Gun bills: Where Virginia stands today

Virginia Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is tracking gun bills in Richmond.

Since November, residents have heard how the Democrat-controlled legislature will enact sweeping changes this session.

There are hundreds of bills out there. Here’s what’s happening so far:

Guns have already been permanently banned from the state Capitol by a House-Senate rules committee.

Wednesday, the Virginia Senate passed the ‘red flag’ gun law over fierce opposition, which would allow law enforcement to temporarily take away guns from someone deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed three gun-related bills, one requiring universal background checks, SB 70. Another would reinstate Virginia’s “one gun a month” law, (SB 69) — meaning individuals could only buy one firearm a month.

The third bill, SB 35, would allow localities to ban weapons from events that require permits and from local parks and government buildings.

Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered 39 more gun-related bills, including SB 67, which creates a penalty for not reporting a gun lost or stolen within 24 hours, and (SB 263), a bill that removes the option to get a concealed carry permit through online courses.

The Senate did kill a bill — SB 16 — that would have expanded the definition of an “assault firearm” and banned them.

In the House this week, Democrats rejected Republican bills that would have given Virginians more gun rights.

One would have allowed people to bring guns into churches. The other was the Kate Nixon Act, (HB 162), named after one of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting, that would have allowed people to sue the government for damages if someone is injured or killed by a firearm in government-designated gun-free zones.

Giffords, a gun violence prevention organization co-founded by Gabrielle Giffords, a former congresswoman, sent out a statement Wednesday applauding the passage of the gun safety measures.

“Virginia’s gun safety majority wasted no time to pass lifesaving legislation. With a mandate from voters to move quickly Senators recognize that every day without action means more shootings and more violence. We thank the leaders in the Senate for prioritizing these commonsense bills, and urge the House to show the same urgency to get legislation to Governor Northam’s desk.”

– Molly Voigt, state legislative manager at Giffords

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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