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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
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~ On new measures to reduce gun violence and make communities safer ~

WASHINGTON, DC (January 5, 2016)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the following statement after attending an event at the White House where President Obama announced additional measures to reduce gun violence and make communities safer:

"I've had the chance to meet some of the thousands of Virginians personally affected by gun violence each year. Some are friends and family of someone shot by a dangerous and disturbed individual in a high-profile incident, others are loved ones who were hurt or killed by a domestic abuser, an accident, or just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The feeling of loss, pain, and grief is so palpable it reminds me that we have an urgent responsibility to do everything in our power to keep more families from experiencing that kind of heartbreak.


"The measures announced today, and others being taken in Virginia and communities around the country, are important steps to promote public safety, prevent gun violence, and keep guns away from criminals and other dangerous people. Background checks, like concealed handgun reciprocity agreements, are how we enforce the laws already on the books about who can and cannot lawfully possess or conceal a weapon. Strongly enforcing these laws makes it harder for a gun to get into the hands of a dangerous person who might hurt themselves, someone else, or commit a crime. It doesn't affect safe, law-abiding citizens. We should all be able to get behind that, and that's why universal background checks are supported by 75% of Virginians.


"Of course, there's no substitute for the things we could do with a legislature that is committed to keeping guns away from dangerous people. But until then, I will continue to stand with victims and their families to push for those commonsense measures, and to strongly enforce the laws we have on the books. No one is pretending that these measures will fix all our problems with gun violence, but we can't and shouldn't stand idly by while tragedies add up, pretending there's nothing we can or should do to protect our families and communities from gun violence."


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