Two Virginia state Democrats joined Republicans to block a gun-control bill proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA).
The bill would have made it a felony for gun owners to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” around that could endanger a minor, Fox News reported. Two Democrats on Virginia’s Senate Judiciary Committee joined Republicans to vote against the bill, citing concerns of increased punishments for lawful gun owners. The bill was one of eight proposed by Northam.
“This bill will keep children safe from loaded, unsecured firearms. Like Gov. Northam’s other commonsense gun safety measures, it is something that everyone — including responsible gun owners — should support,” said Alena Yarmosky, spokeswoman for Northam.
Fox also reported:
Another measure that would ban so-called assault weapons like AR-15 rifles is also in danger of falling short. Some of Northam’s gun control measures have passed in the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly and lawmakers will hash out the differences between both chambers in the coming weeks.
Some of the bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.
The defeat of this bill comes just a week after the Virginia senate narrowly voted to pass a bill that would make it more difficult for residents to get a concealed-carry permit by eliminating the ability for them to take courses online. As The Daily Wire previously reported, “Democrat state Sen. John Bell claimed the online courses were about speed rather than safety,” though there is no indication whether Bell, like other Virginia Democrats, knows anything about guns or gun safety training.
Northam has tried to make gun control a priority since Democrats took control of the Virginia legislature in 2018 and a mass shooting at Virginia Beach last year claimed the lives of a dozen people. Northam’s call to ban the sale of modern sporting rifles, which he and gun-control activists call “assault weapons,” did not go over well in the state. More than 90 counties declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries in response, prompting Northam to offer a “veiled threat” to punish those counties.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also said the resolutions passed by these counties would have no effect on Northam’s plan to implement gun-control measures. As The Daily Wire previously reported:
At virtually the same time, Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin threatened to cut off state funds to the sanctuary counties, asserting, “They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties attorneys’ offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down.”
McEachin then suggested even more Draconian measures: “And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law. That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”
The clash between the administration and gun-rights activists culminated in a rally on January 20, which, despite media fearmongering, ended peacefully.