Ralph Buona

Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn)

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is holding off on any definitive position on so-called red flag laws until November.

The board decided Thursday night to defer adding support for any red flag law in its legislative program for Richmond, which is a guide to the board’s priorities and policy statements for the Virginia General Assembly Session.

Supporters and those in opposition waited hours before the board voted 6-3 to hold off on a decision until after the bipartisan Virginia State Crime Commission presents its’ policy recommendations for lawmakers after the November election.

Supervisors Koran Saines (Sterling), Kristen Umstattd (Leesburg) and Chairwoman Phyllis Randall—the three Democrats on the board—voted to keep the policy support in the county program after the Republican-led board favored the motion by Vice Chairman Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) to hold off.

“We don’t know enough about these bills, and frankly there’s going to be more bills,” Buona said. “There's right ways to go about a red flag bill and there’s wrong ways to go about a red flag bill, so I would rather we get the analysis back from the VCC."

He added, “Policy statements are intended for our government relations firm and county staff to be able to have flexibility when they are in Richmond during the session, because things move very fast down there, and they move so fast that we may not have another board meeting to take a position before something is getting voted on.”

Red flag laws, which essentially permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves, was a hot issue Thursday, attracting an array of speakers with mixed views on the matter.

Most speakers were in favor of the proposed statement. Others said the measure was an infringement on their constitutional rights and would lead to gun confiscation.

“Red flag laws violate the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment," Wally Bunyea said. “My basic rights in the Bills of Rights.”

Elizabeth Comerford added, “Taking my guns, I feel like you have no right to do that.”

Supporters of the proposal, meanwhile, voiced their belief that red flag laws are commonsense policy.

Longtime resident Erica Garman said she has no beef with gun ownership, “but passing a red flag law is a commonsense intervention."

A woman in Loudoun County was injured recently when a stray bullet grazed her near Hamilton. The victim was treated for minor injuries.

The shots came from a nearby property where people were target shooting, according to authorities.

William R. Hymes, III, 24, of Ashburn was charged this week with reckless discharge of a firearm, according to the sheriff's office.

Dulles Supervisor Matthew Letourneau (R) disagreed that red flag laws violate the Constitution or civil rights. Multiple states have implemented the measures.

“I’m being asked to endorse a specific policy proposal or one thereof, and I’m not sure I’m ready just to decide yet which of these is the right way to go,” Letourneau said.

Disturbed by the reaction from county staff on enforcing the proposed policy, Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R) sided with Buona’s motion.

“I’m willing to take a position on this if there’s one that fits for our county government,” Meyer said. “I’m all for that, [but] not tonight. Because with these comments, clearly we are not ready.

Randall requested the board support the item in the legislative program prior to Nov. 18.

“We have no idea what’s going to happen on the 18th, it’s after the election," Randall said. “I want to say that Loudoun County supports the ideal of when someone is hurting so much, when they are so helpless, so desperate that they are trying to take their own life or would think of hurting somebody else—although most take their own life—we support doing something.”

The board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee is expected to hear a proposal from county staff on Sept. 24 on requiring target shooters to use berms, backstops or natural features to capture bullets from the discharge of their firearms.

This comes after -- in addition to the incident in Hamilton -- at least eight homes in Loudoun County were struck by errant gunfire since spring 2018.

Under the weapons and explosives section of the county ordinance, the discharge of a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied building is prohibited unless the owner has given permission. Discharge is also prohibited within 50 yards of primary and secondary roads.

_______

Proposed Red Flag Law Policy Statement from Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

Removal of firearms from Persons Under An Emergency Severe Threat Order of Protection – Support legislation that outlines the procedure, notification requirements, and evaluation processes for determining an emergency severe threat order of protection, and upon such order, 1) removes firearms under the possession of the respondent to a responsible custodian, local law enforcement or federally licensed firearms dealer; 2) provides penalties associated with purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm by a respondent until the order expires or is dissolved by the court; and, 3) provides penalties for anyone transferring a firearm to a person known to be served with a warrant.

