Activists Express Concern About New Governor’s Stance On Gun Control

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Activists express concern about new governor's stance on gun control Bob McDonnell won the gubernatorial race in Virginia on Nov. 3, raising concerns among some state residents about the future of its gun laws.

One organization— called Virginians for Public Safety (VPS), which promotes ways to reduce crime and gang violence and says it aims to "keep guns away from criminals, domestic abusers and children"—has criticized McDonnell’s support for unregulated firearm sales at state gun shows, as expressed during his electoral campaign.

Citing the governor-elect’s stated belief that appropriate lessons have been learned from the Virginia Tech shooting, VPS has pointed out that state legislators have taken no action to address the so-called "gun show loophole." It allows individuals who are not licensed firearms dealers to sell guns at gun shows without conducting background checks or maintaining records of sale.

According to VPS, the Virginia Tech Review Panel, which was set up to provide an independent review of the shooting, recommended that the General Assembly pass a law requiring background checks on private sales of firearms at gun shows, but this has not happened.

"McDonnell has also chosen to ignore the voices of those who were directly affected by [that] tragedy," the organization has stated.

Following the shooting, Governor Tim Kaine signed an executive order, which became codified in legislation, to require Virginia’s courts to forward Orders of Involuntary Commitment to the State Police so they can make them available to licensed firearm dealers for background checks.
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