Vangie Williams (VA-01) Issue Statement

It is well-settled law that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. I support this individual right of responsible and law abiding American citizens.

As someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence, I am not willing to accept the idea that the Second Amendment holds us powerless to prevent nearly 40,000 deaths and nearly 100,000 injuries from firearms each year in the United States. The answer is not found in arbitrary bans but in promoting responsible firearm ownership.

As your representative, I will work to promote the purchase of gun safes through tax incentives. Mass shootings make headlines, but suicides make up the vast majority of gun deaths each year. By preventing juvenile thoughts from turning into dangerous adult actions, we help prevent thousands of deaths. Responsible firearm storage also protects from accidental discharge when a toddler or a neighborhood friend finds a hidden firearm and believes it is a toy. Finally, increased use of gun safes will slow the proliferation of stolen firearms that account for nearly one-fourth of violent gun deaths annually.

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that we need universal background checks to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. We have to close loopholes that currently allow 1 in 5 guns to be sold in “no questions asked” transactions through private and online sales. That’s millions of guns sold without a background check and can easily fall into the hands of criminals and domestic abusers.

I will do more to prevent ownership of firearms by those who have battered their partner or spouse. While many states, including Virginia, have laws against firearm ownership by a spouse batterer, there are few requirements to actually check up on whether someone has actually surrendered their arms. The same issue exists at the federal level.

For too long, special interests have fought to prevent you from having access to the information that allows you to support intelligent policy. Never again can we allow people like Rob Wittman to co-sponsor bills like the SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement) Act which removes restrictions on the use of silencers and flash suppressors and prevents the ATF from classifying ammunition as being “armor piercing.” Or vote on spending bills that curtail the ability of the Centers for Disease Control to perform meaningful research on how we can be safer without curtailing the rights of law-abiding Americans.

I speak to the silent majority of responsible gun owners who are justified in their fear of a gun grab but also don’t want to live in fear that their children will be the next victim. I ask you to join me in a fight that respects the individual right to bear arms and does more to protect the most vulnerable among us.
— https://vangieforcongress.com/issues/gun-reform/