RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would allow authorities to take guns away from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others, as the state moves closer to joining a growing number of states enacting so-called “red flag” gun laws.

The Democratic-led Senate voted for the bill despite fierce resistance from Republican lawmakers. GOP Sen. Amanda Chase called supporters of the legislation “traitors” and said the proposed law would embolden criminals and hurt law-abiding citizens.

Democrats said the bill could help prevent mass shootings and said similar laws have worked well in 17 other states. Democrats said the bill had been carefully crafted to preserve due process and protect individual rights.

The bill now moves to the House. It is one of several gun-control measures the new Democratic majority at the General Assembly is set to pass this year.

The measure's approval came two days after tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the state Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(40) comments

loudouncommonsense

I have yet to see anyone present a reason why the 2nd Amendment is different from all other rights granted by the Constitution. Every right is subject to reasonable restrictions necessary to maintain an orderly and peaceful society.

Let's hear the arguments (not the hollow gaslighting about "government taking away your guns") for why the 2d amendment should be sacrosanct and superior to all other rights granted.

LoudounPulse

The problem most people have with regulation of the 2nd Amendment is that those against guns write laws in such a way to make it nearly impossible to obtain firearms. You don't see people crafting 1st Amendment regulations that limit the number of newspapers or articles they can publish (because some anti-1st group wants to limit free speech under the guise of protecting the public). Regulation of the 2nd Amendment isn't about protecting the public or saving lives, especially when you have automobile crashes that kill 40,000 people a year and nobody is talking about regulating who can drive. The whole issue over the 2nd Amendment is about political points to be scored against Right vs. Left ideologies.

Lets not forget the vast majority of gun related deaths will not be solved by gun regulations, else Chicago would be the safest city in America. Honestly, I'm surprised the left hasn't tried to make gunpowder a controlled substance in order to deprive gun owners of bullets.

LetsBreal

First of all, review the words "shall not be infringed". If you want to infringe on those rights, then do it via an amendment to the Constitution. The Constitution is the highest law in the land. None of your laws, statutes, or resolutions obviate it. Only amendments via Article V of the Constitution change it. This is "a nation of laws, not of men". Look up that phrase and learn what it means.

LoudounClear

Glad to see you could take time out from your militia duties to pen that bit of wisdom for us...

AFF

"automobile crashes that kill 40,000 people a year and nobody is talking about regulating who can drive"

Um, do we live on the same planet? Loudoun Common Sense?

loudouncommonsense

uh...didn't say that, Loudoun Pulse did

KK153

rights are granted by the Constitution. The fact that you feel they are invalidates anything you have to say.

KK153

meant to say rights are NOT granted by the Constitution

Loudounest

All 11 GOP gun bills were tabled in committee and the Dem gun bills went on to the Senate. So much for the Richmond rally?

MAGAHAHAhahahaha

VCDL used to be so proud of how all the Dem gun bills would be killed in committee (they even had fun names for the committees). How the tables have turned.

It almost seems as if elections have consequences.

ace10

Yet another worthless AP story on Virginia (D) politicians trying to erase rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. Why no mention of the specifics in the Bill? Does it include severe punishments for falsely filing a so-called "red-flag" report? Oh, and maybe the AP should get a clue on the fact that the Virginia Senate doesn't pass "law(s)." This isn't a law at this point. Despite what the wildly-biased media would have you believe.

cosmos369

If one want to protect themselves and their loved ones, hand gun is sufficient. Why assault weapons? Those weapons are designed for the army, for fighting against many. Why does Americans are infatuated about these guns? So many other countries have no guns like these and the crime is still lower than US. Take Europe as an example or Canada. I saw the pro gun protesters sings that they were holding. It was in a threatening manner! I am so glad that Virginia has passed this law. If you want to play with the assault weapon, join the army! Love and kindness is much better than hateful guns. Virginia is a good state and I hope it stays this way always.

Loudoun1965

How does one hold a sing (sign?) in a threatening manner? Welcome to America!

Jeanne T

"If one want to protect themselves and their loved ones, hand gun is sufficient."

That isn't your decision to make. Do you know what an "assault weapon" is? And a shotgun is probably one of the best home/home defense firearms one can own, as many who own them will tell you.

ace10

When you look at the knives on your kitchen counter, do you think of them at "hateful" as well? Did you know that more people are murdered with knives than rifles and shotguns, COMBINED? Per the 2017 FBI crime stats, 1591 stabbing victims versus 667 victims of long guns. In fact, more people are choked, poisoned, pushed from height and burned than are killed by rifles. If you use reason, rather than emotion, there's a chance you might see this differently. Love and kindness is a wonderful notion, but it doesn't do any good when confronted by an evil-doer.

