Home 2013 races Mark Obenshain Has Consistently Opposed Background Checks on Gun Buyers

Mark Obenshain Has Consistently Opposed Background Checks on Gun Buyers

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From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

Richmond, VA—During an off-year election in Virginia in which the governor's race has captured the overwhelming majority of media attention, the radical gun record of Republican Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain has slipped largely under the radar. In truth, Mark Obenshain's votes and prounouncements on the gun issue are every bit as extreme and disturbing as those of gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

Obenshain has represented the 26th District (Shenandoah Valley) in the Virginia Senate since 2004. In the decade since,he has voted against expanding background checks for gun buyers a startling 12 times. Several of these votes were cast after the horrific mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, in which 32 people were killed and 24 wounded.

A January 2013 Quinnipiac poll found that 92% of Virginians supported requiring background checks on all sales of firearms at gun shows, a reform that Obenshain has opposed repeatedly.

While making it clear that he will not support any new measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, Obenshain has also deliberately misrepresented Virginia law. At a June 15th debate with Democratic candidate Mark Herring, Obenshain claimed, “I wouldn’t be able to give my hunting rifle to my son without a background check.” As Obenshain is well aware, private sellers making such transfers of firearms in Virginia are not required to conduct a background check or maintain any record of sale.

Obenshain has also bragged about the endorsement he received from the radical pro-gun group Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), saying he was “proud” to have their support. VCDL made headlines in August when they raffled off a Glock 19 handgun—the same weapon used in the Virginia Tech massacre—at a event in Blacksburg, just minutes away from the VT campus.

“As a survivor of gun violence, it is offensive to see Mark Obenshain campaign in the Commonwealth wearing a 'Guns Save Lives' sticker,” said Lori Haas, a Virginia State Director for CSGV whose daughter Emily was shot and wounded at Virginia Tech. “His attempts to portray himself as a moderate couldn't be more disingenuous, and Virginia voters will see through this farce when they go to the polls on November 5th.”