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Mon Mar 3, 2014, 10:45 AM


Va. Republicans flinch at restricting guns for criminals

IN VIRGINIA, about 5,600 people were convicted in 2011 and 2012 on misdemeanor counts of assaulting a member of their family or household. During the same period, the state’s courts found 171 individuals guilty of misdemeanor stalking charges and 158 guilty of misdemeanor sexual battery. In Richmond, Republican lawmakers in the House of Delegates want to ensure that these offenders can continue to own handguns and rifles if they so wish.

House Republicans last week killed legislation that would have required such convicts to forfeit their weapons for five years. They did so in defiance of the strong support the measure enjoyed from state associations representing police, sheriffs and prosecutors, not to mention women’s groups. When the GOP calls itself the party of law and order, roll your eyes.

In fairness, the bill — sponsored by a pair of Northern Virginia Democrats, Sen. Barbara A. Favola of Arlington and Del. Marcus B. Simon of Fairfax — did attract some Republican support in the state Senate, which approved it by a vote of 29 to 6. But a GOP-controlled subcommittee in the House dismissed it without so much as deigning to hear expert testimony, or even taking a recorded vote. (Anyone who wishes to register their opinion of such cavalier lawmaking should contact Del. Robert B. Bell, Republican of Albemarle, who chairs the Criminal Law Subcommittee of the Courts of Justice Committee.)

Gun rights advocates and Republican lawmakers who opposed the legislation said they were loath to penalize misdemeanor offenders by depriving them of their Second Amendment gun rights. (Those convicted of felonies in Virginia are automatically required to forfeit their weapons.) However, studies suggest that the best predictor of future violent behavior is past violent behavior. Misdemeanor convictions of assault, stalking and sexual battery are not trivial offenses, and the people who commit them should not be permitted to carry firearms as if nothing were amiss or as if they posed no particular risk to society.


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Reply Va. Republicans flinch at restricting guns for criminals (Original post)
SecularMotion Mar 2014 OP
gejohnston Mar 2014 #1

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:26 AM

1. Is there a news source from VA?

It is on opinion piece. Op Eds are often fact free, especially when it comes to guns or use of force laws.

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