U.S. senators introduce red-flag, other federal gun control changes to mirror Virginia law

By Tyler Arnold | The Center Square

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced federal gun control legislation Thursday to mirror some of the laws that recently passed their home state of Virginia.

The policies include expanding background checks, limiting handgun purchases and enacting red flag laws at a national level. The senators are calling the legislation the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act.

“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”

The legislation would expand federal authority over gun policies in areas that are currently left up to the states to regulate. One of the most controversial reforms would be extreme risk protection orders, which are based on red flag laws adopted in Virginia and other states. It would allow a magistrate or judge to order the temporary seizure of a firearm from a person if there is evidence that he could be a risk to himself or others. The order would apply even if the gun owner did not commit a crime and is not even suspected of committing a crime.

Handgun purchases would also be restricted in the legislation. It would prohibit a person from purchasing more than one handgun per month.

Universal background checks are also included. They would require background checks on private sales with an exception for certain family members, law enforcement, hunting and self defense. Some states do not require background checks on private sales.

The legislation would also set requirements for reporting lost and stolen firearms, preventing firearm access to minors and a prohibition on a person possessing a firearm if he or she is subject to a protection order.

Second Amendment groups have criticized the proposed reforms as ineffective and damaging to gun rights.

“The changes to Virginia’s gun laws have not prevented a single crime,” John Crump, the Virginia director of Gun Owners of America, told The Center Square. “Instead, all they have done is to infringe upon the rights of Virginians. Now Senators Kaine and Warner are pushing these ineffective restrictions at the federal level. It goes to show that their motives are not about preventing crime and saving lives, rather, it is a fundamental hatred of the Second Amendment. Gun Owners of America will spare no expense to defeat these anti-liberty laws.”

Most of these reforms passed the Virginia General Assembly on party-line votes immediately after Democrats took control of both chambers of the legislature.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden has signaled support for additional gun control policies and has received support from the majority of the party. A significant roadblock in the Senate could come from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia who has opposed most of the Democrats’ gun control plans and refused to end the filibuster, which requires most bills to pass a 60-vote threshold. The Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie breaker.

Some states and localities have passed bills or ordinances, labeling themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries and ordered law enforcement not to enforce certain gun control laws.

Image courtesy of Public domain

One thought on “U.S. senators introduce red-flag, other federal gun control changes to mirror Virginia law

  1. Why try to actually mitigate the problem if it benefits you politically to keep the status quo? This is a mental illness problem and they know it. Young men who develop paranoid schizophrenia do so in the age group of late teens to early and mid twenties. This age demographic is involved in the vast majority of mass shootings and other forms of attacks. Once someone develops schizophrenia it is a lifelong illness. It can be controlled fairly well by medication, however it is very hard for the patient to accept the fact that they must remain on the medication for when the paranoid symptoms subside they become convinced that they are fine and never really need the medication in the first place. With this illness it is not usual for a person to become convinced that everything they encounter is directed at them personally. News events depicting a mass shooting can easily be mistaken as a direct message to them. If the media dwells on and on about the weapon used the method of attack and the pain and suffering it caused in everyone that is all they need to know. Schizophrenia is a devastating illness. It causes the patient to become gradually ostracized from all their young friends who begin to find him strange and not relatable. It extends into the family, who at first assume it is some teenage stage that he is going through. The schizophrenic individual is so severely emotionally damaged by this complete social rejection that they want to emotionally punish society as a whole so society can feel the same pain that they experience. The predominate psychiatric medical line is that people with schizophrenia are rarely a danger. While this is true in the main, the problem is that a violent act by a psychotic schizophrenia is a random event. When everyone is focused on why they can’t explain the reason for the attack, they fail to understand that there is no logical reason for the event because it was in essence illogical. Cause and effect in the mind a untreated schizophrenic individual are greatly distorted. It is common for the first violent act to be committed against a family member such as the mother or father because the schizophrenic individual feels they are being controlled or rejected by their own family member.
    This is an emotionally devastating problem for everyone, the schizophrenic, the family, the families of the victims, and society as a whole. There remains no lawful and immediate effective process in place for the family to get assistance with getting the individual into treatment. A violent act or series of violent acts must take place first. This will not be address by the leftists politicians because is just too beneficial as a political weapon for them to ever surrender.

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