State Senate passes additional gun control measures

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 8:32 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Senate approved additional gun control measures Monday, passing bills to strengthen Virginia’s red flag law, outlaw ghost guns and restrict assault weapons in public places.

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax Co.) introduced SB1067. He said implementation of Virginia’s red flag law has been inconsistent across the Commonwealth.

“I would just note, Chesterfield County, one of the largest in the state, has only used the red flag order proceeding three times, Henrico once, Fauquier zero, Roanoke County once, the city twice,” Surovell said.

The red flag law allows courts to prohibit possession of firearms by people deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Surovell said his bill would flesh out out the factors magistrates may take into account and those they must, when considering substantial risk orders.

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham Co.) questioned whether the proposed changes are needed.

“What I have not heard is any instance in which a red flag complaint was made, but rejected, in which harm has occurred to anybody in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And in the absence of that, I would suggest that this is a further effort to expand this for the purpose of advancing this agenda, which I would respectfully submit is not justified by the facts or by data,” Obenshain said.

Ultimately, the measure passed, and so did others targeting ghost guns without serial numbers, and the carrying of assault firearms in public places.

The legislation is now headed to the House of Delegates, where all three bills are expected to fail.