(50) comments

amerigirl

Cowbell, ahhh yes the facts are the excuse. This is my 4th try at responding to your remark. Bank statements, credit cards, and medical cards are not valid ID’s. Hospitals will treat you with a medical card but you can’t use it to vote. You don’t need an ID to ride a bus or train. Social security has your records on file, they use them or a birth certificate which does not have a picture (as required) or may not have your current last name if you are married. Both of my in-laws and my father lost their right to vote because they couldn’t get a valid ID since they had physical problems that kept them from getting to a DMV. In Virginia you are required to have a DMV issued photo ID, passport, school, work, employer voter or tribal ID with a picture.


tolerantleft

Dems don’t want eliminate 2nd Amendment? Then why is Herring making a push for background checks on ammo purchase?


tolerantleft

Dems want to eliminate law abiding citizens 2nd Amendment rights and due process (red flag laws). Period. Full stop.















PS. I did my research using the google machine. LOL!




amerigirl

You would really need to explain that one. You must have done any of your research on real sites. HOW would red flag laws effect due process. Try and explain that one. LOL?


tolerantleft

OMG are you really asking how red flag laws eliminate due process? Better try your google marching again




amerigirl

tolerant yes I am asking how red flag laws would eliminate due process. I guess you don't have an answer? Prove it or stop saying it.


tolerantleft

Always happy to educate the ill informed left; go to your google machine and search “how red flag laws threaten due process”.


marv

amerigirl - Thanks for calling me a liar - you prove the old debate tactic of "when your argument lacks substance attack your opponent". Perhaps, if you did not express expertise on and were not so vociferous on most all subjects??




amerigirl

Marv, I give credit where credit is due. Are the things you said true or can they be proven false? It’s not you personally it’s the message. If you want to make a point then you should be honest, tell the truth. It is the internet age and people can easily verify anything you put out there. So many people repeat stories that contradict each other it is best to check them out. You are one to talk about being vociferous, always making statements that voice your opinion, true or not. I on the other hand use google to fact check before I make statements contradicting another’s statement. You may think that is a tactic, but I call it setting the record straight.


marv

amerigirl - I never make a false statement referencing firearms as they were my avocation with thirty years as a certified instructor training thousands of students, written articles, studied Firearm Law, had State Senators seek my advice, lectured before groups - etc. I suggest you consult the writings of John Lott PhD. as not everything on google is valid.


amerigirl

Marv, what did I say was wrong about you referencing firearms? I’m glad that you are well educated on them. So, what are you talking about? Not trying to be smart but I really don’t know what you mean. Oh definitely, not everything on google is valid, there are sites that contradict each other all the time, that’s why I use google to get to Snopes, Politifact, and other fact checking sites and then make sure that they have the proof to back things up. There are also many government run statistic sites that are helpful


jke

Red flag when buying a weapon is the answer but Hippa laws get in the way don't they? After the fact is a infringement.


amerigirl

Not really, allow it to get in the way. It is like attorney client privilege. A lawyer can't repeat what a client has told them unless they believe them to be a threat to someone. Like if a client says the want to have a witness killed. With red flag laws, in most states’ doctors are mandated to report to law enforcement any person who they come to believe is a danger to themselves and others or any situation in which a vulnerable person such as a child or elder is being abused


amerigirl

Hipaa laws are to protect an individuals privacy. Red Flag laws are to protect the public. Hipaa laws permit covered entities (health care pros) to disclose protected health information without authorization for specified public health purposes. Both Hippa and Red flag laws protect the public over an individual when the public is put at risk.


amerigirl

Marv, you say it’s the “loose nut” holding the trigger, that is exactly what red flag laws try to filter out, the "loose nuts". You don’t blame cars for DUI’s, but you can lose your right to drive that car because of DUI’s, speeding or reckless driving. No one blames the inanimate object; they blame the person which is why they want red flag laws to begin with.


