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Sullivan Blasts Republican Inaction on Gun Safety Measures

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2018, 9:30 am EST

Media Contact
Kate Petersen
(610) 209-4718



RICHMOND, Va.: Today, Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. (D-McLean) spoke out against Republican leaders blocking consideration of a number of gun safety bills in the House of Delegates.

“February 13th, or ‘Crossover,’ marked the deadline by which all House bills had to pass the chamber to be considered by the Senate. When the House adjourned yesterday, Republicans effectively killed several gun safety bills that, if signed into law, could have saved the lives of countless Virginians who will fall victim to gun violence or suicide by firearm. These bills never received a subcommittee assignment, let alone a hearing, breaking from tradition in the General Assembly. Instead, House Republican leadership deliberately ignored these bills in favor of considering bills that would allow guns in places of worship (HB 1180), allow concealed carry permits to be applied for by mail (HB 1398), and grant non-Virginians de facto concealed handgun permits if their applications are not completed within a shortened time frame (HB 681),” said Delegate Sullivan.

“It is unclear whether Republicans refused hearings on these bills because they did not want to publicly oppose them, or whether they simply grew tired of denying on the record the large number of bills introduced this session that would make the Commonwealth safer. Republican leaders cut out suicide prevention advocates, gun safety supporters, gun violence survivors, and family members of those slain by firearms from this important and pressing conversation. By denying these gun safety bills hearings, the majority attempted to silence Virginians. Despite their best efforts, however, we will continue the fight for gun safety in the Commonwealth.”

Two of Delegate Sullivan’s bills, HB 198 and HB 629, never received a hearing.

HB 198 would allow concerned family members and individuals close to a gun owner they believe to be a risk to himself or others to go to a Commonwealth’s Attorney or law enforcement officer and request that they seek a “risk warrant.” If they concur that the person is an immediate risk to himself or others, the Commonwealth’s Attorney or law enforcement officer would then go before a judge to ask for a risk warrant to remove the person’s firearms temporarily. That gun owner could then, if he or she so chooses, appeal the judge’s ruling in court, ensuring there is full due process.

HB 629 would prohibit fugitives from justice, defined as any person named in an active misdemeanor of felony warrant of arrest, from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms. The bill would also update Virginia’s criminal history record information check form to inquire if the applicant is a fugitive.


Delegate Rip Sullivan represents Virginia's 48th House of Delegates District, which is composed of parts of Arlington and McLean.