Lynchburg judge largely upholds Virginia’s new background check law

No legal effect for Second Amendment sanctuaries in Virginia
No legal effect for Second Amendment sanctuaries in Virginia

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Almost two weeks after hearing the case, Lynchburg judge Patrick Yeatts said the new Virginia background check law does not violate rights protected by the Second Amendment.

Yeatts largely uheld the law, but issued a limited, narrow injunction which temporarily blocks the law from applying to handgun purchases made by 18 to 20-year-olds.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced Tuesday he planned to appeal the injunction.

Earlier this month, gun rights advocates fought the new background check law, which went into effect on July 1st.

The original complaint was filed against the superintendent of the Virginia Department of State Police, who will be responsible for enforcing this new background check law.

David Browne, the attorney representing three Lynchburg-area men, said in a virtual hearing on July 2 that his clients wanted to privately sell guns to one another, but the new law would prohibit them from doing so. One of the men is younger than 21.

The new law requires anyone who wants to buy a firearm from an unlicensed dealer at a gun show to go through a background check and pay the fees to do it. It also limits 18 to 20-year-olds from purchasing handguns.

Gun rights advocates, including the Virginia Defense League and Gun Owners of America, also named in the complaint, say the new law infringes on their rights.

Attorney General Mark Herring has defended the law, saying it closes loopholes in the process.

“Expanding background checks is one way to make sure people like felons or those who are dangerously mentally ill, domestic abusers who are already not allowed to purchase a firearm, to make sure that those loopholes are closed,” Herring said.

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