AP NEWS

Virginia Senate advances ‘red flag’ gun law, despite rally

January 21, 2020 GMT
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Supporters of gun laws hold us photos of gun violence victims during the meeting of the Senate Judiciary committee at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The Committee passed several gun related bills. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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Supporters of gun laws hold us photos of gun violence victims during the meeting of the Senate Judiciary committee at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The Committee passed several gun related bills. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The day after a massive gathering of gun-rights activists at the Virginia Capitol, the state Senate on Tuesday advanced legislation that would allow authorities to take guns away from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

The Democratic-led Senate gave preliminary approval to approved the so-called “red flag” law. The measure is set for a final vote in the Senate, likely Wednesday, before going to the House.

Republicans blasted the bill as an assault on gun rights and civil liberties. Democrats said the bill was a thoughtful measure that would preserve due process while also protecting people against potential gun violence.

The bill is one of several gun-control measures the new Democratic majority at the General Assembly is set to pass this year.

Also on Tuesday, the Democratic-led House killed several pro-gun measures in a subcommittee meeting. Those GOP-backed measures included a bill to allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit and to repeal a limit on carrying weapons in churches and other places of worship.

Tuesday’s legislative action came a day after tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the state Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.