State Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, and Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, have introduced a package of gun safety legislation that includes requiring universal background checks on prospective firearms purchases (SB 1232 / HB 2025) and tightening restrictions on the sale of weapons to the mentally ill (SB1109 / HB 2221).
To drive home their point, the two Northern Virginia lawmakers purchased guns from a private seller at a gun show without a background check and made videos of the transactions.
At a news conference this week in Richmond, Ebbin displayed a 30-round ammunition magazine he bought for $20.
"Buying a 30-round magazine should not be as easy as buying a candy bar,” he said in a news release.
He pointed out a 30-round magazine was used in the recent Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that left 26 dead.
"We easily purchased a handgun at a Virginia gun show, without undergoing a background check," Ebbin and Hope said in a joint statement. "Sadly, nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are conducted without a background check. In the interest of community safety, it's not too much to ask for responsible gun purchasers to undergo a background check to screen for criminal history or history of serious mental illness."
Citing the need to pass SB 965, Ebbin said, “When a gun is stolen, a deadly weapon is in criminal hands — a combination we all want to avoid. Reporting lost or stolen guns can help police avert a tragedy.”
Hope and Ebbin called on Virginians to contact their legislators in support of the gun safety legislation.