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Ebbin, Hope Make Undercover Gun Sale Video to Underscore Legislation

After introducing gun safety legislation, the pair hope to prove a point by purchasing a 30-round extended clip without background check.

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."

SB 1109 and HB 2221 would make it a Class 6 felony to sell firearms to persons found mentally incapacitated or who have been involuntarily admitted.  

Ebbin also introduced legislation to require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms (SB 965) and to outlaw firearms in legislative buildings (SB 1012). 

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.

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