Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has tightened his commonwealth's gun control measures by creating a gun crimes task force. His executive order arrives in the wake of Democratic presidential candidates demanding stiffer gun control laws. The numerous mass shootings that have occurred in recent years have caused the issue to become a major point of debate in the presidential race.
McAuliffe is heading Hillary Clinton's campaign for president in Virginia, where the National Rifle Association (NRA) is based. The influential gun lobby group has historically advocated for the easing of gun restrictions and has been opposed to gun control laws. As for McAuliffe, the reduction of gun violence has been a center point of his efforts as governor.
McCauliffe Says He Wants to Reduce Gun Violence
McAuliffe said that he was implementing the stricter gun control measures to reduce gun violence. As examples of why the measures were needed, he referenced a shooting incident where 32 people were murdered at Virginia Tech University in 2007. He also referenced the deaths of two on-air television journalists in Roanoke.
The governor said that Virginia needs to make it more difficult for people with mental health conditions, prior felonies, and protective orders to acquire firearms. Although Virginia has taken a lot of steps in this regard, it needs to do more, the governor said.
Illegal Gun Activity Tip Line Will Be Created
The new gun crimes task force is to be comprised of law enforcement personnel and local and state prosecutors. The task force will be in charge of ensuring that firearms can only be sold by a licensed dealer. They will also be in charge of enforcing gun ownership laws.
A special illegal gun activity tip line will also be created. Openly carrying guns in the majority of state office buildings will be eradicated, and state police will be in charge of tracing the source of guns used in different crimes.
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