Bill to suspend gun rights for domestic assault convictions passes in Virginia

Bill to suspend gun rights for domestic assault convictions passes in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — A bill to temporarily take away gun rights for some misdemeanor domestic assault convictions is on the way to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk after winning final approval in the General Assembly on Monday. Under the legislation from Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-Fairfax) , violators who knowingly purchase, possess or transport a firearm despite being banned could be charged with a Class One misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months behind bars. If Northam signs the measure into law, it would apply to those found guilty of assault and battery against certain family members on or after July 1. The bill that passed in the House of Delegates on Monday incorporated various changes suggested by the Senate. One allows a person’s gun rights to be restored automatically three years after a conviction, unless another crime disqualifies them or they’re subject to an ongoing protective order. Another limits firearm prohibitions to those who abuse a current spouse, a former spouse or “any individual who has a child in common with the person,” regardless of whether the parents have ever resided together. “While I would’ve preferred it to include intimate partners, this is a positive step forward for this bill that we’ve worked on for so many years,” Murphy said before the amendments were adopted. Murphy’s bill was scaled back after a similar measure from Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) was rejected. Five Senate Democrats sided with Republicans to kill the legislation earlier this session. During the floor debate […]

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