Va. Senate rejects bill to require background checks for gun rentals

Va. Senate rejects bill to require background checks for gun rentals

Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath. (Photo by Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury) A bill meant to prevent suicides at Virginia shooting ranges failed on the floor of the state Senate Thursday after a majority of senators decided it was unworkable. The legislation , brought in response to the back-to-back suicides of two young men at a Hanover County shooting range, was sent back to a Senate committee by a 21-18 vote, effectively killing it for the year. The proposal would have required state-level background checks for gun rentals starting in 2023. Several senators said they supported the intent of the bill, but doubted it could be effective because the state currently doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to perform the checks. Instead, they said, a provision in the state budget will direct the Virginia State Police to craft an alternative solution. Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, who made the motion to re-refer the bill to committee, said one of the suicide victims’ families lives in her district, so she is “very empathetic to finding a path forward.” “It feels good to pass a bill that’s addressing an issue we’re concerned about,” Dunnavant said. “But it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get the job done.” Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, who sponsored the legislation, urged his colleagues to stick with the bill. “I would argue that the bill, the way it’s drafted, will be effective,” Deeds said. “It can’t bring any of these young people back… but hopefully it can prevent some tragedies.” Three Democrats — […]

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