Virginia Senate Passes ‘Red Flag’ Gun Control Bill Days After Gun-Rights Rally

The Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to approve a “red flag” gun bill for the state.

The legislation is among a number of gun-control and security measures that Democrats have been pressing to pass after winning control of both state legislative chambers in November. The red flag gun law, once enacted, would enable authorities to confiscate guns from those deemed a danger to themselves or society.

The bill, SB 240, more commonly referred to as the “extreme-risk protective order,” creates a formal procedure for authorities, chiefly law enforcement officers and attorneys, to submit an application for emergency situations. The application would be permitted in circumstances where a substantial risk is present and would enable the authorities to take control of a firearm providing the owner presents a threat. The law would prohibit unstable people from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a gun.

The Virginia state Senate passed the proposed legislation in a partisan party-line vote of 21-19. The bill is now on its way to the House of Delegates for further consideration.

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Jake Rubenstein, a spokesman for Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, stated on Monday that the House would move quickly on “common-sense” gun laws.

“Virginians spoke loud and clear on Election Day demanding common-sense gun violence protections, and make no mistake, we will deliver on that mandate,” Rubenstein told CNN.

The measure passed after a Richmond gun-rights rally, which was attended by 22,000 people, on Monday.

The red flag legislation is expected to join other gun measures that the Virginia Senate supports. These include running background checks for private gun transfers, a proposal to restrict firearm purchases to one-per-month and legislation that would allow districts to ban revolvers in public during permitted events.


Emily Bevacqua

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