RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Senate passed yet another gun-safety measure on Wednesday when lawmakers voted 21-19 along party lines to advance the “red-flag” gun law.
The legislation, if approved by the House and signed by the governor, would permit authorities to temporarily take firearms from owners believed to be dangerous or who could pose a threat to themselves or others.
On Tuesday, the Senate advanced the measure, Senate Bill 240, with amendments ahead of today’s vote. The debate among senators before the vote reinforced how contentious the gun-rights discussion has become in Virginia.
“Each legislator that votes in favor of this bill in my opinion is a traitor to Virginia, a traitor to the Second Amendment and a traitor to our constitutional freedoms,” Sen. Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield) said.
Catherine Mortensen, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, said the bill “fails to address mental health concerns” and “falls far short on due process.”
Since taking control of the state legislature in November, Virginia Democrats have worked to push through gun-safety measures and shelve others aimed at loosening gun restrictions.
Wednesday’s party line vote comes two days after some 22,000 people made their way to the State Capitol for a gun-rights rally on Lobby Day. Despite concerns of possible security threats, the Lobby Day rally ended peacefully and clean.
The bill will now go to the Virginia House of Delegates.