From the VA House Democratic Caucus:
Gabby Giffords Rallies Support for House Democrats in Manassas
The new House Dem majority championed historic gun reform
RICHMOND, Va.—Today, national gun safety advocate and former United States Representative Gabby Giffords traveled to Manassas, VA, to rally support for Democrats running for the Virginia House of Delegates ahead of a canvass launch. These Democrats included incumbents House Democratic Majority Leader Charniele Herring (HD-46), Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (HD-31), Delegate Danica Roem (HD-13), and also the Democratic candidates Michelle Maldonado and Briana Sewell, who are running for House District 50 and House District 51, respectively.
In the 2019 election, gun safety reform was a core campaign promise for Democrats statewide and proved to be a key issue with voters, who put House Democrats in the majority for the first time in 20 years. A Christopher Newport University poll reported that Virginia voters are “firmly in support” of gun safety measures.
Since gaining the House majority two years ago, House Democrats passed historic gun violence prevention legislation, including restricting domestic abusers from purchasing firearms, extending the time period for FBI background checks on gun sales in Virginia, mandating universal background checks for sales of firearms, requiring that lost and stolen firearms are reported, strengthening penalties for allowing a child access to loaded firearms, and establishing substantial risk protective orders.
The following statements were released after the event:
“Leaders in Virginia have made significant progress on passing life saving gun safety laws. This progress cannot be taken for granted, especially as the nation experiences a tragic surge in deadly violence. Virginians have the opportunity to keep moving ahead on making communities safer across the state and gun safety is on the ballot in 2021,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “These leaders have the courage to act on gun violence and we need them more than ever. I’m excited to be back in the Commonwealth to support inspiring gun safety candidates.”
“I’m excited to join Congresswoman Giffords to support these amazing candidates for the General Assembly,” said Leader Herring. “Our Democratic Majority has championed gun violence prevention legislation, and I look forward to continuing to work with these amazing women to make Virginia a safer place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“When the gun violence in our society becomes so prevalent that it constantly affects and endangers our children, we cannot afford to do nothing,” said Del. Guzman. “I am proud to be part of a gun-sense Democratic majority that has worked to keep Virginia safe and I am going to keep fighting to ensure that this violence never becomes the new normal.”
“Since our Democratic majority took over in 2020, I’ve supported bills that we know for certain have saved lives, including one for Extreme Risk Protection Orders that we’ve seen used extensively here in greater Prince William,” said Del. Roem. “I’ll continue working to keep my constituents safe, especially our students so they can focus on their education, not trying to find the nearest exit. I’m grateful Congresswoman Giffords is in Manassas today to support our efforts to make Virginia a safer commonwealth.”
“In light of yesterday’s tragic event at Heritage High School here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it’s more important than ever to stand with leaders like Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to address the issue of gun violence prevention,” said Maldonado, who is currently running for House District 50. “As a mother of a high school student, my heart goes out to those who were injured or traumatized. Virginia has made great strides on reducing gun violence but more work must be done”
“Gun violence has affected too many communities across Virginia for too long. Now, more than ever, it’s time we put an end to this epidemic,” said Sewell, the Democratic candidate in House District 51. “With expanded access to voting this year, and so much at stake, I hope Virginians take their voices to the ballot box.”