Gun Violence Prevention Groups Commend Work of Virginia Tech Review Panel

Aug 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

    RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National and
 Virginia-based gun violence prevention groups applaud Governor Tim Kaine
 and the Virginia Tech Review Panel for forthrightly addressing the role of
 federal and state gun laws in the April 16 mass shootings at the
 university. The groups pledge to work with policy makers in Richmond to
 help implement the panel's recommendations in an expeditious manner.
 
     The Virginia Tech Review Panel's mission was "to provide an
 independent, thorough, and objective incident review of [the April 16 mass
 shootings at the university], including a review of educational laws,
 policies and institutions, the public safety and health care procedures and
 responses, and the mental health delivery system." Today, the panel
 released its final report, making important recommendations to improve
 public safety in the Commonwealth.
 
     Chapter VI of the report makes six important recommendations on gun
 policy in two primary areas: a) improving the background check system for
 gun purchases; and b) restricting the carrying of concealed weapons on
 college campuses. If taken together and fully implemented, these
 recommendations would make it much more difficult for dangerous individuals
 like the Virginia Tech Shooter to evade firearm background checks at the
 state and federal level.
 
     The panel made it clear that the information in the National Instant
 Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is only as good as the data
 provided by individual states. The panel suggested that the federal
 government offer incentives to make sure that every state transfers
 disqualifying information on prohibited purchasers to the NICS system. "The
 first lesson of Virginia Tech is that the shooter, given his troubled
 history, never should have been able to purchase handguns," said
 ProtestEasyGuns.com founder Abby Spangler. "We support the panel's effort
 to break down barriers between the state and federal government in sharing
 information in this area."
 
     The panel also recommended closing one of the key loopholes in
 Virginia's gun laws. Currently, individuals can purchase firearms in
 Virginia through a "private sale" without undergoing a background check.
 Such purchases are common at gun shows that occur regularly throughout the
 Commonwealth. The panel recognized that any improvement to the background
 check system could be easily evaded if this loophole was left open and
 recommended requiring background checks on all firearm sales in the state,
 including those at gun shows. "Over the last five years, violence
 prevention advocates have been urging policy makers in Richmond to close
 this deadly loophole," said VACPS President Barbara King Hart. "It's time
 for common sense to prevail and we appreciate the panel's leadership on
 this issue."
 
     The issue of guns on campus was also prominent in the panel's report.
 Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has interpreted Virginia law to
 allow each university to determine its policy regarding the carrying of
 handguns on campus by students and staff. This has led to significant
 confusion about the ability of universities to prevent non-students from
 carrying guns onto campuses. The Virginia Tech Review Panel recommended
 that guns be banned on campus grounds and in university buildings unless
 mandated by law. "Students on Virginia's campuses should be assured that
 they are learning in safe, secure environments," said Virginia Million Mom
 March Chapters State President Martina Leinz. "The panel recognized that
 more guns on college campuses would be a public safety disaster."
 
     Governor Kaine has promised to act on the recommendations of the panel
 and Virginia's gun violence prevention groups look forward to a bipartisan
 effort to make the Commonwealth a safer place for all of its residents.
 
     The Virginia Center for Public Safety (VACPS) is a non-profit,
 non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to freedom from gun violence
 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The organization seeks to create a safer
 Virginia through education, public forums, youth outreach, and work in the
 public policy arena. Visit VACPS on the web at http://www.vacps.org.
 
     As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading
 the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, working with its
 dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is devoted to creating an
 America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at
 school, at work, and in our communities. For more information about the
 Brady Campaign, visit http://www.bradycampaign.org.
 
     ProtestEasyGuns.com is a grassroots protest movement of Americans that
 emerged in response to the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history at
 Virginia Tech. Our protestors are outraged at how easy it is to obtain a
 gun in the United States and we believe it is time to change lax U.S. gun
 laws that allow criminals easy access to guns. Each of our protests
 includes 32 individuals (symbolizing the number of students and teachers
 murdered at Virginia Tech) who lie on the ground for just a few minutes
 (signifying the brief amount of time it takes to buy a gun in the United
 States). Our goal is to encourage like-minded citizens to stage their own
 protests around the country so that we can influence the public discourse
 and ultimately the legislative process with regard to this critical
 national problem. We are non-partisan and do not raise money.
 
     The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) was founded in 1975 and is
 composed of 45 civic, professional and religious organizations and 100,000
 individual members working to reduce gun violence. Our mission is to stop
 gun violence by fostering effective community and national action. For more
 information about the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, visit
 http://www.csgv.org.
 
