Thursday, January 29, 2009

Close the loophole!

For years, but especially since the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech, many people have suggested closing the so-called gun show loophole that gave an avenue for mentally ill or criminals to get weapons. While no one thinks closing the loophole will prevent all guns from falling into bad hands, there does seem to be a consensus among many folks that it would help to make our communities safer.
Closing the loophole has been controversial and for years has been shot down by gun rights advocates. Just a couple weeks ago the Virginia State Crime Commission deadlocked over a vote to recommend legislation that would require an electronic background check. That vote seemed to doom any legislation for the 2009 General Assembly session.
This week, Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath Co.) helped craft a bipartisan compromise in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
It was a tight vote in the committee, but prospects are now reasonably good for passage in the Senate. The bill will face a tough test in the House of Delegates, but passage in the Senate plus the upcoming election, may place pressure on a few delegates to do the right thing to make our commonwealth a bit safer.
Senator Deeds has a long record of working the middle ground between parties and with rural and urban interests to find consensus and solve problems. That's leadership. 

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