Curb Gun Violence
Virginia's gun rate death is higher than the national average. Virginia also has become one of the leading suppliers of guns used in crimes: In 2000, 1129 crime guns used in the various states and Washington, DC were traced back to Virginia, and 91% of crime guns recovered in Richmond were originally purchased within Virginia. In the House, Jennifer has supported measures to curb gun violence such as:
* Closing the gun show loophole by requiring criminal background checks at gunshows; and
* Prohibiting individuals who have had their parental rights terminated as a result of abuse from purchasing or possessing handguns.
Combat Domestic and Sexual Violence
It is estimated that one in every seven families has a domestic violence incident, and one in 14 has a physical abuse incident. Women are more often murdered by someone they know and love than a stranger. Many women need help breaking the cycle of violence, and children need even more help to escape abusers. As a Delegate, Jennifer has worked to combat domestic and sexual violence by:
* Serving as a member of the Governor's Commission on Sexual Violence;
* Sponsoring legislation increasing penalties for certain stalking or domestic violence offenses;
* Co-sponsoring legislation eliminating requirements on victims of sexual violence to pay for the recovery of physical evidence or submit to a polygraph before commencing prosecution;
* Co-sponsoring legislation incorporating instruction on dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships into school curriculum guidelines for family life education; and
* Supporting omnibus legislation amending the Sex offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry provisions to protect our children from convicted sex offenders.
Keep Virginia's Citizens and Resources Safe
September 11th opened our eyes to the fact that we face threats not only abroad, but here at home. When the National Guard is deployed abroad, it falls even more to our first responders and local law enforcement to keep us safe from not only the traditional threats of crime, fire, and health emergencies, but bombs, biological, and chemical weapons. Jennifer supports efforts to ensure that our first responders have the tools they need to keep Virginians safe. She has also sponsored legislation to help state, local, and private entities prepare for and respond to disasters, such as measures to:
* Provide "good Samaritan-type" civil immunity for private and charitable organizations providing resources and assistance, without compensation, during a governor- declared emergency or formal emergency management training exercise, and at the request of the State Department of Emergency Management or a local emergency management employee;
* Permit local governments to give personal property to another governmental entity in or outside of Virginia where the recipient has suffered a natural or manmade disaster; and
* Classify policemen, firefighters, sheriffs and their deputies, and other local government employees as state employees for purposes of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act while rendering aid outside of Virginia as a result of a state-approved request under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.