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Virginia Senate committee approves background checks on gun rentals

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 7:40 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - After two young men took their own lives last year at an indoor firing range, State Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath Co.) introduced legislation he hoped might prevent a similar tragedy.

Monday, a Senate committee approved the measure, which would require a state background check before an individual can rent a firearm.

Brad Carroll spoke in favor of legislation he believes could have saved his son.

“My son was one of the ones that committed suicide last July 2020,” Carroll said. “I strongly support this bill.”

Others agreed that a state background check on gun rentals would make a difference.

“Neither of these young men would have been able to buy a weapon because of their mental health backgrounds, but they were able to rent a weapon and they were able to end their lives,” said Sen. Deeds.

Opponents argued cases like these are exceptionally rare.

And adding gun rentals to required background checks, they said, will overload the State Police system.

D. J. Spiker is a representative of the National Rifle Association.

“And it’s best left to ranges and Virginia State Police to come up with in-house policies to regulate this,” Spiker told lawmakers. “This bill would not be a preventative measure.”

The Senate Judiciary committee approved the bill.

The legislation now heads to the Senate Finance Committee, before it reaches the floor of the State Senate.

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