WATCH: Virginia Democrat Who Pushed Gun Bill Endures Cheers, Applause When It Unexpectedly Fails

   DailyWire.com
The opening of the 2019 session of the Virginia General Assembly is seen in the Senate chambers at the Capitol in on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in Richmond, VA. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In a surprise defeat for pro-gun control Virginia Democrats, including Gov. Ralph Northam, the judiciary committee of the Democrat-majority senate voted to shelve a controversial “assault firearms” and high-capacity magazine ban on Monday. The reaction in the Senate chamber to the bill’s failure — particularly that of the sponsor of the bill, Democratic Del. Mark Levine — has gained some attention online.

As its first item of business on Monday, Virgina’s Senate Judiciary Committee took up the bill (HB961), which “expands the definition of ‘assault firearm’ and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, or transporting an assault firearm.” After questioning Del. Levine about some of the problematic aspects of the bill, the committee voted to send it to the Virginia Crime Commission for further study, which effectively shelves the bill until next year.

The committee rejected the bill by a vote of 10 to 5 after having “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,” Bearing Arms’ Cam Edwards notes.

Video of the moment the bill is rejected, with Levine standing before the committee while cheers and applause erupt behind him, is circulating online. “Cheers erupted when the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee voted to not move forward on HB961, the the ‘assault weapons’ ban and magazine confiscation bill, for the year,” tweeted Townhall Senior Writer Julio Rosas along with a clip of the moment. “[Del. Levine], who had been pushing for the bill, has a priceless reaction.”

Below is the summary of the bill, which narrowly passed in the Virginia House:

HB 961 Assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, etc.; prohibiting sale, transport, etc., penalties.

Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators; penalties. Expands the definition of “assault firearm” and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, or transporting an assault firearm. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory an assault firearm to any person. The bill makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport silencers, and trigger activators, all defined in the bill. The bill makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, or transport a large-capacity firearm magazine, as defined in the bill, and a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess such large-capacity firearm magazine. Any person who legally owns a large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator on July 1, 2020, may retain possession until January 1, 2021. During that time, such person shall (i) render the large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator inoperable; (ii) remove the large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator from the Commonwealth; (iii) transfer the large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a person outside the Commonwealth who is not prohibited from possessing it; or (iv) surrender the large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a state or local law-enforcement agency.

As The Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported, Levine’s appearance at a town hall a couple of weeks before the committee’s vote featured the lawmaker repeating a series of debunked talking points about “assault weapons,” including that the 1994 assault weapons ban significantly reduced gun crimes — “The Department of Justice produced two studies on the ban to measure its effectiveness and concluded in both that it had little to no effect,” Schow notes — and suggesting semi-automatic weapons are virtually the same as fully automatic weapons.

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