Trump’s Tweet About Virginia’s Gun Safety Laws Is Flat-Out False

By Meghan McCarthy

April 17, 2020

The gun safety laws passed in Virginia have been on the books in dozens of states

President Donald Trump tweeted a call to “liberate Virginia” Friday morning, falsely claiming the Second Amendment is “under siege” in the state.

In reality, the gun safety legislation signed by Gov. Ralph Northam earlier this month may have been historic for the Commonwealth, but many similar laws are already on the books in a dozen or more states.

For example, the “red flag” law, which gives law enforcement the ability to confiscate guns from people deemed to be a danger to others, is already in effect in 15 states. Universal background checks have been implemented in 12 states, and as the gun safety advocacy group Moms Demand Action notes, is “supported by the majority of voters across the Commonwealth.”

Record high recent gun sales in Virginia also show that the new laws aren’t stopping people from buying more guns. In fact, the first two months of 2020 have seen the fourth and fifth highest number of transactions since the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center started tracking transaction data in 1990.

Below we recap exactly what new gun safety laws actually accomplish in Virginia now…none of which threaten anyone’s right to buy a gun if they pass a background check:

–A law establishing universal background checks

–A law establishing “Extreme Risk Protective Order,” which allows authorities to confiscate guns from those deemed too dangerous to themselves or others (also known as a “red flag” law)

–Reactivated Virginia’s one handgun a month law

–A law requiring gun owners to report lost/ stolen guns to the authorities within 48 hours or face a civil penalty

–A law that makes penalty for leaving loaded firearms in a reckless manner that endangers a child tougher

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