GOA, GOF & VCDL Go To Court Over Virginia’s Universal Background Checks

June 23, 2020
For immediate release

GOA, GOF & VCDL Go To Court Over Virginia’s Universal Background Checks

Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) and the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) have filed suit seeking a stay on the enforcement of the Universal Background Check law that goes into effect July 1st in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The law forces nearly every transfer of a firearm to require a fee and a background check from a federal firearms licensee (FFL). Furthermore, this law effectively prohibits young adults who are 18-20 years old from purchasing handguns.

“Laws like Universal Background Checks are laughed at by criminals who have no regard for the law — and no intent to follow it. But this law forces honest citizens to prove their innocence to the government in order to acquire a firearm,” GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt said. “By making the ability to acquire a firearm so burdensome, Universal Background Checks flip a right that ‘shall not be infringed’ on its head.”

The suit also challenges the law’s indirect prohibition on 18-20-year-old adults purchasing handguns. Because an FFL cannot transfer a handgun to an individual under 21 years of age — and because private transactions are now prohibited — these young adults cannot lawfully acquire a handgun. The suit states, “Yet now, as a result of [Virginia’s Universal Background Checks], they are prohibited from acquiring handguns. This result is incompatible with the plain text of Article I, Section 13 [of Virginia’s Constitution], which protects the right to keep and bear arms in order to preserve ‘a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms.’”

The suit can be viewed here.

Erich Pratt, or another GOA spokesperson, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America, and its sister organization Gun Owners Foundation, are nonprofits dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.

— GOA —