Gov. Northam-backed gun control bills pass in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Parts of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s sweeping gun control legislation have won final passage in the General Assembly.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate gave final passage to several pieces of gun control legislation Friday.

That includes a red flag bill to allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others, and legislation giving local governments more authority to ban guns in public places.

Lawmakers also approved legislation requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to police and to toughen the penalty for leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in a reckless manner that endangers a child.

They are the first pieces of Northam’s gun control agenda to reach final passage. Other bills, like universal background checks, are expected to pass in coming days.

Virginia has become the epicenter of the nation’s gun debate after Democrats took full control of the General Assembly last year on an aggressive gun control platform. Northam is set to get seven out of eight gun-control measures passed this year, but some of them have been watered down from what he initially wanted.

A bill to ban the sale of assault weapons, which received the biggest pushback from gun owners, failed to pass the Senate.

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