In Virginia, bipartisan cooperation on firearms clearance has achieved an exceedingly meager accomplishment.
The state legislature recently passed a measure which requires individuals hoping to purchase a firearm to undergo a background check. This law, however, is an exceedingly meager accomplishment, as it does not incorporate the myriad of complex issues surrounding gun control.
The Virginia General Assembly’s passage of this legislation, while certainly demonstrating some degree of bipartisan compromise, was nonetheless a rather low bar to clear. For instance, the bill does not impose any restrictions on the types of weapons that can be legally acquired. Nor does it address the sale of firearms to those with a history of mental illness or criminal convictions.
Moreover, the bill does not establish any limits on the number of firearms an individual can purchase in a given period of time. Nor does it create any regulations on the storage of firearms or ammunition. Consequently, the legislation does not provide any meaningful level of protection against gun violence.
Furthermore, the bill is largely limited to firearms purchased from federally licensed dealers, leaving out a vast majority of gun sales that occur without the interventions of a licensed dealer. This includes, for example, transactions involving private gun sales, gun shows, and internet sales.
In sum, the passage of this measure in Virginia, while certainly a step in the right direction, is far from a comprehensive solution to the problem of gun violence. It is a very low hurdle that must be cleared before meaningful progress can be made.