|RICHMOND (November 13, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has successfully defended Virginia’s new red flag law today, when Judge Glen E. Conrad in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia agreed with Attorney General Herring and dismissed the case.
“Virginians voted overwhelmingly for gun violence prevention last November and the General Assembly delivered by passing proven-effective measures, like this so-called ‘red flag’ law,” said Attorney General Herring. “In Virginia, we have already seen how this ‘red flag’ law has been used to save lives by keeping firearms out of the hands of someone who could use it to harm themselves or others. Too many Virginians have lost loved ones at the end of a gun and I am proud that my team and I were able to successfully defend this important law that will continue to save lives and keep communities safe.”
The suit was filed in July against the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney and Chief of Police by a man who claimed Virginia’s new red flag law was unconstitutional. Attorney General Herring represented the Commonwealth’s Attorney and successfully argued that the case should be dismissed. In his order, Judge Conrad explains why he agrees with Attorney General that the case should be dismissed, concluding the order by saying, “the court will grant the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants. The complaint will be dismissed without prejudice for lack of standing.”
This summer, Attorney General Herring was successful in defending Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law against the gun lobby’s attacks in Goochland County Circuit Court. In that case, Judge Timothy K. Sanner found that the gun lobby was unlikely to succeed in convincing the Court that the law was unconstitutional.
Additionally, in July, a judge largely upheld Virginia’s expanded background check law when he agreed with nearly all of Attorney General Herring’s arguments for the law’s constitutionality. Attorney General Herring is currently appealing the judges ruling and fighting to ensure the law is upheld in its entirety.
This year, the General Assembly passed historic gun safety legislation that Attorney General Herring fought for during his time both as a state senator and as attorney general. In addition to reinstating the one-handgun-a-month law, the legislation included universal background checks, an Extreme Risk Protective Order, a mandate to report a lost or stolen firearm, among others.