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Senate backs voluntary list to bar gun sales
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Senate backs voluntary list to bar gun sales

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Virginia could soon have a list of people who would voluntarily bar themselves from buying guns.

The state Senate on Monday voted to create the Virginia Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearms List, which would prohibit people who register themselves onto the list from owning or being sold a gun. The chamber backed Senate Bill 436 from Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, in a 21-18 vote.

Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William, said the bill would help people “who are struggling and take a moment in their better times to put some preventative measures in place.”

State police would maintain the list, which also disqualifies someone from getting a concealed handgun permit. It would be a class three misdemeanor for someone on the list to have a gun.

Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, joined Democrats in supporting the measure.

Other Republicans felt the list would be unnecessary.

“It really boils down to what Nancy Reagan said: ‘Just say no,’ ” said Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake.

The bill would take effect July 1, 2021.

The Senate on Monday also backed a bill, Senate Bill 14 from Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, to outlaw the manufacturing and sale of trigger activators, including bump stocks. Bump stocks allow semiautomatic guns to fire at a rate similar to a machine gun.

One Republican, Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, also sided with Democrats in approving the bill in a 21-18 vote.

Bump stocks were used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, when a gunman killed 58 people and wounded 413 others.

Also Monday, the House of Delegates signaled preliminary approval of a proposed assault weapons ban, which Gov. Ralph Northam backs. On a voice vote, the House advanced House Bill 961 from Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, to a final vote on Tuesday.

jmattingly@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6012

Twitter: @jmattingly306

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