Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Cuccinelli and His Caucus Are Bad for Public Safety
Press Release

RELEASE: Cuccinelli and His Caucus Are Bad for Public Safety

Press Contacts

  • Katie Peters

Read the report.

Washington, D.C. — A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund details Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s extensive work to undermine common-sense public safety policy. Cuccinelli’s efforts have effectively made it easier for criminals to access guns and harder for law enforcement to do their job.

“Like voters across the country, poll after poll shows that Virginians overwhelmingly support stronger laws to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said Arkadi Gerney, Senior Fellow and gun violence prevention expert at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Instead of listening to Virginians—and the more than 30 Virginia police chiefs who called for expanded background checks—Ken Cuccinelli and his soft-on-crime caucus have consistently blocked measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”

Instead of helping to strengthen Virginia’s gun laws to make it harder for criminals, gun traffickers, and the mentally ill to access firearms—as well as to reduce the human and economic costs to the state—Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has worked to strip away reasonable regulations on gun ownership, hamper law enforcement, and conceal crucial data regarding guns. He does not represent the public interest of Virginians, voting against background checks on gun sales even when Virginians overwhelmingly support background checks, including support from 91 percent of gun owners.

Ken Cuccinelli is unfortunately not alone in his views. Many Republican legislators in Virginia also favor laws that promote reckless gun ownership instead of responsible gun ownership and laws that make it easier for criminals to buy guns with no questions asked. Since the last election for the state’s House of Delegates, two measures were approved that move Virginia away from sensible gun ownership policies.

“We know the devastating results of lax gun policy only too well in Virginia. Attorney General Cuccinelli voted against the very remedies recommended multiple times by law enforcement and others after the Virginia Tech tragedy, and we know that his running mate, Earl W. Jackson, is committed to this very same agenda,” said Lori Haas, mother of Emily Haas, who was shot in the Virginia Tech shooting and survived. “Receiving the highest endorsement by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which signals his support for guns in K-12 schools by untrained individuals, E.W. Jackson does not put the safety of our families ahead of his allegiance to the gun lobby.”

This evening at a press conference and vigil that are taking place steps away from the Virginia lieutenant governor debate, gun violence prevention advocates will point to findings highlighted in the CAP Action report and call on Republican Lt. Gov. candidate E.W. Jackson to release his NRA and Virginia Citizens Defense League survey, for which he received a “very pro-gun” rating, and to come clean regarding his stance on guns, especially legislation requiring background checks for all firearm sales in Virginia.

Read the report: Cuccinelli and His Caucus Are Bad for Public Safety by Charles Posner and Emma Shapiro

Attend tonight’s press conference: ADVISORY: Gun Violence Prevention Advocates to Hold Press Conference and Vigil Outside Lt. Gov. Debate

Related report: The Real Cost of Cuccinelli: The Threat to Virginia’s Competitiveness and Middle Class by Jon Shields, Anna Chu, and Emma Shapiro

To speak with an expert, contact Katie Peters at kpeters@americanprogressaction.org or 202.741.6285.

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