For Immediate Release 

Contact: Sam Falconer, Campaign Manager – Galante for Delegate


Marshall, VA (August 4) – In the span of a mere 13 hours this weekend, 29 Americans, including 4 children, were murdered at a Wal-Mart in El Paso and at an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso shooting is the 8th deadliest in American history, and the Dayton shooting is the 250th mass shooting this year. Two other shootings earlier this week, one at a neighborhood Wal-Mart and another at a garlic festival, mean 34 Americans died in mass shootings this week alone. 

We mourn and pray for the families who lost loved ones in El Paso, Dayton, Gilroy and Southaven, but we owe these families more than words. Law–abiding gun owners in rural Virginia know what responsible gun ownership looks like. It’s time our politicians took their responsibility to preserve both public safety and the Second Amendment seriously. We must act now to deal with this scourge at both the state and federal level.

In Virginia’s General Assembly that means enacting common sense measures like:

  • Enacting Extreme Risk Protection Orders—so that when someone sees something and says something, law enforcement and a judge have the tools to act if someone is a danger to themselves or others. 
  • Expanding Background Checks—87% of gun owners support background checks. We must eliminate the background check loopholes, especially for online sales. 
  • Increasing mental health resources for schools and communities. Virginia has a serious shortage of mental health professionals and services. We need to address the shortage with improved access, especially in underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

This year, when presented with opportunities to address these same measures, Michael Webert failed us. He refused to consider Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from people who endanger themselves or others. He voted against requiring criminal background checks on Internet sales. Webert voted to allow gun purchasers who could not pass a background check within 3 days to buy guns anyway. That’s not leadership; that’s abdicating your responsibility as an elected official.

Enacting these measures won’t stop all shootings but they will help. They will help more Americans come home alive from shopping malls, restaurants, festivals, schools and churches. “We have a culture of firearm safety and responsible ownership in the 18th District,” said Laura Galante. “It’s time our politicians became as responsible as the law-abiding Virginia citizens they seek to represent.”