Home 2023 Elections DLCC: “Republican trifecta in Virginia would threaten commonsense gun safety measures…like background...

DLCC: “Republican trifecta in Virginia would threaten commonsense gun safety measures…like background checks and…red flag law[s]”

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From the DLCC:

RELEASE: Virginia Republicans Oppose Gun Safety

With high NRA ratings and low concern for gun violence, Virginia Republicans would make Virginians less safe

WASHINGTON – Virginian voters have less than one week left to elect Democrats in the Virginia Senate and House who will prioritize gun safety. The DLCC is reminding voters that while Virginia Republican candidates claim to be “tough on crime,” they refuse to acknowledge that firearms are used more often in violent crimes than any other weapon in Virginia.  State Republicans across the country have made it easier for dangerous individuals to access guns and have consistently put our communities at greater risk of violence while cashing checks from the gun lobby. A Republican trifecta in Virginia would threaten commonsense gun safety measures put in place by Virginia Democrats like background checks and a red flag law. DLCC research uncovers that 9 of the 10 states with the highest gun death rates are controlled by Republican legislators, and Virginia could be no different if Republicans get a trifecta next week.

A reminder of the threats to gun safety:

Kevin Adams (SD-22) is endorsed by the NRA and claimed that Virginia already had enough gun laws in place.

Amanda Batten (HD-71), endorsed by the NRA, said she did not “support restrictive policies infringing” on “our right to keep and bear arms,” and has voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law and reduce penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Batten has also voted against bills that would ban firearms near polling places, ban those subject to permanent protective orders from possessing a firearm, and require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

Emily Brewer (SD-17), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said she would “fight for our gun rights in Richmond,” and “stand up to the liberal, gun grabbing Democrats.” In the legislature, Brewer introduced a bill that would allow concealed carry within Capitol Square, and voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law and reduce penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Brewer also voted against bills that would ban firearms near polling places, ban those subject to permanent protective orders from possessing a firearm, and require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

A.C. Cordoza (HD-86), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, boasted about voting against gun safety legislation saying he would “kill” “crazy gun control” bills, and said Republicans need to take back the Senate so “we can carry everywhere.” In the legislature, Cordoza has voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law and reduce penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Cordoza also voted to block bills that would ban the sale of ghost guns, ban carrying assault weapons in public, and require safe storage of firearms.

Danny Diggs (SD-24), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, lists the Second Amendment as a priority issue on his campaign website, stated that he does not “abide by gun free zones,” and as a Sheriff, supported efforts to make York County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

Tara Durant (SD-27), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said that Democrats were a “brick wall” in the Senate against making Virginia a constitutional carry state, and cited that as a reason Republicans need to flip the Senate in November. In the legislature, Durant co-patroned a bill allowing permitless carry, voted to reduce the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law.

Baxter Ennis (HD-89), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense Leaguestated “The Second Amendment is a bulwark against government tyranny.” In 2009, Ennis wrote on his blog about ammunition shortages following President Obama’s election, and asked “Is there a storm coming?”

Karen Greenhalgh (HD-97), endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said she was a “proud member” of the VCDL, and highlighted her speech at a VCDL lobby day. In the legislature, Greenhalgh has voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law and to reduce penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Steve Harvey (HD-55) stated on his website “Gun control is a fascist concept that should be roundly rejected.” In 2021, Harvey organized multiple rallies protesting a proposed regulation by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to prohibit carrying firearms on county property.

Geary Higgins (HD-30) boasted about his “A” rating from the NRA and stated he “stood strong against anti-gun policies” as a Loudoun County Supervisor. While serving on the Board of Supervisors, Higgins led an effort to add a statement opposing gun safety legislation into the county’s legislative agenda.

Paul Milde (HD-64), endorsed by the NRA, stated that he is a “lifetime member of the NRA,” and a “steadfast supporter” of the Second Amendment. Milde has claimed proposals such as background checks and red-flag laws were “taking away guns without due process.”

Chris Obenshain (HD-41)is endorsed by the NRA and by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.  Obenshain has also claimed  that more gun laws wouldn’t “do a darn thing,” argued that “red-flag laws infringe on people’s constitutional rights,” and claimed he should be able to purchase an AR-15 because it is “just a rifle.”

Andrew Pittman (HD-94), rated “AQ”  by the NRA and endorsed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, lists the Second Amendment as a priority issue on his campaign website, saying “our First Amendment rights would be at risk without the Second Amendment.”

Juan Pablo Segura (SD-31) is endorsed by the NRA with an AQ rating.

John Stirrup (HD-21) is endorsed by the NRA with an AQ rating and is endorsed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Kim Taylor (HD-82), endorsed by the NRA, describes herself as a “proud gun owner” and spoke at a Surry County Board of Supervisors hearing opposing a proposed ordinance to prohibit guns in government buildings. In the legislature, Taylor has voted to repeal Virginia’s red-flag law, and to reduce penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.  

DLCC Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement: 

When pressed to provide practical solutions to stop gun violence, Republicans have no answers. They place blame on too many doors in schools, video games, smartphones, and mental health issues– everything except for the fact that deadly weapons are too easily accessible. Democratic-led commonsense reforms are proven to reduce crime and keep communities safe. Virginians who want safer communities need to return their mail-in ballots and vote for Democrats who will push for solutions that actually reduce violence, rather than just complain about it.”

The DLCC is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures. Last year, the DLCC defied the odds by not losing any state legislative majorities, flipping four key chambers, and creating four new Democratic trifectas – the best midterm year for the party in power since at least 1934. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and pass the policies that have the biggest impact on Americans’ day-to-day lives. 

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