Virginia gun control advocates’ last hope of bringing legislation to a floor vote stalled Tuesday morning.
A bill introduced by Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) to bar domestic abusers from possessing guns was passed over by the state Senate Finance Committee, which cited a lack of funds. A proposal to loosen gun regulation by allowing lifetime concealed weapon permits was left to die for the same reasons, as were voluntary background checks at gun shows.
Though the bills were technically passed by only for the day, they are not expected to receive a new vote. “There’s no money for them, so these bills will not be going forward,” said Sen. Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) after the meeting.
The domestic abuse measure has had several lives this session. It died and was later revived in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee with a narrower scope. But a companion bill has already failed in a House committee, where supporters of gun rights dominate.
Favola said she is not giving up on her bill and will try to bring it up on the floor as a budget amendment. The economic impact, she added, is only $50,000 a year.
“That’s not a large amount,” she said. “It will be tough, but I’m committed to this bill.”
Favola put forward similar legislation last year and it passed out of the Senate with broad bipartisan support. This year, Republicans control both chambers of the legislature and most committees, and they have reacted skeptically to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) push for stricter gun regulations.
Proposals that have already failed this session are those for a renewal of the state’s one-a-month limit on handgun purchases, a requirement that buyers at gun shows undergo background checks, the revocation of concealed-handgun permits for parents who are behind on child-support payments and a ban on allowing children four and younger from handling firearms.