Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe unveiled new legislation on Wednesday that would take guns out of the hands of owners who have been charged with domestic violence. McAuliffe is working with Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring to convince the General Assembly that their proposed legislation will help protect victims of abuse.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence has released a report that claims that over half of the family and “intimate deaths” committed in Virginia in 2014 involved a firearm. According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the study found that 64 of the 109 domestic fatalities were carried out by a gun.
Gov. McAuliffe is using these numbers to argue that those who have committed domestic violence must not be allowed to own a gun. CBS reports that the governor has proposed four pieces of legislation to help curb domestic violence:
First, a law that would bar anyone placed under a protective from owning a gun, forcing them to turn over any firearms that they own.
The second law would bar anyone convicted of stalking, sexual battery or assault and battery from owning, purchasing or transporting a firearm.
Third, courts would be responsible for notifying those who have been placed under a protective order about the new gun restrictions.
Lastly, McAuliffe proposes legislation that would allow law enforcement to remove any firearms from the scene of domestic violence without a search warrant, as long as they have probable cause that the victim is in further danger.
"If these laws were passed, they would have a far-reaching effect on protecting our loved ones from harm,” says McAuliffe.
ABC reports that McAuliffe’s proposals are unlikely to be passed by the General Assembly.
Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave argues that “Somebody who is determined to kill their own spouse, they don’t care what the rules are. Especially If they are willing to kill themselves after they kill their spouse, there’s nothing you can do to stop them.”
"This is a very emotional tactic that is nothing more than the new front on which to fight for the anti-gun left," says Shenandoah County Republican Rep. Todd Gilbert. "I don't believe you stop bad people from hurting other people by passing another law."
Attorney General Herring stands with McAuliffe’s proposals, Beaumont Enterprise reports.
"This question is a very simple one,” says Herring. “Do you stand with the victims of domestic violence or do you stand with their abusers? Once again legislators will have a chance to show who they stand with."