Gov. Northam signs red flag, one-handgun-a-month, other gun legislation into law

Virginia will now have a red flag law

Richmond (WSLS)

RICHMOND, Va. – New gun laws are coming to Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed multiple pieces of gun legislation into law.

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These include:

  • Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 2, which require background checks on all firearm sales in Virginia
  • Senate Bill 240 and House Bill 674, which establish an Extreme Risk Protective Order, creating a legal mechanism for law enforcement to temporarily separate a person from their firearms when they represent a danger to themselves or others. This is more commonly referred to as a red flag law.
  • Senate Bill 69 and House Bill 812, which reinstates Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month rule
  • House Bill 9 requires gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours or face a civil penalty.
  • House Bill 1083 increases the penalty for recklessly leaving firearms in the presence of children.

“We lose too many Virginians to gun violence, and it is past time we took bold, meaningful action to make our communities safer,” said Northam. “I was proud to work with legislators and advocates on these measures, and I am proud to sign them into law. These commonsense laws will save lives.”

In addition to signing the above five things into law, Northam also proposed amendments to these bills

  • Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421 allow localities to regulate firearms in public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events. The governor’s amendments look to clarify the exemption for institutions of higher education.
  • Senate Bill 479 and House Bill 1004 prohibit individuals subject to protective orders from possessing firearms, require them to turn over their firearms within 24 hours, and certify to the court that they have turned over their weapons. The governor amended this legislation at the request of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance with the goal of enhancing safety for victims by allowing judges to hold the respondent in contempt of court if they fail to comply with the certification requirements.

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