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Lynchburg Circuit Court takes up hearing on expanded gun background checks

Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV logo Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV 7/2/2020 Michael Alachnowicz
a close up of text on a white surface: A group of six plaintiffs made their case Thursday in Lynchburg Circuit Court for a temporary injunction against newly-enacted universal background checks in Virginia. © Provided by Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV A group of six plaintiffs made their case Thursday in Lynchburg Circuit Court for a temporary injunction against newly-enacted universal background checks in Virginia.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - In a virtual hearing inside the Lynchburg Circuit Court Thursday, attorneys for a group of six plaintiffs made their case for a statewide injunction against expanded background checks.

Among many new laws that took effect yesterday, the expanded checks aim to cover private sales of guns in the commonwealth.

Gun Owners of America - which is one of the plaintiffs in the case - says the new law is unconstitutional.

“The outcome we desire is for the law to be struck down,” said Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America senior vice president. “Of course we’re talking about the universal background checks which at its core bans the private sale of firearms which is a constitutionally-protected activity.”

Pratt says universal background checks in other locations have failed.

He says “bad guys” don’t go through background checks and will steal guns.

“Background checks have failed to stop every mass shooting this century,” said Pratt. “In some cases, killers actually do pass background checks and in other cases they steal their guns. But the background check system has been an abject failure.”

WDBJ7 reached out to the attorney general’s office for comment.

Although our communications were not returned, Attorney General Mark Herring filed a brief Tuesday defending the expanded checks.

It says in part the expanded checks were enacted to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, but Pratt does not see it that way.

“It violates the whole idea that of having a God-given right that shall not be infringed,” said Pratt.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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