On behalf of:

The Richmond Academy of Medicine

Describe the Idea or Issue:

MSV has a number of policies supporting laws and regulations relating to firearms including: Policy 145.003 which promotes trauma control and increased public safety, Policy 17-204 which supports gun violence restraining orders as mechanisms to decrease gun related suicides and homicides and Policy 515.001 which opposes any type of domestic violence and supports the inclusion of educational material regarding resources, criminal laws, and prevention in government publications related to marriage and families. Research indicates that states which restrict access to firearms by abusers under restraining orders saw an 8% decrease in intimate partner homicides (Vigdor, et al). Research also indicates that individuals with prior misdemeanor convictions are at greater risk of future violence and firearm-related crimes (Wintemute, et al). District of Columbia vs. Heller upheld the right of individual states to impose restrictions on gun ownership.

Desired Outcome:

The Richmond Academy of Medicine requests that the Medical Society of Virginia staff seek to introduce (and actively support) legislation creating gun violence restraining orders (also known as extreme risk restraining orders) and legislation prohibiting gun ownership by individuals convicted of prior violent misdemeanors, such as 2018 SB 732. Furthermore, we ask the Medical Society of Virginia to oppose any legislation that would require reciprocal concealed carry permits in Virginia.

Background/Supporting Information:

SB732 from 2018 GA Session Background information can be found on pages 2-8 of appendix


The gun violence restraining order is a great idea, as it gets the weapons out of the hands of someone who can cause harm to themselves or others.

This idea should be advocated for without extraneous issues.  Requesting to advocate against reciprocal concealed carry permits muddies the issue at hand, and causes the MSV to lose credibility on these issues.

None proposed limit safe ownership of firearms for those who wish to own guns but all increase safety and reduce possibility of tragedy which seems excessive at present.

We have made many statements supporting these concepts over the last 5-6 years and the vigorous support of such measures of "organized medicine" would be very helpful in recent new energy against the harmful activity of the NRA.

Support needed

As one of the coauthors of the resolution, I would like to note that we chose to combine these two "Resolved" clauses in part to avoid cluttering up the process with two separate resolutions, but also because we believe the "Resolved" clauses work togeher to help avoid guns being available to people who might harm themselsves or others, and who should not have access to firearms under Virginia law. Each of these "Resolved" clauses support this goal--either by allowing officials to remove temporariliy remove firearms from a home when there is imminent risk, as well as to ensure that Virginia's requirements for concealed carry permits are followed instead of allowing states with lower standards or burden of proof dictate who can carry concealed firearms in Virginia.

If MSV were to prefer to separate these "Resolved" clauses into two separate policy proposals, this would be something I would support.


Medical professionals have a moral duty to promote the facts of firearm deaths in the US.  There are many sensible interventions that will not impinge on people's right to hunt or have a gun in their home but that would save lives.  MSV must have courage and step forward. This should be only a first step. I agree with Art Vayer, take each issue one at a time for more sucess.

I'd figure to go for the extreme risk restraining order as moderate and documented.

In a setting where felons "having paid their debt to society" are having voting rights reinstated, it seems unlikely that second amendment rights can be rescinded for misdemeanors

I'd leave concealed carry issue out - as distracting

While individuals convicted of felonies are having voting rights restored, I believe they are still blocked from legally owning firearms? If so, restricting legal owndership for those convicted of misdemeanors would be following that precedent--and might be allowed to "sunset" (e.g. ownership rights restored) after a certain number of years.

As a coauthor of this resolution I am in agreement with Dr. Ryan that the intent of the dual resolved clauses is to thoughtfully and lawfully limit access to guns for certain groups of people specifically in the state of Virginia. This includes prohibiting the possession of weapons by those convicted of certain crimes (see summary of SB732 below), removing weapons out of the hands of those who seek to cause harm to themselves or others, and preventing gun owners from other states with less stringent gun laws than Virginia's from bringing them into the Commonwealth. All three goals will reduce firearm risk.

Additionally, in advocating for appropriate restrictions on gun possession and the fitness of certain individuals to own guns, the MSV is working to give physicians the necessary tools to identify at-risk individuals, prevent them from causing harm, and give them the support they need.

SB732: "Prohibits a person who has been convicted of stalking, sexual battery, assault and battery of a family or household member, brandishing a firearm, or two or more convictions of assault and battery from possessing or transporting a firearm. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides for a process by which a person convicted of such crimes may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his right to possess or transport a firearm."

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