Gov. Northam unveils new gun violence legislation ahead of special session

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RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Governor Northam has announced his legislative agenda for gun violence prevention ahead of the special session.

“We continue to lose too many lives to senseless and preventable acts of gun violence, but we have the power to make meaningful change,” said Governor Northam.

Governor Northam’s legislation includes eight bills that aim to protect the Commonwealth from gun violence, and improve public safety.

The eight bills include:

  • Background checks on all firearms sales and purchases. Any person selling, renting, trading, or transferring a firearm must first receive a background check before the purchase is complete.
  • A ban on dangerous weapons including assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.
  • Legislation allowing only one handgun purchase within a 30-day time frame.
  • Lost and stolen firearms must be reported to authorities within 24 hours.
  • Creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order. The bill expands Virginia law which currently prohibits individuals subject to protective orders.
  • Strengthening the punishment for allowing access to loaded and unsecured firearms by a child from a Class 3 Misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. This bill would also raise the age of the child from 14 to 18.
  • Allow localities to enact any firearms ordinances that are stricter than the state law. This includes regulations in municipal buildings, libraries and at permitted events.

The special session will begin July 9. The General Assembly will decide on rules and regulations then set the agenda for the special session.

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