Dogwood Daily: Virginia's "D" grade in gun safety
By Keya Vakil
June 3, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But First…

If you have a moment, take time to read about the victims of the deadly shooting in Virginia Beach over the weekend. The Washington Post and The Virginian-Pilot spoke to the victims’ friends and families, who shared memories and stories about their loved ones to help honor their memories.

5 things you need to know today…

  1. Virginia Beach shooting re-ignites debate over gun laws – On Friday, a gunman killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building, before he himself was killed during a shootout with police. The shooting, which was the deadliest in the state since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, has left the Virginia Beach community reeling. It’s also sparked immediate outcry for stronger gun laws in Virginia, which has a “D” grade from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence due to lax gun laws.

  2. Rep. Jennifer Wexton says impeaching Trump is ‘on the table’ – During a town hall in Winchester on Sunday, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia) said that impeaching President Donald Trump is “on the table.” Wexton also spoke about the importance of oversight and said she wanted to gather all the facts before formally supporting an impeachment inquiry.

  3. Tobacco commission offers to pay off student debts for those willing to move to rural Virginia – The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is rebooting its student loan repayment program with the hopes of enticing young Virginians to live and work in one of 40 localities in southwest and Southside Virginia with hard-to-fill jobs. The commission is hoping to counteract the flight of young people from the area, which has left the region with a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers. The revised program would cost $5 million every two years.

  4. Virginia’s voluntary background checks for gun sales are rarely used – Only four people have been denied the ability to purchase a firearm through the state’s rarely-used voluntary background check program. Of those four, only one was charged and prosecuted in the more than two years the law has been on the books, and the charges against him were dropped last week after he completed community service. The law was designed to prevent private gun sales to buyers who could not pass a background check, but thus far, it hasn’t led to any significant change in gun safety in the Commonwealth.

  5. Hampton Roads Regional Jail continues to come under fire for inmate deaths – Since 2015, 22 people have died while in the custody of Hampton Roads Regional Jail. But despite repeated changes in leadership, multiple investigations and a Justice Department report, things don’t seem to be improving. James Boyd, president of the Portsmouth NAACP told the Virginian-Pilot there’s “no accountability there whatsoever.” In May, Superintendent David Hackworth asked for $7 million to hire 113 additional officers and additional psychiatrist to improve conditions. It’s unclear if that will happen, but either way, the jail will continue to be under a microscope.
  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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