Virginia Senate passes red flag law bill: Without a single Republican vote

virginia general assembly

Photo Credit: traveler1116/iStock Photo

Legislation that would create a so-called “red flag” law in Virginia that would empower authorities to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others passed the Virginia Senate Wednesday on a distressingly party-line vote.

The legislation is modeled on a law enacted in Florida in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting and has earned the support of President Trump.

C’mon, folks, seriously, Trump.

Virginia has not been immune to the ongoing mass-shooting wave: with 40 mass shootings reported between 2014-2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Another distressing number: more than 6,000 people died by gun suicide in Virginia in the last decade.

SB 240, introduced by Sen. George Barker, D-Alexandria, would create a process to enable law enforcement officers in these situations to seek a court order, modeled on the domestic violence protective order process.

These orders would temporarily remove guns from the person in crisis.

Under a similar law in Connecticut, research found that one life was saved for every 10 cases where guns were temporarily removed.

And yet one conservative state senator, Amanda Chase, called supporters of the Virginia bill, introduced by Sen. George Barker, D-Alexandria, “traitors,” which, yeah, that’s sane.

It’s telling that none of the 19 members of the Senate Republican caucus crossed the line to back the bill.

Not even the supposed common-sense moderates: looking at you, Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, a self-styled mental health champion, who today revealed himself to be anything but that.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have similar legislation in place.

Again, including Florida.

Trump backs the idea.

This was the one we could all agree on.

But that was before thousands of people from all over the country showed up at the State Capitol this week with masks and guns and made cowards out of the Rs.

Hey, at least we know now that Republicans don’t mean it when they put out press releases after mass shootings about the issue being mental health, not guns.

They know what they can do with their thoughts and prayers.

Story by Chris Graham

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