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Gun Laws: Virginia Background Checks Stop 54,000 Gun Sales

Virginia State Police records indicate the Commonwealth denied sales to felons, mentally ill and more.

From 1989 — when Virginia's gun purchasing background check system began — through 2012, 54,260 people have been prevented from buying guns in the Commonwealth.

Virginia State Police statistics show the number includes felons, drug abusers, the mentally ill and domestic assault offenders.

“I think this strengthens the argument that all gun transactions should involve a background check of the purchaser," Thomas R. Baker, a criminologist and assistant professor of criminal justice studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“The fact that they [Virginia State Police] actively pursue individuals who try to purchase a gun illegally means the background check system helps to not only keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, but also helps identify and punish individuals trying to illegally obtain guns," Baker said.

Read more of the Times-Dispatch report.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), a gun rights lobby, is tracking all gun related legislation facing the 2013 General Assembly. The session is scheduled to end Feb. 23.

Related Stories:

Gun Laws: Things More Difficult to Buy Than Guns (Feb. 14, 2013)

UMW helps freshman honor slain Newtown neighbors (Jan. 18, 2013)

(Jan. 15, 2013)

Letter to the Editor: Striving for What is Reasonable (Dec. 28, 2012)

Virginia Educators Rebut Governor's Interest in School Staff Carrying Weapons (Dec. 22, 2012)

Gov. Bob McDonnell Reacts to Connecticut School Shootings (Dec. 14, 2012)

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Raconteur February 20, 2013 at 03:18 PM
"the number includes felons, drug abusers, the mentally ill and domestic assault offenders." So, just how many were prohibited persons? 1%, 5% 50%? if it was 1% then I'd say this law is BS and not worth the money. It would ne better invested in mental health.

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