U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-— On February 14, 2022, the Virginia House voted to repeal the controversial “red flag” law, which gave the power to any attorney or law enforcement officer in Virginia to ask a judge for a “substantial risk order” to confiscate guns from a person who poses a “substantial risk” to himself or others. The law also created a registry of such orders.
The bill had passed the Committee on Public Safety by an 11 to 10 vote. It passed the house 52 – 47.
The controversial Red Flag bill had narrowly passed in 2020 while Governor Northam was in power and Democrats controlled the House and Senate.
In the election of 2021, Republicans swept the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. They also took control of the House of Delegates, with a 52 to 48 majority.
The Senate in Virginia was not up for election in 2022. It remains in the hands of a Democrat majority, with 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans. The Lieutenant Governor is now Republican Winsome Sears. Hers will be the tie-breaking vote if there is an even split of votes in the Senate.
Only one Democrat would need to vote for the repeal of the Red Flag law to pass the Senate. However, a bill would have to be voted out of a Senate committee. It is unlikely a bill would pass out of a Senate Committee controlled by Democrats.
All state Senators and all House of Delegate members are up for re-election on November 7, 2023.
The “Red Flag” law is one of several restrictions on firearms ownership and uses passed by the Northam administration.
Some of the others are:
- Removal of the Virginia firearms pre-emption law. Local governments in Virginia are now empowered to create substantially different firearms laws, making it difficult to understand where a resident may legally keep and bear arms.
- A limit on handgun purchases to one handgun per month.
- A requirement to report lost or stolen guns to police, or face a $250 fine.
- A requirement to lock up guns in the presence of children under the age of 14
- A requirement for private firearm sales in the state to receive permission from the government before proceeding. In effect, this eliminates private sales, by requiring a public record of all sales.
Republicans may attempt to repeal all of these restrictions. All such reforms face the same obstacle as the Red Flag law in a Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate.
Governor Northrup and the Democrat legislature enacted changes in the Virginia voter law at the latest possible time before the 2020 elections. The changes make illegal election manipulation difficult to detect. The requirement for picture voter identification was repealed. No excuse early voting was passed so votes may be cast up to 45 days before an election. Election drop boxes were authorized on a “temporary basis” due to COVID 19. Drop boxes break the chain of custody of ballots, which allows for unauthorized ballot harvesting. This Arlington voting site listed numerous locations for ballot drop boxes, so it appears they will be in use for the 2022 elections.
Republicans will attempt to reform the Virginia election law. Success will depend on Democrats who control the Virginia Senate. All of them will be up for election in 2023.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.