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Delegate Sullivan Introduces “Red Flag” Bill to Curb Gun Violence

January 4, 2019

Media Contact:
Kate Petersen
(610) 209-4718

Delegate Sullivan Introduces “Red Flag” Bill to Curb Gun Violence

ARLINGTON, Va. – Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr. (VA-48) recently introduced a bill, HB 1763, to create a judicial process through which law enforcement can petition a judge to prohibit individuals deemed at substantial risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms. Laws like this in other states are often called "Red Flag" laws, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, or Extreme Risk Protective Orders.

“Every death by gun violence is a tragedy, and one of the most heartbreaking facts is that many of these are preventable. This bill, which mirrors legislative steps taken in numerous states from Florida to California, would enable family and friends to stop an individual from committing gun violence before a single shot is fired, with plenty of due process and respect for Second Amendment rights," said Delegate Sullivan. 

“Not only would this bill help stop horrific events like school shootings, it will help address one of the less talked-about crises in Virginia – suicide by firearm. Evidence from other states shows that this type of bill saves lives while remaining consistent with the Second Amendment. It is long past time for us in the Commonwealth to pass this critical bill to curb the emergency that is preventable gun violence," he continued.

Delegate Chris Hurst (VA-12), chief co-patron of the bill, stated “I’m proud to again be the first co-patron on this important and potentially life-saving legislation. We’ve seen more and more states act in a bipartisan fashion to address the crisis of gun violence by passing similar laws. In a review of 762 risk warrant cases in Connecticut, researchers at Duke University estimated one life was saved for every ten temporary firearm removals. We must pass this bill to protect people here in Virginia.”

The bill will also be introduced in the Senate by Senator George Barker (VA-39). "No one should lose a child, a spouse, a parent, or a friend because we would not take a gun away temporarily from someone who was a risk to use that gun to kill,” said Senator Barker.

Delegate Sullivan introduced similar bills during the 2017 and 2018 sessions, and the 2019 version reflects input from stakeholders ranging from law enforcement officials to gun safety advocates.


Delegate Rip Sullivan represents Virginia's 48th House of Delegates District, which is composed of parts of Arlington and McLean.