A Look Ahead At Guns Legislation In Maryland And Virginia This Session

Guns are displayed at Dragonman’s, an arms seller east of Colorado Springs, Colo. The state legislatures in Maryland and Virginia convened this week with a number of new gun-related bills likely for debate. Here’s a look at what to expect during each state’s legislative session when it comes to firearms: Virginia Democratic lawmakers in Virginia have put forward seven gun reform proposals , ranging from a ban on high-capacity magazines to a bill requiring background checks on all gun sales. Included in the legislative package is the establishment of an Extreme Risk Protective Order, or “red flag law,” that would allow law enforcement to seek the temporary seizure of an individual’s firearms, should that person be deemed a danger to themselves or others. If passed, Virginia would join more than a dozen other states, and D.C., in instituting such a law. The proposed legislation marks Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s second attempt to pass wide-sweeping gun reform regulations since taking office last year. Republican lawmakers in the 2018 session struck down similar proposals, but Democrats are hoping to capitalize on Virginian backlash to unpopular Republican policies ahead of the 2019 state elections. Republicans hold a narrow majority in both chambers: 51-49 in the House of Delegates and 21-19 in the Senate. This year, Democrats also hope to reinstate a ban prohibiting multiple handgun purchases within a single month. The state’s previous ban on those sales was repealed in 2012. “We lose too many Virginians each year to senseless gun violence, […]

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