marv

That is right - you blame the person not the car, but there is a TRIAL Red Flag does NOT. With Red Flag you are guilty until you can prove your innocence. Which is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Also, if a person is such a potential danger why is he left on the street to easily acquire another firearm? Many of those people who lost their licence still drive. Also with Red Flag anyone can turn in anybody. Reread all of the Red Flag Laws not just the parts that are convenient.




amerigirl

Since you said I should reread the laws I would have to say that you have not read any of them. They differ from state to state. 17 states and DC have them and 4 more states have some kind of “red flag” bill proposed in their legislature.





tolerantleft

I believe you mentioned you own a firearm in previous posts. Let’s say several armed police officers arrive at your door and 3am because you’ve been flagged because of your posts on LTM. What would YOU do? Hmmm....


Pre-yuppieLoudouner

So the Board of Self-Righteous Developers is considering a red flag law in November,when deer season starts.The collision-repair shops will love them for it.




amerigirl

How would that effect deer season? Unless you want to be out in then woods with someone that has been deemed a danger to oneself or others.


Pre-yuppieLoudouner

I didn't think you would get it.Potential gun confiscation in November,when hundreds of licensed hunters will take to the woods.The county deer population is already overpopulated,hence the generous bag limit of 6 per year.This unconstitutional idea of a gun grab in November will affect the harvest.You'll argue any point that doesn't agree with your New World Order way of thinking.




amerigirl

Pre-yuppieLoudouner , What is there to get? NOBODY is doing a gun grab. You can hunt all the deer you want. What you don’t seem to understand is that if you want to be safe in the woods while you are hunting maybe you would consider having people with mental problems or anger issues not be there with you. Red flag laws only take guns temporally and it has to be proven that the owner is a danger. Really, do you want some psycho that might decide on bigger more human game to be out there with a gun?


marv

I have yet to see a punishment for giving / making a false statement about a gun owner.




amerigirl

It is called giving a false police statement Virginia State Code §18.2-461, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.


marv

A non mandatory slap on the wrist for endangering someones life, causing them weeks of trauma and thousands of dollars in expense trying to prove a negative all caused by Unconstitutional action.




amerigirl

Well Marv, if you think confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both is a slap on the wrist you must have alot of spare time and money. You don't seem to understand that under red flag laws guns are only temporally taken away after a judge says it is the right thing to do. The gun owner can only be reported by a family member, doctor or law enforcement.


LoudounClear

You could sue them...assuming you're not in fact a danger to society.


Waterfordresident

The BOS does not have legal authority on this. I will make sure a lawsuit will be filed and the BOS will pay dearly for it. How about we include in the Red Flag laws to include women getting abortions. I feel a woman is going to harm her baby, let me call the police. See how this works? How many people in Loudoun County die each year from DUI, texting while driving, drugs, alcohol and other actions we seem to not focus on? Now include the entire state and country...




More Cowbell

I don't have a problem with this red flag law, but it shouldn't stop just at firearms as there are many that shouldn't even be driving or in certain jobs. It should give law enforcement/FBI/CIA/employers and others the ability to get all information from any doctor(psych). When put that way, I'm sure the 3 dems would vote against. Heck they don't want voter ID.




amerigirl

Who doesn't want voter ID? If you can prove you are a resident and are registered at your address why would you need excessive ID's? That really hurts the elderly who



don't drive or have work or school ID's.


More Cowbell

Ah yes, always an excuse. So the elderly have no ID? No bank statements, credit cards. How do they go to doctors? Have to show some medical card with name, Hospitals(urgent care) make you show ID. And I always see elderly traveling, by bus, train, airline.... Need an ID to do that. And don't they have some form of ID for social security? If someone is mentally unstable, they shouldn't have a gun and shouldn't vote.


amerigirl

Cowbell, you asked how the elderly get to the doctors. I should mention that if they are in a seniors center the doctors come to them if they have something happen to them between visits they are transported by ambulance to a hospital.


amerigirl

What? You think Law should be able to access any of your Doctor files? Nobody would ever use a shrink again. People have a right to privacy as long as it doesn’t endanger themselves or others. Would you want cops to know if you had a STD?


