New gun laws in Virginia: Where the bills stand now

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dozens of gun control bills are quickly moving through the 2020 legislative session.

On Wednesday, an ‘extreme risk protection order bill,’ known as the ‘red flag’ gun law, became the fourth piece of legislation that passed the Senate and will now move onto the House. Others include a one handgun a month bill, universal background checks and allowing localities to establish ‘gun free’ zones.

“We have every confidence that we’re going to pass numerous, numerous bills to save lives in the commonwealth,” said Lori Haas, who has made gun reform in Virginia her mission since her daughter was wounded in the Virginia Tech tragedy but survived. “There are many families across the commonwealth day in and day out, their loved ones are shot and killed.”

Lori Haas

Many other bills are still waiting their turn. On Friday, 12 more will be heard.

One of them would require people to report a lost or stolen firearm to police within 24 hours of realizing it’s gone. Another would ban guns at preschools and daycare centers. Senate Bill 13 would ban guns on Capitol Square permanently.

Meanwhile, several other gun bills are dying.

“Not surprising,” Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) said. “Given the direction the new majority is going.”

One of Sen. Chase’s pro-gun bills would allow firearms in places of worship, but was shot down on Thursday.

“It should be up to the church leadership to determine whether people in the church can carry or not,” she argued. “The frustrating thing for me is, let’s go after the criminals, not the law-abiding citizens.”

Some Democratic-led gun control bills have died, too. Senate Bill 16 would have banned the use of assault rifles.

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