Four gun control bills move forward in Virginia Senate

Fiery debate from lawmakers, citizens during busy day at Capitol

RICHMOND, Va. – Proposals for stricter gun laws quickly moved forward in the Virginia legislature on Monday.

The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee sent four gun control bills to the Senate floor.

They include:

  • A limit of one handgun purchase per month.
  • Expanded background checks to include private sales.
  • The ability for localities to ban guns in public spaces, including government buildings.
  • A Red Flag law, which gives law enforcement officers the ability to seize guns from people determined to be at risk of hurting themselves or others.

There were passionate comments from dozens of gun rights supporters in the committee meeting and in a press conference held by NRA members near the Capitol.

Discussion about a Red Flag law, also called an Extreme Risk Protection Order, sparked the most heated debate.

In pushing for the bill, Democrats and gun control advocates said it sets a high bar for the evidence needed for officers to get a search warrant. Language includes a requirement of “clear and convincing evidence.” They said the measure will help prevent suicides and other shootings.

“On average, one Virginia resident dies by gun suicide every 14 hours,” said one Moms Demand Action member.