Next Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun control agenda takes effect in Virginia, with red flag laws, gun rationing, and several other pieces of legislation going into effect. One of the new laws requires background checks on all gun sales, and on Monday, the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America filed suit in a state court challenging the new law on the grounds that it violates the state constitution.
The lawsuit, which will be heard in Lynchburg, Virginia, argues that the new law “significantly restricts” the rights of both gun sellers and gun purchasers protected by the Virginia state constitution, which says in Article I, Section 13 that “[t]hat a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”
While this might make the case ripe for a federal challenge, attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that courts in Virginia have long taken the point of view that the Second Amendment and the provisions in the state constitution protect the right to keep and bear arms, though they do note that: