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Virginia House passes gun-control measures

Virginia House passes gun-control measures
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 18:42:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia House of Delegates has passed several pieces of gun-control legislation, but some of the measures face an uncertain future in the more conservative Senate.

The Democratic-led House approved seven gun measures Thursday, largely along party lines.

One of the bills would require background checks not just for gun sales, but for private transfers as well (like at gun shows or online), excluding dart guns. Failure to do this could result in a Class 6 felony for the seller and a Class 1 misdemeanor for the buyer.

Another bill would prohibit any person subject to a permanent protective order from owning a firearm while the order is in effect.

Gun-rights supporters demonstrate in front of state Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday morning Jan. 20, 2020. Gun-rights activists and other groups are descending on Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to protest plans by the state's Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Other bills include the so-called Red Flag Law, which would temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed a threat, one handgun a month, and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

Democrats say the bills will prevent senseless deaths, while Republicans argue the measures infringe on law-abiding gun owners' rights.

Virginia has become ground zero in the nation's raging debate over gun control and mass shootings as a new Democratic majority has pledged to put strict new limits in place.

The legislation will now go to the Senate for a vote, which has already passed its version of some of the measures but has shown signs that others may not survive.

The passed bills did not include a proposed assault weapon ban, a top priority for Gov. Ralph Northam and one that's drawn fierce resistance from gun-rights advocates.