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Senate advances ‘red flag’ gun law, despite rally

(AP) The day after a massive gathering of gun-rights activists at the Virginia Capitol, the state Senate advanced legislation that would allow authorities to take guns away from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

The Democratic-led Senate gave preliminary approval to the so-called “red flag” law Jan. 21. The measure was set for a final vote in the Senate  before going to the House.

Republicans blasted the bill as an assault on gun rights and civil liberties. Democrats said the bill was a thoughtful measure that would preserve due process while also protecting people against potential gun violence.

The bill is one of several gun-control measures the new Democratic majority at the General Assembly is set to pass this year.

Also Jan. 21, the Democratic-led House killed several pro-gun measures in a subcommittee meeting. Those GOP-backed measures included a bill to allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit and to repeal a limit on carrying weapons in churches and other places of worship.

The legislative action came a day after tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the state Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.

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