News and Commentary

Virginia Gun Ban Fails in Senate Committee, Marking Legislative Blow For Gov. Northam
Thousands of gun owners rallied outside of the capitol in Richmond, Virginia, US, on 20 January 2020 to protest new legislation as the Democratic Party retakes power in the state.
Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The gun bill backed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) that included sweeping bans of guns, magazines, and suppressors – turning gun owners in the state into criminals overnight – was rejected by a senate committee.

Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms reported that four Democrats joined every Republican on the committee to send the bill to the Virginia Crime Commission for further study, which means it won’t be reconsidered before this legislative session expires.

“The gun ban bill was the first on the docket for the Judiciary Committee, and GOP members grilled bill sponsor Del. Mark Levine over his definition of an ‘assault weapon,’ the arbitrary ban on ammunition magazines that can hold more than twelve rounds, and other aspects of the legislation,” Edwards wrote.

As The Daily Wire reported, Levine failed to get even one fact about guns correct during a previous explanation of his definition of “assault weapon.” During his six-minute explanation earlier, Levine “mimicked what he claimed mass shooters like to use. His body language suggested he was using a fully automatic weapon (he twisted at the hips like he was in some old gangster movie). Fully automatic weapons are not used in mass shootings because they’ve been banned since 1986. Democrats and their media allies like to claim “semi-automatic” is virtually the same as fully automatic, but they’re not. A fully automatic weapon means it reloads and fires repeatedly with one trigger pull. Semi-automatic weapons fire one round per trigger pull.”

“‘This weapons restriction is clearly constitutional,’ claimed Levine, noting that in a challenge to a similar ban in Maryland, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that so-called assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. What Levine didn’t say is that the U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t taken up a case dealing with semi-automatic long guns,” Edwards continued.

Levine insisted that the bill narrowly passed by the Virginia House of Delegates would not “infringe on anyone’s rights,” even though it absolutely would, banning Americans from purchasing certain firearms, magazines, and suppressors that had been previously legal to purchase and turning lawful gun owners into criminals overnight if they continued to keep any newly banned magazines they had previously purchased legally. More from Edwards:

While the gun, magazine, and suppressor bill is dead for this legislative session, it will almost surely be back again next year, and in the meantime Gov. Northam will likely get a chance to sign several gun control bills, including measures that would roll back the state’s firearm preemption law, change training requirements for concealed carry licensees, and more.

Still, Virginia gun owners can rightfully be pleased and proud that their activism and engagement helped to defeat HB961, which was the centerpiece of Gov. Northam’s anti-gun agenda. Even as the bill was watered down to attract the support of House Democrats, four Democrats in the state Senate (the three mentioned above as well as Sen. Lywood Lewis) continued to voice their concern or reservations about the legislation.

Republicans won’t have a chance to vote gun-grabbing Democrats out of office until 2021, but their activism won’t likely dissipate if the bill is brought up again next year.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Virginia Gun Ban Fails in Senate Committee, Marking Legislative Blow For Gov. Northam