Just the Facts
Five Facts on State Level Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence
By No Labels
August 5, 2019 | Blog
After two mass shootings this weekend resulting in 31 deaths and many more injured, President Trump has called on a divided Congress to act on the issue of gun violence. Although it may seem unlikely Congress can act considering its failure to do so in the wake of other mass shootings, many states have recently passed bipartisan measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Washington should take note.
1. It is a felony for a prohibited juvenile offender to possess a firearm in Nebraska.
State law in Nebraska restricts the rights of adults convicted of felonies and domestic abuse but stopped short for juvenile offenders of similar crimes. State Legislators then passed LB 990 which prohibited gun possession by serious juvenile offenders under the age of 25, with the opportunity to petition a judge if rehabilitation has been completed and this warrants such a change.
2. Virginia has expanded the scope of a law that prohibited people who were involuntarily committed to a mental health facility from buying weapons.
With bipartisan support in the Virginia General Assembly, a law passed to prohibit adults and minors to buy a firearm if they were subject to involuntary emergency health treatment. Virginia additionally passed legislation to require mental health courses to be incorporated in public schools from elementary through high school.
3. “Knowingly and intentionally” providing a firearm to a felon is punishable up to five years in prison in Georgia.
Georgia passed legislation making it illegal for someone to buy or gift a firearm for someone he or she knows is legally prohibited from purchasing one. The bill requires a prosecutor to prove the person in question knew they were giving a firearm to a felon.
4. Tennessee passed a law requiring law enforcement to be notified if an individual attempts to purchase a firearm and fails a background check.
Under the legislation, law enforcement officials are notified when someone involuntarily committed to a mental institution or known to have a severe mental illness fails a background check when attempting to purchase a firearm under Tennessee law. This legislation enables law enforcement to investigate and prevent gun violence.
5. In Louisiana, law enforcement has greater authority to seize weapons from those with a history of domestic abuse.
Offenders convicted of battery and other domestic abuse offenses are prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years after sentencing or probation under Louisiana legislation. Judges will issue a court order requiring offenders to hand over any and all firearms. Should an abuser violate the legislation, they are jailed and fined.