Northam unveils proposed gun control legislation ahead of July 9 special session


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam , center, shakes the hand of Virginia Beach (Va.) Mayor Bobby Dyer after giving remarks during a news conference regarding the shooting at a municipal building,Friday, May 31, 2019, in Virginia Beach. A longtime city employee opened fire in a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing several people on three floors and sending terrified co-workers scrambling for cover before police shot and killed him following a “long gun-battle,” authorities said. (Kaitlin McKeown/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday unveiled his legislative agenda for a July 9 special session he is convening to address gun violence in the Commonwealth.

Northam called for the session after 12 people were killed and four others were wounded in a mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach.

In a news conference last month, the governor discussed some of the measures he is asking lawmakers to take up in next week’s session. This includes a ban on silencers and high capacity ammunition magazines and broadening the ability of local governments to limit guns in city buildings.

A news release issued by Northam’s office Wednesday offers more details on the legislative package the governor is proposing. Under the proposed legislation, localities across the Commonwealth would be able to pass firearms ordinances stricter than any state law.

This package calls for a law requiring background checks on all firearms sales and transactions — and the reinstatement of a law allowing only one handgun to be purchased within a 30-day period. It would place a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.

Laws proposed in the package are designed around making it more difficult for certain people to access firearms.

One of these laws calls for the creation of an “Extreme Risk Protective Order” that would afford law enforcement and courts the ability to separate a person from firearms if they are showing “dangerous behavior that presents an immediate threat to self or others.”

Another law would prohibit people who are the subject to final protective orders from possessing guns. It would expand current legislation that solely bans people subject to final protective orders of family abuse from having firearms.

Northam’s package would make it a Class 6 felony for allowing the access to loaded, unsecured firearms to anyone 18 years or younger.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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