Sens. Kaine and Warner want to make Virginia’s gun restrictions go national

It was midnight 14 years ago Friday when Tim Kaine answered a knock on the door in his Tokyo hotel room. Then the governor of Virginia, he had just arrived in Japan with a delegation of business leaders for a days-long trade mission. The Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg was still on lockdown. A gunman had killed 32 students and teachers before turning the weapon on himself. Kaine, sleepless, returned to Virginia on the next flight out, traveling from hospital to hospital to visit the wounded once he arrived. “Every April, I always think about this,” Kaine (D-Va.), now a U.S. senator, said Thursday. “Clearly, no if, ands or buts, one of the worst days of my life.” Now, on the eve of the anniversary of the shooting, he and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) reintroduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act, modeled after historic gun-control bills passed on the state level last year in Richmond. The Senate bill, which follows a recent spate of high-profile mass shootings, would require universal background checks, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from people shown to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. It would also close the so-called boyfriend loophole to prevent abusive unmarried partners from possessing firearms, create penalties for people who “recklessly” leave loaded guns unsecured in the presence of children, and require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours. Kaine and Warner introduced […]

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