LoudounClear

GOP cowards cave to gun nuts yet again. I was at the BOS meeting and let me tell you some of the people who came to speak against the red flag law seemed very close to needing an intervention. If you're that emotional about a gun you probably should put it down for a while and ask yourself what you're compensating for.


amerigirl

agreed, they seem to care more about their guns than their kids being hurt by them.


marv

Guns do not harm anyone or anything. It is the "loose nut" holding the trigger. Do you blame cars for DUI, Speeding or Reckless Driving?? Of course not and it is equally ludicrous to blame an inanimate object for the actions of a human.




jke

Defer for a reason or because the election is on the horizon. Chickenbleep is as chickenbleep does, this is not a new issue. Randall and company grabbing any stone they can to avoid defeat, ain't going to work she is one and done thank goodness!




amerigirl

Randall and company were the ones that voted not to defer. What were they trying to avoid if they wanted it now?


Loudoun4Trump

County should not be involved in this at all....unless maybe debating whether to arm teachers or not...federal and state law will be enough on the red flags...focus in cutting the budget...


amerigirl

Being from Virginia you should know that the only reason that the tech massacre happened was because of privacy issues keeping those who knew of his condition from reporting it. Those red flag laws would have allowed them to report him and law enforcement to take away his gun until he was proven to be fit. If the state hasn't adopted those protective measures then the county should. They are the ones that will be held responsible if there is a shooting and our kids get hurt.


garland

hy


BobOhneiserEsq

Dear Chair Randall, When a boy in Purcellville felt so helpless he was threatening his own life with a knife his mother called the police and within seconds of his arrival (when the boy apparently did not drop the knife) he shot the boy multiple times. What color flag would have helped that? Perhaps the place to take action is to require more disclosure of dangerous behavior by those qualified to make such judgments who have already obtained release permission from clients. When psychologists don't do their job there should be consequences which don't violate the rights of citizens which your suggestion does. Perhaps if that policeman asked how he could help - that boy would have been helped. Asking how we can help is a valid action. I spent 10 years on the Good Shepherd Board doing just that - HELPING NOT POLITICIZING! What is your record of unpaid helping?


amerigirl

Really? How about a stun gun and police training?


tolerantleft

Sure, let’s get rid of due process. And sure, no one’s going to make false claims, just look to Maryland.







The Dems will stop at nothing short of total gun confiscation.




amerigirl

Conspiracy theory, NOBODY wants all your guns, just calm down, deep breath.Who, other than the NRA, has said they want to take all your guns?


marv

Most all of the Dumbocrats in Congress and those running against Trump.




amerigirl

Marv, prove that because that is a total lie. Show one statement from any dem that says that. Dumbocrat, did you think of that all by yourself? The only ones even suggesting they want your guns are Trump, when he flip-flopped on gun control, and the NRA, who profit from it.











Locojrt

You have a right to own a gun, I have a right to not have some nut shoot me! The Constitution was written when it took 10 minutes to reload! It's a brave new world out there, buddy. If someone is emotionally unstable we shouldn't need laws to use common sense and get them away from anything that they could use to cause harm to themselves or others. That used to be considered common sense! But common sense these days has gone the way of the Dodo! As stated above, as adamant as some of these people are about their "rights" I'm bot sure THEY ahould have access to any type of weapon. Hunting season? Yeah, gotta get those AK47s ready to take out those deer! They are very sneaky and let's decimate that body with a ton of bullets so every bite you take you have to spit out a bullet! It used to be challenging and I hesitate in using the term "sport", to go hunting. There is no challenge with the weapons used now....sorry, I digressed!


marv

Unverified remarks only impress the author and the unenlightened.


amerigirl

marv, what are you talking about? What do you want verified? That you have a right to own a gun? that people have a right to life? that guns are more efficient than they used to be when they were powder loaded? That we shouldn't have common sense when it comes to guns? That AK47's can really mess up a deer?


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