As with a post published a few months ago in regards to background checks for owning a gun in Connecticut, Virginia now faces a similar issue with a governor election coming up. This time, the issue with guns and background checks pertains to gun shows, with buyers at gun shows, as well as sellers who aren’t licensed dealers, not having to go through a background check. Those who support, run, or attend gun shows, as according to this article, don’t think background checks are necessary for gun shows specifically, as most criminals don’t buy their weapons from gun shows but, instead, from licensed dealers or illegally.
The issue of Virginia Tech comes up often in this issue, as the buyer of the gun was not given a background check before purchasing a firearm at a licensed dealer. Advocates of gun control in the state want both buyers and dealers, including all buyers attending a gun show, to go through a background check.
For Virginia, gun control is reflected in who becomes the state’s next governor, as one candidate is more pro-gun than the other. But for a state that has amendments for fishing and hunting, getting guns out of the wrong hands should be a priority, as well. Although background checks may potentially bring down business for many dealers or sellers, having a background check look into the criminal history of the buyer will indicate if the buyer has any criminal history regarding firearms.
Another issue is the mental health of the buyer. Although background checks now do not check for mental health history, mental health history may be included, in an article in the Washington Post published after the Virginia Tech shooting indicates that checking mental health could be in the works for those wanting to purchase a firearm.