     Contacts:
     Barbara King Hart, VACPS, (757) 749-5689
     Martina Leinz, MMM-VA, (703) 969-3529
     Abigail Spangler, ProtestEasyGuns.com, (703) 980-4211
     Ladd Everitt, CSGV, (202) 408-0061, x. 103
     Peter Hamm, Brady Campaign, (202) 898-0792
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
    RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National and
 Virginia-based gun violence prevention groups applaud Governor Tim Kaine
 and the Virginia Tech Review Panel for forthrightly addressing the role of
 federal and state gun laws in the April 16 mass shootings at the
 university. The groups pledge to work with policy makers in Richmond to
 help implement the panel's recommendations in an expeditious manner.
 
     The Virginia Tech Review Panel's mission was "to provide an
 independent, thorough, and objective incident review of [the April 16 mass
 shootings at the university], including a review of educational laws,
 policies and institutions, the public safety and health care procedures and
 responses, and the mental health delivery system." Today, the panel
 released its final report, making important recommendations to improve
 public safety in the Commonwealth.
 
     Chapter VI of the report makes six important recommendations on gun
 policy in two primary areas: a) improving the background check system for
 gun purchases; and b) restricting the carrying of concealed weapons on
 college campuses. If taken together and fully implemented, these
 recommendations would make it much more difficult for dangerous individuals
 like the Virginia Tech Shooter to evade firearm background checks at the
 state and federal level.
 
     The panel made it clear that the information in the National Instant
 Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is only as good as the data
 provided by individual states. The panel suggested that the federal
 government offer incentives to make sure that every state transfers
 disqualifying information on prohibited purchasers to the NICS system. "The
 first lesson of Virginia Tech is that the shooter, given his troubled
 history, never should have been able to purchase handguns," said
 ProtestEasyGuns.com founder Abby Spangler. "We support the panel's effort
 to break down barriers between the state and federal government in sharing
 information in this area."
 
     The panel also recommended closing one of the key loopholes in
 Virginia's gun laws. Currently, individuals can purchase firearms in
 Virginia through a "private sale" without undergoing a background check.
 Such purchases are common at gun shows that occur regularly throughout the
 Commonwealth. The panel recognized that any improvement to the background
 check system could be easily evaded if this loophole was left open and
 recommended requiring background checks on all firearm sales in the state,
 including those at gun shows. "Over the last five years, violence
 prevention advocates have been urging policy makers in Richmond to close
 this deadly loophole," said VACPS President Barbara King Hart. "It's time
 for common sense to prevail and we appreciate the panel's leadership on
 this issue."
 
     The issue of guns on campus was also prominent in the panel's report.
 Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has interpreted Virginia law to
 allow each university to determine its policy regarding the carrying of
 handguns on campus by students and staff. This has led to significant
 confusion about the ability of universities to prevent non-students from
 carrying guns onto campuses. The Virginia Tech Review Panel recommended
 that guns be banned on campus grounds and in university buildings unless
 mandated by law. "Students on Virginia's campuses should be assured that
 they are learning in safe, secure environments," said Virginia Million Mom
 March Chapters State President Martina Leinz. "The panel recognized that
 more guns on college campuses would be a public safety disaster."
 
     Governor Kaine has promised to act on the recommendations of the panel
 and Virginia's gun violence prevention groups look forward to a bipartisan
 effort to make the Commonwealth a safer place for all of its residents.
 
     The Virginia Center for Public Safety (VACPS) is a non-profit,
 non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to freedom from gun violence
 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The organization seeks to create a safer
 Virginia through education, public forums, youth outreach, and work in the
 public policy arena. Visit VACPS on the web at http://www.vacps.org.
 
     As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading
 the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, working with its
 dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is devoted to creating an
 America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at
 school, at work, and in our communities. For more information about the
 Brady Campaign, visit http://www.bradycampaign.org.
 
     ProtestEasyGuns.com is a grassroots protest movement of Americans that
 emerged in response to the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history at
 Virginia Tech. Our protestors are outraged at how easy it is to obtain a
 gun in the United States and we believe it is time to change lax U.S. gun
 laws that allow criminals easy access to guns. Each of our protests
 includes 32 individuals (symbolizing the number of students and teachers
 murdered at Virginia Tech) who lie on the ground for just a few minutes
 (signifying the brief amount of time it takes to buy a gun in the United
 States). Our goal is to encourage like-minded citizens to stage their own
 protests around the country so that we can influence the public discourse
 and ultimately the legislative process with regard to this critical
 national problem. We are non-partisan and do not raise money.
 
     The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) was founded in 1975 and is
 composed of 45 civic, professional and religious organizations and 100,000
 individual members working to reduce gun violence. Our mission is to stop
 gun violence by fostering effective community and national action. For more
 information about the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, visit
 http://www.csgv.org.
 
     Contacts:
     Barbara King Hart, VACPS, (757) 749-5689
     Martina Leinz, MMM-VA, (703) 969-3529
     Abigail Spangler, ProtestEasyGuns.com, (703) 980-4211
     Ladd Everitt, CSGV, (202) 408-0061, x. 103
     Peter Hamm, Brady Campaign, (202) 898-0792
 
 
 
 
 SOURCE Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence