The issue of gun control will be on the minds of state officials today, as lobbyists prepare to deliver their message to lawmakers.
Virginia’s General Assembly will consider more than 60 gun-related bills this session. One, favored by some Republicans, would require every school board to designate a staff member or volunteer to carry a concealed handgun on school property. Another would make it illegal for public agencies to assist the federal government in completing a criminal background check in connection with the sale of a gun.
Most job applications have a box on page one that asks applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime. Critics say that’s one big reason that people coming out of prison can’t get work and end up back behind bars. Now, there’s a move in the legislature to ban the box.
Virginia’s prisons offer a range of educational and vocational training programs, and many inmates go home with new skills and a commitment to live within the laws, but often they’re frustrated by the inability to find work.
“I mean they literally can’t get an interview. People won’t even talk to them.”
Gun-control advocates say their primary goal this legislative session is to keep firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have that right. So they've revised some bills that failed last year into legislation they believe are common-sense measures which could receive bipartisan support. But the head of one gun-rights group says some of the proposals are too broad and aren’t carefully crafted.
Some Democratic members of the General Assembly have announced they’ll push to repeal several abortion-related laws that have passed in recent years, which they say are restrictive and set up barriers to women’s reproductive health. The Senators and Delegates say to achieve this goal, they’ll play offensive and defensive roles during the legislative session.
Senator Barbara Favola said women deserve access to safe and legal health care.