reposted from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance 

According to the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, intimate partner homicide increased by 21% in 2010 and 60.5% of IPV victims were killed with a firearm.  Between 2006 and 2010 intimate partner homicides in the Commonwealth increased by 64% while the overall homicide rate was going down. (1)

Recognizing  the significant risk that exists when a perpetrator of domestic violence has access to firearms, the Action Alliance suports laws that prohibit the purchase, transport and possession of firearms for persons subject to protective orders and/or who have been convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member.  Additionally, we support attempt to give law enforcement officers and prosecutors additional tools to remove or force the surrender of firearms when these conditions are present.

The Virginia General Assembly has recognized that firearms pose a significant risk to victims of domestic violence and stalking by enacting laws that prohibit the purchase or transport of firearms when a person is subject to a protective order.  The Action Alliance urges Members of the General Assembly to support legislation that prohibits the purchase, transport, and possession of firearms for persons who have been convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member and persons subject to protective orders and to oppose any efforts to weaken these protections.

Support HB 1410 (Del. J. Scott)  This bill prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member that results in seriou bodily injury from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following his conviction.  A violation would constitute a Class 6 felony.  the bill also provides for the forfeiture of any weapon possessed, transported, or carried in violation of the prohibition.  Finally, the bill provides for a process by which a violator may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his/her rights to possess, transport, or carry a weapon.

Support SB 864 (Sen. Favola)  This bill prohibits any person subject to an emergency protective order pursuant to subsection C of 18.2-57.2 to physically possess a firearm while in the residence of the alleged victim or transport a firearm  while such an order is in effect.

 

(1) 2010 Family and Intimate Partner Homicide Report.  Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Virginia Department of Health. October 2012.  

for more information, contact Kristine Hall at khall@vsdvalliance.org or 804-377-0335 (January 2013)

 

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