Last-second gun-control bills pass Virginia Senate, head to Northam’s desk

Washington Examiner – by Tyler Arnold

With the legislative session winding down, the Virginia General Assembly approved more gun-control initiatives Saturday that were part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 2020 agenda.

After Democrats in the House and the Senate worked out minor differences, the chambers came to an agreement on bills to expand background checks ( Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 2) and limit handgun purchases ( Senate Bill 69 and House Bill 812). 

The House adopted the substitute bills earlier this week, and the Senate agreed to them on Saturday.

The background-check legislation will expand background checks to private transfers of weapons, unless the transfer is between immediate family members. The legislation on handgun purchases will prohibit a person from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period.

In a statement, Northam praised the General Assembly for passing the bills.

“Every year, we lose more than one thousand Virginians to gun violence,” Northam said in a statement. “Today, this year, Virginia has said enough is enough. The emergency of gun violence must end. This legislation will help get us there.”

The General Assembly already has sent Northam legislation to enact red-flag laws, which will allow a judge or magistrate to order a person has his guns confiscated if he is deemed to be a threat to himself or others.

Efforts to enact a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines had support in the House, but failed in the Senate after it faced opposition from some moderate Democrats.

In response to Northam’s gun-control agenda, more than 100 localities declared themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries, which stated their intent to defy state gun-control laws they deemed to be unconstitutional.

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