Virginia governor signs gun control measures into law

Virginia governor signs gun control measures into law
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Friday signed into law five of the seven gun control measures he sought to pass during the state’s legislative session earlier this year.

The new statutes include expanded background checks, mandated reporting of lost and stolen guns, preventing children from accessing guns, reinstating Virginia's one-handgun-a-month policy limiting each individual to one handgun purchase every 30 days, and a "red flag" law allowing law enforcement to take guns from those deemed to present a danger to themselves or others.

The legislation takes effect July 1.

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“We lose too many Virginians to gun violence, and it is past time we took bold, meaningful action to make our communities safer,” Northam said in a statement. “I was proud to work with legislators and advocates on these measures, and I am proud to sign them into law. These common sense laws will save lives.”

Leaders of the Democratically controlled state legislature praised the new laws.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw called Friday “a monumental day,” while Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said Virginians “demanded action and we delivered.”

The governor was not able to secure passage of an assault weapons ban, an ambitious goal that led to massive protests at the state house. The measure stalled in the state Senate.

“We have come short on that particular issue,” Northam said on a press call Friday, saying he plans to push it again in the following session.

Northam also proposed gun regulations in public buildings, parks and during events, and barring people subject to protective orders from having a gun.