Virginia Lawmakers Fold Gun Ban – For Now
(Richmond) – A bill backed by Gov. Ralph Northam that would ban the sale of assault-style weapons in Virginia failed on a committee vote Monday morning, setting back one of the biggest priorities for the newly minted Democrat-controlled government in the state.
A crowd of gun-rights activists packed into the committee room cheered as the vote came in, with four moderate Democrats joining Republicans to shelve the bill until next year. Heated exchanges over guns have dominated this year’s legislative session. They were also a key topic of last year’s legislative elections – particularly after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach claimed a dozen lives – and gun control groups heavily funded Democratic candidates.
Gov. Northam and the Democratic-led Virginia House were attempting to trample the U.S. Constitution, classifying nearly every firearm as an “assault weapon,” and seemingly overnight, turning law-abiding citizens into overnight criminals. Gun-rights activists turned to social media to display their disdain for opposing Democrats, and their sincere appreciation for the Virginian House Judicial Committee for temporarily squashing this sham of legislation.
Before Monday’s historic defeat, nearly every county in Virginia has claimed “Second Amendment Protection.” Despite Monday’s setback, state Democrats have pushed through other gun control bills, which have made it through both the Virginia House and Senate. These include measures that would ban guns in certain areas and buildings, require universal background checks, limit how frequently people can buy handguns, and allow law enforcement to take arms away from someone they deem dangerous temporarily. Known as “Red Flag Laws,” would allow law enforcement agencies to remove firearms from someone who “they believe” would cause harm to themselves. Opponents of this legislation believe that too much power over another’s individual rights by both the community and law enforcement would result in the passing of such laws.
The Monday vote tasks the state crime commission with studying the issue as the legislature puts off any action on assault weapons until at least 2021. Virginia’s legislative session will end on March 7.
At the moment, this “Democratic Defeat” suggests that the momentum against firearms maybe, at the very least, lessened. However, with the 2020 Election ahead, a quick change could shift the “Liberal Wind” in any direction.
A temporary setback for Dems – but their assault on “assault weapons” is far from over!