RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s Democratic Majority passed seven major gun control reforms that go into effect July 1.
This package of reforms holds many controversial laws that highlight the ambitious legislative agenda of Virginia Democrats in the 2020 General Assembly.
These reforms include the following bills that were signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam in April:
- HB2 requires a background check for all firearm transfers. The bill outlines some exceptions, including transfers between immediate family members and those that occur within a shooting range, firearm safety course or competition. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks at gun shows voluntary.
- HB9 requires a person report a lost of stolen firearm to local law enforcement or state police within 24 hours after the discovery.
- HB 421 allows localities to adopt or enforce an ordinance governing the possession, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms.
- HB674, commonly known as a “red flag bill,” allows for the temporary confiscation of a firearm from a person who poses a substantial risk to themselves or others, otherwise known as a “red flag bill.” The legislation creates a legal process by which an order may be issued and extended.
- HB812 limits the sale of handguns to one per month. The bill sets exemptions, including for a licensed gun dealer.
- HB1004 prohibits any person subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm throughout the duration of that order. The bill gives a person 24 hours after being served to legally transfer the gun.
- HB1083 sets penalties for someone who ‘recklessly’ leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in any manner that could endanger a minor. The bill raises the age threshold from 14 to 18.
Lori Haas, the Virginia State Director of The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said that despite the outrage, the changes won’t be that noticeable to responsible gun owners.
“This law gives our public safety officials, law enforcement, and Commonwealth’s Attorneys the legal authority to separate a person temporarily from his or her firearms if that person shows signs of risks of harm to self, or perhaps risk of harm to others,” Haas said.
The big-ticket item for the Democratic Majority that did not pass in the 2020 session was a ban on assault weapons — but Haas said she would like to see that go through in 2021.