Lawsuit seeks to block Virginia’s gun background checks law

Virginia News
A worker restocks handguns at Davidson Defense in Orem, Utah

A worker restocks handguns at Davidson Defense in Orem, Utah on March 20, 2020. Gun stores in the US are reporting a surge in sales of firearms as coronavirus fears trigger personal safety concerns. (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Gun rights activists have filed a lawsuit challenging a new Virginia law that will expand background checks for gun buyers.

The law, set to go into effect July 1, is one of seven gun control measures passed by the General Assembly this year. It requires a background check for any firearm sale, even between private individuals.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Lynchburg Circuit Court by the Virginia Citizens Defense League and five other plaintiffs alleges that the new law is “a grossly overreaching infringement on the right of Virginians to keep and bear arms.”

The plaintiffs are asking for a court order blocking enforcement of the law and a finding by the court that the law is unconstitutional.

Charlotte Gomer, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mark Herring, said background checks “are critical to ensuring that firearms stay out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”

“Similar laws have been continuously upheld in court and Attorney General Herring looks forward to defending Virginia’s new expanded background checks law against the gun lobby’s attacks,” Gomer said in a statement.

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