Gun retailers in Virginia say they’re seeing sales of weapons and ammunition skyrocket as the now fully Democratic Virginia legislature moves closer to passing strict gun control within the state — including a provision that allows the state government to confiscate so-called “assault weapons” if citizens who own them don’t register the weapons.
The Washington Examiner reports that at least one gun retailer has seen sales rise more than 200% year over year. Cash sales are way up, especially amid news that Democrats in Virginia and in Congress want to use credit card information to track gun purchases.
“This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” one retailer told the Examiner.
Gun sales have taken a downturn since Donald Trump became president, likely because the Republican leader doesn’t pose the same threat to gun rights as his predecessor, Barack Obama. That downturn has been marked by a few peaks, however, usually in the wake of a mass shooting when gun control advocates are their most vocal, taking advantage of tragedy to pass strict legislation limiting the sale and use of weapons.
“Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms,” the retailer added. “We can’t keep it in stock.”
Democrats in Virginia say they’re paving the way for a national gun control program, and have proposed a number of possible restrictions, including a complete ban on assault rifles, backed up by the threat of confiscation. The Examiner adds that Democrats are also pursuing “restrictions on magazine capacity, universal background checks, and restrictions to one gun a month purchases.”
“Eighty-six counties – over 90 percent – in the Virginia commonwealth have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions” in response to the effort, according to Fox News. Many have passed a similar resolution, using the language of The Federalist Papers, “declaring that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.”
Virginia Democrats are hoping that those “sanctuary” propositions won’t be enforceable but county sheriffs told Fox News that they plan on defending the sanctuary protections all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be. Virginia governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat best known for appearing in a photo wearing either a Ku Klux Klan hood or minstrel-style blackface (and never facing consequences), has said he will support Democrats’ efforts to ban certain classes of weapons and strictly limit gun ownership altogether, even pursuing confiscation if need be.
The Virginia Attorney General agreed, according to local news. “When the General Assembly passes new gun violence legislation, they will be followed, and they will be enforced,” Virginia AG Mark Herring said.
“It is my opinion that these [sanctuary] resolutions have no legal effect,” Herring said in a letter issued by the AG’s office late last week. “It is my further opinion that localities and local constitutional officers cannot nullify state laws and must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact.”