Virginia lawmakers in the Virginia Senate have passed three gun measures, sending to the House for consideration.
The three bills include requiring background checks on all firearm sales, limiting gun purchases to one in a 30-day period, and allowing localities to ban guns from public events.
SB 35, which would allow localities to ban guns from public events, actually would repeal the current law that restricts localities from enforcing ordinances that would prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carry, storage, or transport of firearms or ammunition.
SB 69, amends the current law, only allowing Virginia residents to purchase one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.
And, SB 70 requires a background check on all private transfers of firearms.
All three bills were passed along party lines.
Democrats said they were reasonable measures that would improve public safety while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. They said the public had made clear by voting for Democrats in recent elections that new gun laws were needed.
Republicans decried the legislation as an assault on the Second Amendment launched to appease special interest groups and donors such as Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg. GOP senators said the new laws would entrap innocent people and do nothing to stop bad actors.
“This may be what you think is safety, but it is not,” said Republican Sen. Bill Stanley.
One bill, SB 16, was struck from the record, which included the ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.
The NRA released a statement following the approval of the slew of gun bills:
“Regrettably, Virginia lawmakers approved a series of measures today that will make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to protect themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals. We are pleased one of the most egregious gun confiscation bills was pulled from consideration. The NRA will continue our work with lawmakers to find solutions that address the root cause of violent crime, rather than punishing honest, hardworking Virginians.”
Governor Ralph Northam has a package of gun legislation that he’s pushing for that include prohibiting all individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms, requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, and creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order.
Other legislation that has been filed includes banning indoor shooting ranges at offices where there are more than 50 employees. That would include a shooting range at the NRA headquarters, which is located in northern Virginia. That bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety.
Republicans and gun-rights groups have pledged stiff resistance.
More than 100 counties, cities, and towns have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and vowed to oppose any new “unconstitutional restrictions” on guns.
A pro-gun rally is scheduled for the capitol on Monday, but a judge has upheld a complete weapons ban for the event and Virginia will be under a temporary state of emergency until Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Original story: wset.com
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