsense gun violence measures Virginia has enacted to the rest of the country,” said Warner. “Too many Americans, families, and communities have been touched by gun violence. This bill can save lives and make our country safer.” 

The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2024 would build on Virginia’s commonsense framework to reduce gun violence from 2020 and Lucia’s Law, which takes effect in Virginia on July 1, 2024, through the following provisions:        

·         One-Handgun-a-Month: Limits purchases of handguns to one per month to curtail the stockpiling and trafficking of firearms, promoting domestic and international security.

·         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. This will prevent the most common cause of accidental shooting deaths among children.

·         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 firearm laws to prohibit persons convicted of stalking or subject to a domestic violence restraining order 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.

·         Lucia’s Law: Establishes criminal liability for a caregiver who gives a child in their care access to a firearm when they are aware that child poses a risk of violence to themselves or others. 

Warner and Kaine have long-supported a comprehensive approach to curbing gun violence. In June 2022, Warner and Kaine helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, legislation that contains many provisions of the Virginia Plan, includingimproving background checks, strengthening safeguards for victims of domestic violence, and incentivizing states to implement their own Extreme Risk Protection Orders to remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others. The Department of Justice issued a rule last week—which the senators applauded—to codify provisions outlined in theBipartisan Safer Communities Act to close the gun show loophole, which permitted the sale of firearms online and at gun shows without background checks.

Full bill text is available here.