The Virginia House of Delegates passed several gun reform laws this week. They still have to be voted on by the Virginia state Senate, but they are expected to pass and go into law later this year.
What would change?
- Mandatory universal background checks.
- This would include private sales and gun show sales.
- "Red flag" legislation.
- This would allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from individuals determined to be dangerous to themselves or others. How those determinations will be made is yet to be foreseen.
- Requirements to report lost and stolen guns to authorities.
- This would include being required to report serial numbers of weapons, and how they were originally obtained.
- Limiting you to only being able to buy one handgun per month.
- Let's be honest, who doesn't wish they could afford a new handgun every month, let alone more than one.
- Prohibiting those under protective orders from owning a gun while on those orders.
- This is sometimes associated with restraining orders, which can last up to two years. Imagine being falsely accused and given a restraining order, then prohibited from owning a gun for two years despite not being convicted of any crime.
- Requirements for child access prevention.
- This may include requirements for weapons to be locked at all times reducing effectiveness of home defense use, but aimed at reducing accidental child deaths.
- Local officials being given the authority to determine how to regulate guns in public spaces.
- Many public places such as libraries, parks, and retail centers already prohibit the carrying of firearms. This would be subjective and change from location to location.
91 out of 95 counties in Virginia have heard law enforcement officials verbalize disapproval of these new measures. Regardless of where you find yourself on the debate, it is important to stay current on the laws and be aware what the government is doing with your rights.