Senate committee advances gun reform bills

Senate committee advances gun reform bills

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Monday, Democrats flexed their legislative muscles, easily advancing bills would mandate universal background checks, reinstate Virginia’s one-gun-a-month law, and impose a “red flag” law.

“They are going to fracture this commonwealth,” House minority leader Republican Del. Todd Gilbert, said. He expressed his disapproval at a press event hosted by the National Rifle Association.

Gun rights activists could only look on as three bills easily sailed through the senate judiciary committee: Senate Bill 70 calls for universal background checks;

Senate Bill 240 called for “red flag” laws - or the ability to remove firearms from those deemed a danger to themselves or others; Senate Bill 69 looks to reinstates Virginia’s one-gun-a-month law.

“Today is a say day in the General Assembly, and across Virginia,” Republican Senator Mark Obenshain, said, at the NRA event.

Those that spoke touched upon many reasons as to why they say they don’t want their rights infringed upon. But for someone like Savanna Lindquist, however, her reasons are much more personal.

“I was raped, and I couldn’t defend myself. For me, it’s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it’s a human rights issue,” Lindquist said.

For someone like Andrew Whiting, his argument stems from a need for personal protection, but says the bigger point is protecting the second amendment:

“What’s to say they won’t start chipping away at the first, or the third, fourth, fifth – and so on and so forth?” Whiting said.

But Democrats say they are doing what they were elected to do.

“In November, Virginians spoke loud and clear, and they want legislators who are going to address the scourge of gun violence,” Attorney General Mark Herring, said.

Senate Democrats pulled one of their more controversial gun control bills, Senate Bill 16, which would have expanded the definition of an assault weapon and outlawed it, as there were concerns whether such a ban would hold up in court.

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