Virginia is no stranger to gun violence. One of the most tragic gun massacres occurred at Virginia Tech in 2007. The governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, signed an executive order this week that is aimed at tightening up Virginia’s gun laws. The new laws make it illegal to openly carry guns in certain state-owned buildings. The Attorney General and US Senator Tim Kaine supported the order. The governor has tirelessly worked to advocate for stricter gun laws in a Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Prosecution of Gun Crimes
The governor’s order has also taken proactive steps in preventing gun crimes from occurring. Some of these initiatives aimed at preventing further gun crimes include:
The creation of a Task Force that has been put in charge of prosecuting gun crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Task Force will also work to prepare a list of areas in the law that prevent law enforcement officials to prevent the sale and purchase of illegal weapons and how the law can better address these issues;
The establishment of a hotline where civilians can call in tips on people who are committing gun crimes; and
The fact that now police must request a trace of any gun that is used to commit a crime in Virginia.
These actions are not meant to prevent a person from exercising his or her second amendment rights but to help enforce gun laws that are meant to keep guns out of those who plan on using them for harm.
What Does This Mean for Gun Owners?
The purpose of this executive order is to help better enforce already existing gun laws. This law is not meant to take guns out of the hands of people who legally own them. When the governor signed the executive order, he also announced certain legislative proposals that he would like to see in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These legislative proposals include preventing violent criminals, stalkers, and domestic abusers from legally obtaining a gun as well as conducting universal background checks on every person who is interested in purchasing a weapon. The governor has announced that he will continue to work to keep guns out of the hands of those who mean to use them to do harm and will introduce gun control legislation in the upcoming session. If you are interested in reading the executive order, it is entitled Number Fifty (2015) Executive Action to Prevent Gun Violence.
What Does This Mean for Me?
If you are a gun owner who would like to know more about how these new laws will affect your or if you have been charged with a gun crime in Virginia, a criminal attorney who has worked on prior gun crime cases and stays up to date on the evolving law can answer any questions that you may have. Jad Sarsour is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has worked on numerous cases involving gun law. If you are interested in setting up an appointment with Mr. Sarsour, you should contact our office by calling 703-385-6868.