RoundHillGuy

So they had threatening assault signs? really??? The left has lost al sense of reality.

scottva

Why? Because we can that's why or choose not too. We need a law that prevents people from using handles like "cosmos369" and only allow "cosmos"

David Dickinson

These are terrible laws and completely unamerican. If a government can legislate away a right, then there are no rights. There is a legitimate way to create tighter gun laws thorugh a constitutional amendment. But Democrats know they can't get that passed so they create illegal laws that will eventually get nullified by the Supreme Court. The Democratic Party is the enemy of the the People.

EdMyers

Nibbling on fundamental rights has supporters in both camps. To protect the children, Democrats want to limit gun owners use of force decisions. Republicans want to limit women and doctors medical decisions. Both are emotional issues that driver voters. Apparently there are more passionate women rights advocates than passionate gun owners rights advocates in Virginia, now. Expect legislation to reflect that reality. (Gun rights advocates threatening violence if they don't get their way was a big mistake too; expect more limits on gun to come. Pro tip: Next rally leave the guns at home.)

RoundHillGuy

Pro tip Ed, Don't tell people how to exercise their rights.

Jeanne T

When did Second Amendment advocates threaten violence?

Jeanne T

Yes, let's nibble on our fundamental rights, little incremental steps, until they are all gone. Which other ones would you like to add to your list?

Jeanne T

How about we nibble away at your right to file frivolous lawsuits?

loudouncommonsense

I guess the ballot box IS more powerful than showing up at the state capital with weapons. It seems that as more "2nd Amendment" totalitarians show their unwillingness to compromise with their neighbors who don't think like they do, the greater the likelihood that Virginians will simply keep VA Democratic.

If you can't compromise, and the pendulum swings the other way. you are going to get whacked by it. Idealogical "purity" in a socially, intellectually, politically and culturally diverse society is a sure route to irrelevancy.

gbay926

Well said, Loudouncommonsense

LoudounPulse

Once the right case is found, this Red Flag law will fail the test in the Supreme Court. The state is effectively pre-determining guilt to justify seizing the property of a lawful citizen. I'm sure they will have to link all their seizures to mental health issues or out right threats of violence.

For what it's worth, the state will likely rarely invoke this power without a mountain of evidence against somebody. Because the NRA and other Gun Rights Groups will be waiting to poor money into a case that goes to a Conservative Supreme Court so it can be overturned as a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

LoudounBornandRaised92

I don't understand why this measure, in particular, is a bad thing. When I was working with the DoD as a therapist, I had command remove firearms from multiple active duty military who might be a threat to themselves or others due to symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. Why wouldn't we do the same for civilians if they are a threat to themselves or others? I'm not necessarily for everything that the Virginia legislator is pushing for, but this I can get behind. I'll have to read the fine print to see if there's anything I'm missing.

monkeysee

LoudounBornandRaised92, we think you voted twice in the last election. Your voting rights have been revoked until you can prove that you did not vote twice. Go ahead, we will wait...

MAGAHAHAhahahaha

monkeysee go ahead and get a state attorney or law enforcement officer to convince a judge that what you say is right and maybe those voting rights should be revoked. Go ahead, we will wait...

RandomName2019

That's a ridiculous simplification of the law as it is proposed. Police, who are notoriously vocal supporters of gun rights, would have to petition a judge, who would have to sign an order for a limited duration. These laws are truly designed to be difficult to use and are applicable in narrow cases.

LoudounBornandRaised92

Well Monkeysee, in the military a mental health professional (like myself) had to make that decision. Their command didn't. Their doctor didn't. A mental health professional did. This should fit that same mold.

LoudounClear

I am heartened to see that Virginia Democrats are doing what they said they would do before the election. Much better than the bait & switch we see from the GOP which makes great sounding promises and then does exactly the opposite (e.g., drain the swamp). I know this will further enflame the camo-clad chicken little crowd who thinks any sensible regulation of firearms is the equivalent of a total skyfall...but the rest of us appreciate feeling just a bit safer.

monkeysee

You feel safer because criminals obey laws, right?

RandomName2019

Red flag laws aren't about criminals. They're about individuals who have been identified as a potential threat due to some other issue. It could be a protective domestic order, it could be a psychiatric hold, it could be threatening messages. It takes a court order and is for a limited duration.

monkeysee

LoudounClear, you FEEL safer because criminals obey laws, right?

Loudoun4Trump

thankfully I think 95% of the counties in VA are sanctuary 2A countis and no one will enforce the "red flag" law....still no definition of what or why authorities could seize someone's property -- is it if they are arrested? number of visits to home....what is the standard for authorities to steal from people....dumb unenforceable law that does nothing but deny people their 2A right....

AFF

Only a Trump voter would think a resolution passed by a county or town has any legal standing in a Dillon Rule state.

monkeysee

local nullification

monkeysee

local nullification

Chris McHale

I don't believe these laws will embolden criminals. I do believe they will embolden legislators.

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