Is Devil’s Bowl Speedway Gun Policy? [Fact Checked!]

The 2018 Virginia State Legislature passed sweeping legislation that bans most types of firearms, aside from hunting rifles and shotguns. But is this legislation just lip service or does it actually affect real-life gun owners?

The new legislation was prompted by a lone-wolf shooter who killed many in a 2017 rampage in the city of Richmond. The legislation includes a “good cause” exemption that allows law-abiding gun owners to keep their firearms if they can demonstrate a need to protect themselves or their families from a crime of “domestic or sexual violence, or stalking.”

Is This Legislation Just Fluff?

According to WTVR, a CBS-affiliate in Richmond, Virginia, the legislation “could have significant implications” for the estimated 100,000 firearms owner in the city, since it includes a “good cause” exemption. As of yet, there is no clear indication as to whether or not this exemption will be granted.

This legislation is certainly a step in the right direction. Prior to the mass shooting in Richmond, there were already many incidents of gun violence in the city, including drive-by shootings, stabbings, and rapes. As of May 2018, Richmond is one of over 200 communities in the U.S. that has enforced some form of anti-gun legislation. Some of these communities have gone further than Virginia and banned all firearms, regardless of whether or not they are used for hunting or self-defense.

But just because Richmond and other cities have taken a stand against gun violence and murder doesn’t mean that all or most firearms owners are bad people. In fact, many gun owners see themselves as “good guys” who are just trying to protect themselves and their families from harm. They may believe that their firearms give them the upper hand in case of threatening situations and keep their families safe when used for hunting.

A Comprehensive Approach To Curbing Gun Violence

While most of Virginia’s recent anti-gun legislation focused on removing guns from dangerous situations and limiting access to those who could cause harm, legislators also worked to ensure that victims of gun crime have some recourse in court. One provision of the legislation requires prosecutors to notify victims of a crime that they can file a motion to obtain a protective order against the perpetrator, which in some cases could result in a complete firearms ban. This is intended to provide some accountability and ensure that guns don’t get in the wrong hands when there is a clear relationship between the gun owner and the person who committed the crime.

No Gun, No Problem?

But what happens when a person with a serious mental illness or defect commits a crime with a firearm? Under the “Good Cause” exemption, those who suffer from such conditions could still possess firearms, as long as they have a responsible person willing to take care of them. Unfortunately, there is no requirement that this person be registered with the police or suffer from any mental illness or defect. This could create the dangerous situation of a person who has not been deemed by a mental health professional to be in the right state of mind committing a violent crime with a firearm.

Who Will Be Hit The Hardest?

Besides the potential for an armed madman to go on a shooting rampage, there is also the serious possibility of a mass shooting at a school or place of worship. With over 200 million firearms in circulation worldwide, it is inevitable that a few will fall into the hands of dangerous people. When that happens, it is the people who live closest to the places where these weapons are stored and handled who will be hit the hardest.

While places like church groups and youth sport leagues have already begun to discuss how they can prevent mass shootings, the fact remains that until there is some sort of universal agreement about storing guns safely, this violence will continually reoccur.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of gun owners themselves to keep their firearms safe and to only allow those who they trust to handle them. This means storing firearms locked up, keeping them unloaded, and making sure they are clean of any oil or ammunition. Having a security system that can monitor and spy on the activities in your home is also a good idea. If you think that any of your neighbors or friends might be trying to take advantage of your “good guy” status to commit a crime, keeping an eye on them and taking extra precautions would be a good idea. It is never easy being a responsible gun owner, but it is certainly a necessary one.

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