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Virginia House advances gun safety measures

The new Democratic majority in the House voted Wednesday to advance a package of gun measures over vocal opposition from Republicans.

RICHMOND, Va. — Democrats in the Virginia House are advancing a package of gun-control measures they said are needed to improve public safety. 

The new Democratic majority in the House voted Wednesday to advance a package of gun measures over vocal opposition from Republicans, who said the measures infringe on law-abiding gun owners' rights. 

The bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; allowing localities to ban guns in certain areas; a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others; reporting lost or stolen guns; strengthening current law to keep guns locked away properly.

Juan Bell is a business owner and training director at The Marksman in Newport News. Bell has mixed emotions about the new bills.

"I think some of them need to be reworked. Some of them are okay. All of the law-abiding citizens are already abiding by it. I don’t think that anybody should have the right to tell you how you spend your as far as one gun a month. Yes, there does need to be some type of mandatory training for firearms,” said Bell.

Bell is concerned the measures may hurt his business.

"It will impact the business yeah absolutely. We have people that come here and buy three to four at a time and also these people you don't hear about on TV,” said Bell.

Governor Ralph Northam tweeted out, “Make no mistake—these measures will save lives.”

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