Virginias state Senate passed a “red flag” bill days after a massive gun rights rally opposing the legislation drew at least 22,000 Second Amendment advocates from across the country. Gun rights groups decried the move.
The legislation, SB 240, passed on Jan. 22 by a thin 21–19 margin and will head to the states House of Delegates where its also expected to pass. The bill will have to be approved by the House and signed by Gov. Ralph Northam to become law.
The bill, once signed into law, allows authorities to apply to certain courts for “an emergency substantial risk order to prohibit a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm.”
Democrats recently won control of both chambers of the state legislature and have vowed to enact stronger gun control policies. They believe that stricter legislation will help reduce shootings and deaths. Northam has indicated previously that he would sign such legislation into law.
According to Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, red flag laws allow the theft of personal property from law-abiding citizens who have committed no crime.
“It is an unconstitutional pre-crime program like you would expect to see in some communist backwater nation,” Brown told The Epoch Times via email.
Second Amendment advocates and gun rights supporters at the rally told The Epoch Times that the proposals passing through the General Assembly violate their constitutional rights.
Last week, the Virginia Senate passed a slew of gun control bills, including measures to require background checks on all firearms sales, limit handgun purchases to one per month, and restore local government powers to ban weapons from public buildings and other venues.
NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen told The Epoch Times the red flag bill “fails to address mental health concerns for individuals and falls far short on due process.”
It “also creates numerous false flag opportunities for law enforcement,” she said.
Following the Jan. 20 rally, Northam issued a statement saying he would “continue to listen to the voices of Virginians.” Meanwhile, a Change.org petition has garnered more than 68,000 signatures calling for the impeachment of Northam.
“Thousands of people came to Richmond to make their voices heard. Today showed that when people disagree, they can do so peacefully,” Northam said. “The issues before us evoke strong emotions, and progress is often difficult.”
Northam and other Democratic lawmakers in the state have credited their focus on gun control for helping them win full control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than two decades, according to The Associated Press.
“The way this works is we make laws and theyre reviewed by judges to determine their constitutionality. In many cases, bills very similar to this have been ruled constitutional,” Matt Rogers, chief of staff to Sen. David W. Marsden (D-Fairfax) toRead More – Source