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'Gun Show Loophole Bill' Dies in Committee

Howell was a sponsor of bill that would demand background checks at gun shows.

A Virginia Senate bill co-sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) that would close the "gun-show loophole" allowing people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check died in committee Wednesday.

The committee voted 8-7 to stop SB 1001 from going forward.

Lawmakers were unable to work out a compromise, even after Sen. William Stanley (R-Franklin County) said last week he would work with Sens. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond), and Don McEachin (D-Henrico), to reach a deal.

Stanley has since told colleagues on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee that he is close to crafting a measure, but doesn't feel the details can be worked out this session, the Newport News Daily Press reported.

Stanely said he will alter the bill and present a new one next year that would be more likely to make it into law. 

Marsh's bill would have required firearms sales at gun shows to go through a licensed dealer only, but private sellers could consign their guns to those dealers.

Howell called the delay "unconscionable," the Daily Press reported.

"We've had untold tragedies that still break our hearts when we think about them," Howell said. "And yet we're letting people get guns without any background checks. It's untenable; it's unconscionable. Delaying another year makes absolutely no sense at all."

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Sarah F January 25, 2013 at 05:38 PM
When you can prove that these are the guns getting into the hands of the criminals committing these heartbreaking crimes then I might think you have a leg to stand on. Otherwise, it's pure foolishness.
Don Joy January 25, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Background checks are a waste of time, and even worse than merely that: Information obtained would be used to compile a registry of all gun owners, which we know would be the means toward eventual confiscation of all privately owned guns by corrupt government. They are a waste of time in the first place, because they do not stop bad guys intent on doing harm from getting their hands on the means to do it--as in the case of the guy who murdered the firemen in upstate New York recently, those who know they wouldn't pass the background check simply arrange for a straw purchaser, or steal them, or buy them on the black market, etc. Furthermore, a background check is not omniscient as to a person's character or intent, future actions, etc; it only reveals what might have made it onto official records in the jurisdictions checked. Just because someone doesn't have a record in whatever database proves nothing about whether they are a bad actor or will become a bad actor. It has been proven that the best deterrent to illegal gun violence and/or the threat of it is the prevalence of citizens carrying concealed weapons.
Don Joy January 25, 2013 at 07:59 PM
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson NO to gun registration, meaning NO to background checks. Political agendas always cause some to have others declared unfit to keep and bear arms. NO government involvement in the private sale of guns.
Locally Involved March 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Again, DoJo, you are wrong. Though it does get tedious proving so, I appreciate the exercise in history. According the Monticello.org - and probably the definitive source of all things Jefferson, since, uh, that's what they do. Your reference of government tyranny is directly rebuked: That sentence does not appear in the Virginia Constitution drafts or text as adopted, nor in any other Jefferson writings that we know of. What Jefferson did was originally state: No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (Quotation) This sentence comes from Thomas Jefferson's three drafts of the Virginia Constitution. The text does vary slightly in each draft: First Draft: "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Second Draft: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]." Third Draft: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]" IMPORTANT NOTE: This sentence does not appear in the Virginia Constitution as adopted.

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