The Virginia legislature on Wednesday narrowly voted on bills relating to abortion and gun control.
In the Senate, lawmakers voted 20-20 to “repeal abortion restrictions imposed by Republicans, including a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory transabdominal ultrasound,” WTOP reported.
“In the Senate, the bill only passed after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax broke a 20-20 tie, which was created when Sen. Joe Morrissey, a Richmond Democrat, joined Republicans to oppose the measure. The Senate version is slightly different from the bill approved by the House, which includes physician’s assistants among those authorized to perform abortions in certain cases. The Senate bill doesn’t mention them,” the outlet reported.
That’s right, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would allow people who are not doctors to perform abortions. WTOP reported that the differences in the bills will likely be compromised by March 7, when the legislative session ends.
The Senate also narrowly passed a bill that would make it more difficult for residents to get a concealed-carry permit. The bill passed on a vote of 21-19 and eliminates the ability for those seeking a concealed-carry permit to take courses online. Democrat state Sen. John Bell claimed the online courses were about speed rather than safety. Democrats in Virginia, however, have proven themselves to know little about guns or the process to obtain them, and it is currently unclear whether Bell has actually attempted the online training.
Over the weekend, Virginia delegate Mark Levine gave a six-minute answer to a question about defining “assault weapon.” During that six minutes, Levine proved he didn’t know the first thing about guns and provided misinformation about recent mass shootings. His fact-free rant followed Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, supporting legislation that would ban many common guns in the state, risking a confiscation disaster. When counties across the state voted to become Second Amendment Santuaries, Northam offered a “veiled threat” about now following the law.
Republican state Rep. Glenn Davis introduced the House version of the bill.
“The House is expected to take up broader gun bills Thursday, including universal background checks on gun sales, a red flag law to allow temporary removal of guns from those who pose a threat to themselves or others, a return of Virginia’s one-handgun-per-month purchase policy and a bill that would give local governments the authority to restrict the possession or transportation of guns or ammunition in their city or county,” WTOP reported.
The legislature also passed multiple other bills on Wednesday, including one that bans drivers from even holding a cell phone while behind the wheel. The House also passed a resolution that recognizes global warming as a climate and ecological emergency, while the Senate passed a bill that bans offshore drilling in the state and also bans state support for anything on land that would carry oil or gas from offshore drilling facilities.
“Other House resolutions that prompted at least some Republican opposition included a 60-30 vote to designate June 1 each year as gun violence awareness day, a 58-23 vote to designate Nov. 20 each year as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and a 62-21 vote for a resolution affirming Virginia’s commitment to diversity and safeguarding the civil rights and dignity of all Virginians,” WTOP reported.