Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. (D-VA48) has introduced a “Red Flag” bill aimed at reducing gun violence iin Virginia.
The bill, HB 1763, would create a judicial process through which law enforcement can petition a judge to prohibit individuals deemed at substantial risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms.
“Every death by gun violence is a tragedy, and one of the most heartbreaking facts is that many of these are preventable. This bill, which mirrors legislative steps taken in numerous states from Florida to California, would enable family and friends to stop an individual from committing gun violence before a single shot is fired, with plenty of due process and respect for Second Amendment rights,” said Sullivan.
“Not only would this bill help stop horrific events like school shootings, it will help address one of the less talked-about crises in Virginia – suicide by firearm. Evidence from other states shows that this type of bill saves lives while remaining consistent with the Second Amendment. It is long past time for us in the Commonwealth to pass this critical bill to curb the emergency that is preventable gun violence,” Sullivan said.
The bill will be introduced in the Senate by Senator George Barker (D-VA39). “No one should lose a child, a spouse, a parent, or a friend because we would not take a gun away temporarily from someone who was a risk to use that gun to kill,” said Barker, of Alexandria.
Sullivan, whose district includes parts of Arlington and McLean, introduced similar bills during the 2017 and 2018 sessions, and the 2019 version reflects input from stakeholders ranging from law enforcement officials to gun safety advocates.