Del. Tim Hugo

Del. Tim Hugo, R-40th, is pictured in Richmond.

Republican Caucus Chair Del. Tim Hugo is now backing a “red flag” gun law in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings that killed 31 people earlier this month. 

The bill, introduced by Del. Jason Miyares, also a Republican, would allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from people found to be a danger to themselves or to others.

Hugo, who has an A-rating from the National Rifle Association, has not previously stated his support for such measures. Hugo is the only Republican state delegate representing Northern Virginia. His 40th District spans the western portions of Fairfax and Prince William counties.

“I take the issue of gun violence very seriously and always have,” Hugo said in an email. “That is why I have signed on to Delegate Miyares' Red Flag Law, which will give law enforcement another tool to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them while simultaneously protecting due process.”

Miyares represents the 82nd House of Delegates district, which includes Virginia Beach, the site of a May 31 mass shooting by a disgruntled city employee that left 13 people dead, including the gunman. 

Hugo’s shift in support for the bill was in response to back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4. The El Paso shooter, who targeted Hispanic shoppers at a Walmart, killing 22 and injuring dozens more, was armed with an AK-47 assault-style rifle. 

The Dayton, Ohio, shooter used a .223-caliber, high-capacity rifle technically classified as pistol to kill nine people and injure 27 at a restaurant. The shooter’s rampage lasted only 30 seconds before he was shot and killed by police.

In the past, Hugo has voted in favor of expanding gun rights for Virginians, including restoring firearms rights for felons and expanding concealed carry laws. But on several occasions the delegate has also supported more restrictive gun-control measures in the state. 

In 2008, Hugo co-sponsored legislation to require mental health questions on state gun background checks following a mass shooting at Virginia Tech. In 2016, he co-sponsored legislation to make it a felony for anyone subject to a permanent protective order for family abuse to be in possession of a firearm.

“As a delegate, I have consistently voted to keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals and the mentally ill and to institute harsher penalties for criminals who possess guns illegally,” Hugo said. 

Hugo’s support for the bill comes only a month after Virginia Republicans abruptly ended a special legislative session on gun violence called by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) in response to a mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building that killed 12 people and wounded four. Republicans postponed the vote on over 50 gun bills until after the November elections. 

The GOP referred the bills to the Virginia State Crime Commission, which is scheduled to meet next week.

Democratic legislators called the delay a failure of leadership by Republicans to address gun violence in Virginia.

Hugo’s Democratic challenger Dan Helmer, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, has called for tighter gun laws, and was recently endorsed by Gabrielle Giffords, a former Arizona congresswoman who was shot and critically injured in a 2011 mass shooting that left six people dead. 

“If Delegate Hugo were serious about gun safety, he wouldn’t have voted to shut down an emergency session on gun violence just a month ago and he wouldn’t have stopped 70 pieces of commonsense gun safety legislation from passing this year alone,” Helmer said. 

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(4) comments

Rickdumfries

Red Flag laws are dangerous to law abiding citizens in the context they are written.

First, they infringe on 4th and 5th amendment rights. They can enter your home uninvited and seize your property based on the words of another person. No investigation, no questioning the accused, no presumption of innocence; a person calls police, makes a statement that you're a threat to others or yourself and they kick in your door to take your guns.

How many of these accusations are legitimate and actually stop a horrific event? Better question is how many are made by a scorned "ex-," an angry neighbor or coworker, and/or some gun control fanatic who thinks everyone should be disarmed? With no penalty for making a false claim and/or remaining anonymous, what's to stop them from turning your life upside down because you own a gun? Local news reported 788 "red flag" claims have been made in Maryland since their red flag law went into effect in October 2018. That's more than 2 per day and it hasn't been a year yet. (Wonder how many were legitimate versus false, and wondering why the local news didn't reveal this information?)

Then let's consider the person who actually is a threat to others or himself. Law enforcement has taken "his" guns, but "he" is still free to carry out threats, and now "he" is likely more angry because LEO's took his guns. What's to stop "him" from purchasing one illegally, or using other means to carry out "his" threats? Wasn't that long ago when a Maryland school teacher was shot and killed by estranged husband whose guns were confiscated due to protective order filed by wife. How did he get another gun? The same way a person who is truly a threat will get one after their's are taken under Red Flag laws - illegally.



In summary, Red Flag Laws, as proposed,

violate our Constitutional rights. Allow the government to do this, and it won't be long before they are eavesdropping on your phone calls, reading your emails, searching you and property because someone accused of being up to something.

Don't confiscate the guns without investigating the accusations and/or the accused; are they really dangerous and a threat? Don't allow accusers to remain anonymous but do hold them responsible for making obviously false accusations. And lastly, don't confiscate the gun, confine the threat. Anything less, and one day they'll have "Red Flag Laws" for other things. Perhaps some day they'll be able to seize your automobiles because you were seen holding your cellphone while sitting behind the steering wheel of your car.



I cannot and will not support any elected representative who supports vague Red Flag Laws that violate our Constitutional Rights.

ccw

"I cannot and will not support any elected representative who supports vague Red Flag Laws that violate our Constitutional Rights."



The only thing that seems to make sense to me is that these politicians are scared silly that they will be crushed by the semi-beautiful quasi-intellectual fake news members if they don't support the liberal agendas.



For some reason they appear to have forgotten that the right to have, hold and bear arms is the Holy Grail of our Constitution. There is more inherent power in that right than Free Speech will ever have. It is the golden key by which the American people can protect themselves from any tyrannical acts that the government attempts to force upon them.

That said Americans as a people are normally patient, enduring and peaceful. It takes a lot to get on their bad side. But when you, in this case the government openly lies to them, deceives them while arrogantly daring them to challenge or try and stop them that finally crosses the civil lines which will cause the people to rise up in fury and rage against their oppressors. This then, not the media is what our elected politicians should respect and be fearful of. The last few administrations, including now even President Trump have increasingly pushed the envelopes against the will of America's citizens. Red Flag laws do nothing but inflame our nation further and further apart.

ccw

“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Mathew 10:21



The most important of all considerations is that is precisely what this proposed “red flag” law will do. The facts that it probably breaches several of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights and fractures American citizens against each other is not an accident. It is by deliberate, determined design. It is one of the favorite tools of International Socialism's methodologies that liberalism uses to control people. We make the people dumb. We make the people hungry. We make the people fearful. We make the people dependent on us. We make it impossible for them to rise up on their own for any reason.



Elected Republicans know all of this yet they choose to fly as fast as they can in front of the TV cameras. Voters, especially gun owners are not going to forget this phony political grandstanding come election day.



Wiser politicians are mindful that the NRA and United States Concealed Carry organizations are gaining members with all time high numbers. President Trump also needs to pay attention. For some reason he is absent without leave on this too. The soothsayer's warnings of his political future are clear. If the Fed's subversive manipulation succeeds in even a mild recession, no wall is built and President Trump's personal level slapping tariff restrictions against China does slightly more damage to American farmers than it already has then his chances of reelection are doomed. Could it be that is the real reason behind this red flag law?

Rickdumfries

Very well stated. People need to stop accepting what we hear in the media and start thinking for ourselves. We've stopped asking "what's the real story."

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