RICHMOND — On July 9, Sen. Bill Stanley submitted six pieces of legislation to be considered in the 2019 Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly. These pieces of legislation authored by Sen. Stanley are specifically tailored to address the core issues surrounding the root causes of the recent occurrence of mass shootings, like the one that occurred in Virginia Beach, and to take affirmative steps to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the future.
Senator Stanley made the following statement:
“Since Governor Northam called the General Assembly back into Special Session, it has been apparent to me that the motivations behind this session were only to politicize the tragedy of Virginia Beach, and to re-litigate gun-control legislation that previously had been introduced, debated and defeated in the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. And, it is no coincidence that this Special Session has been called during an election year when all 140 seats of the General Assembly are up for the voter’s consideration in November.
Moreover, the proposals that Gov. Northam and the Democrats are offering for consideration by the legislative branch are blatant attempts to seriously restrict and infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, and have absolutely nothing to do with preventing the horrible tragedy that occurred in Virginia Beach this year, and at Virginia Tech in 2007. Even Governor Northam admitted, after calling the Special Session, that the gun-control bills that both he and the Democrats are proposing “would not have prevented either tragedy from occurring.” If that is truly the case, and I believe that it is, then this Special Session is about politics, and is not about developing a state policy that will truly address this terrible problem in our society.
Regardless of the Democrats political motivations, I take this issue very seriously. And, I have therefore developed legislation that chooses policy over politics-- and if made law, will address this issue head-on and will make the workplaces and our schools throughout the Commonwealth safer. These pieces of legislation will prevent tragedy, not promote a political agenda; both myself and other Republican legislators in both the House and Senate are proposing laws that will aim to stop the madness, and to protect our friends, family and neighbors as they live their daily lives.”
The Legislation proposed by Sen. Bill Stanley are as follows:
(Bills have not be assigned bill numbers yet.)
Workplace Violence Act - an act of workplace violence and/or threats must be reported. If an employee commits an act of workplace violence, aggression or threat, whether or not that employer is a public entity or private company, against another employee or against a third person, at any time known by (or made known to) the employer, then the employer, must conduct a risk assessment of future harm by the offending employee, and the incident/threat must be reported to law enforcement. The employer must then provide whatever resources that are available (mental health counselling, etc.) to the employee involved, and must take whatever steps necessary to protect other employees from future harm by the offending employee. If those steps are not taken by the employer, then that employer can be liable for any subsequent harm that may result to any employee or third party. This shall also apply to students and/or employees of any state supported college, university or public institution.
Screening at all government buildings. All employees in state/local government buildings, where security measures at the points of entry are utilized, must be screened upon entry at all times regardless of their employment and/or possession of a employment badge.
School Security. School systems shall be allowed to have as volunteers retired law enforcement officers who are certified by the law enforcement agency to be in good standing at the time of their retirement, and who have currently maintained their certified firearm training, to provide security and/or protection for schools during the school year and during school sponsored events and functions.
Social Media. Any publicly traded company whose primary business purpose is a publicly-accessed social media platform, who receives on that social media platform a threat of violence against any person, business, and or local or state government agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia, shall immediately notify the appropriate Virginia law enforcement authorities. If said publicly traded social media company fails to do so, and any physical harm results to any person, business, government agency, that company shall be held civilly liable to any person, company, or public entity so harmed by the act of violence committed by the person who published the threat on their respected social media platform.
Sentence reduction; substantial assistance to prosecution. Allows a convicted person's sentence to be reduced if such person provides substantial assistance, defined in the bill, in the furtherance of the investigation or prosecution of another person engaged in an act of violence or for offenses involving SB() terrorism, gang, firearm theft and SB () substantial assistance to prosecution; gang crimes. The sentence reduction can occur only upon motion of the attorney for the Commonwealth. These are the Senate version of the House Bills proposed by Del. David Yancey.