|RICHMOND (January 13, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the below statement following the Senate Courts of Justice Committee’s passage of several bills in his legislative package including critical gun safety measures – one-gun-a-month, universal background checks and a red flag law; and a bill that will allow localities to prohibit firearms at permitted events. Attorney General Herring has introduced and supported many of these bills for years, especially the bill that would restrict firearms at permitted events, but they have been bottled up in Republican-held committees in the past.
“Virginians have been calling for commonsense gun safety laws for far too long and today we have taken the first steps to finally make our communities safer,” said Attorney General Herring. “The passage of a one-gun-a-month law and a red flag law are substantial steps towards keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals and preventing gun violence in the Commonwealth. While I am disappointed that a weakened version of the universal background checks bill passed this morning, it is my hope that we will pass full universal background checks before this session is over.
“Additionally, I am pleased that the Senate Courts of Justice Committee passed the bill that would allow localities to prohibit firearms at permitted events. I have been introducing this legislation since the tragic events in Charlottesville in 2017 but, unfortunately, every year Republican-held committees failed to pass it. Allowing localities to restrict the use of firearms at permitted events will make participants, bystanders, communities and law enforcement agencies safer.”
Below are the bills that passed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee this morning:
SB35 (Surovell) – This bill authorizes communities to ban firearms in a public space during a permitted event, or an event that would otherwise require a permit.
SB69 (Locke) – This bill will limit the purchasing of handguns to one per month.
SB70 (Lucas) – This bill will require running a background check for firearm transfers *amended
SB240 (Barker) – This bill will prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from possessing a firearm