Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk of injury to himself, etc., penalties. (SB240)

Introduced By

Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon), and Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Creates a procedure by which any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a general district court, circuit court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge or magistrate for an emergency substantial risk order to prohibit a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. Upon service of an emergency substantial risk order, the person who is subject to the order shall be given the opportunity to voluntarily relinquish any firearm. An emergency substantial risk order shall expire on the fourteenth day following issuance of the order. The bill requires a court hearing in the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the order was issued within 14 days from issuance of an emergency substantial risk order to determine whether a substantial risk order should be issued. Seized firearms shall be retained by a law-enforcement agency for the duration of an emergency substantial risk order or a substantial risk order or, for a substantial risk order and with court approval, may be transferred to a third party 21 years of age or older chosen by the person from whom they were seized. The bill allows the complainant of the original warrant to file a motion for a hearing to extend the substantial risk order prior to its expiration. The court may extend the substantial risk order for a period not longer than 180 days. The bill provides that persons who are subject to a substantial risk order, until such order has been dissolved by a court, are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm; are disqualified from having a concealed handgun permit; and may not be employed by a licensed firearms dealer. The bill also provides that a person who transfers a firearm to a person he knows has been served with a warrant or who is the subject of a substantial risk order is guilty of a Class 4 felony. The bill creates a computerized substantial risk order registry for the entry of orders issued pursuant to provisions in the bill. This bill is identical to HB 674. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/02/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/02/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103425D
01/02/2020Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
01/06/2020Impact statement from VCSC (SB240)
01/08/2020Moved from Courts of Justice to Judiciary due to a change of the committee name
01/13/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (9-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
01/13/2020Committee substitute printed 20105669D-S1
01/14/2020Constitutional readings dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/14/2020Impact statement from VCSC (SB240S1)
01/14/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/15/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB240S1)
01/15/2020Floor substitute printed 20105857D-S2 (Morrissey)
01/15/2020Passed by for the day
01/16/2020Floor substitute printed 20105922D-S3 (Surovell)
01/16/2020Passed by temporarily
01/16/2020Passed by for the day
01/17/2020Passed by for the day
01/20/2020Passed by for the day
01/21/2020Read second time
01/21/2020Committee substitute rejected 20105669D-S1
01/21/2020Substitute by Senator Morrisey withdrawn 20105857D-S2
01/21/2020Reading of substitute waived
01/21/2020Pending question ordered (27-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2020Substitute by Senator Surovell 20105922D-S3 agreed to (21-Y 19-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2020Reading of amendment waived
01/21/2020Amendment #1 by Senator Norment ruled out of order
01/21/2020Amendment #2 by Senator Norment ruled out of order
01/21/2020Amendment #3 by Senator Norment agreed to
01/21/2020Amendment by Senator Surovell agreed to
01/21/2020Engrossed by Senate - floor substitute with amendments SB240ES3
01/21/2020Title replaced 20105922D-S3
01/21/2020Printed as engrossed 20105922D-ES3
01/22/2020Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 19-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2020Impact statement from VCSC (SB240ES3)
01/23/2020Impact statement from VCSC (SB240S3)
02/09/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB240ES3)
02/13/2020Placed on Calendar
02/13/2020Read first time
02/13/2020Referred to Committee on Public Safety
02/21/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/21/2020Reported from Public Safety with substitute (12-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2020Committee substitute printed 20108809D-H1
02/21/2020Impact statement from VCSC (SB240H1)
02/24/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB240H1)
02/25/2020Read second time
02/26/2020Read third time
02/26/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20108809D-H1
02/26/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB240H1
02/26/2020Passed House with substitute (53-Y 47-N)
02/26/2020VOTE: Passage (53-Y 47-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2020House substitute agreed to by Senate (21-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2020Title replaced 20108809D-H1
03/05/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB240ER)
03/05/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB240ER)
03/06/2020Signed by Speaker
03/07/2020Signed by President
03/12/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 12, 2020
03/12/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
04/08/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 888 (effective 7/1/20)
04/08/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0888)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 57 minutes.


Mike writes:

An egregious violation of the right to due process. There should be bipartisan support in striking down such a horrendous violation of rights, and abuse of government power.

You're not afforded proper legal representation when the decision is made for you to be treated like a criminal, you're not afforded the opportunity to face your accuser when it's presented, and you're able to provide a defense until AFTER you have been abused and victimized.

In addition, anyone who calls red flag laws common sense is lying to you. If someone is suicidal and all you do is kick in their front door and take their gun, then guess what? They are still suicidal. You offered them no treatment or support. You stigmatized a cry for help, treated them like a criminal, and left them alone with a million other options to harm themselves. That doesn’t make you a hero, that makes you a bad person.

Robert Legge writes:

Some version of red flag laws are in 17 states. People act like this is something Virginia Democrats just invented. If someone says to the wife "I'm going to kill you and the kids tonight when you get home" that taking someone's gun away for 14 days is so terrible?