Many years from now, Virginia will be treated as a case study of the impossibility of implementing gun control in America.
After years of Democrats telling us they’re merely for so-called “common sense” gun control, Virginia Democrats are going all out on gun confiscation now that they control their state’s legislature. One proposed bill, SB 16, states that “It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or transport an assault firearm” and makes such actions a Class 6 felony (punishable with jail time between one and five years). SB 16’s definition of “assault firearm” includes 100% of assault rifles, and most types of handguns and shotguns.
The most obvious fight Virginia’s gun grabbers will have is with logistics. There’s no registry of firearms in Virginia, making it practically impossible to force anyone to turn their guns in. They have to assume most gun owners will simply be afraid of being caught with their then-illegal firearms and turn them in. One VA lawmaker did float the Orwellian idea of using credit card data to try to identify gun owners, though.
Then there’s the fact that over 90% of Virginia’s counties have taken a page out of the left’s playbook on illegal immigration and became second amendment sanctuaries, where local law enforcement will simply refuse to enforce new gun laws. While these counties only account for 40% of Virginia’s overall population, it does account for the majority of the state’s (legal) gun owners. So strong is the opposition to gun control that one Sheriff promised to deputize his entire town if gun control laws were enacted, which would exempt his citizens from them.
People are also reacting to the prospect of gun control by purchasing more of the exact kind of firearms that would be banned. And they’re paying cash.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
With Virginia Democrats taking over all branches of state government, a firearms store owner in the state says sales of guns, magazines, and ammunition are up 200%, and more of his customers are paying in cash.
“This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” said Jerry Rapp, owner of SpecDive Tactical, in Alexandria, comparing the administrations of President Trump and his White House predecessor, Barack Obama.
“Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms” and ammunition, Rapp told the Washington Examiner. “We can’t keep it in stock.”
VA Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed budget sets aside $4 million to fill eighteen new law enforcement positions to enforce future gun control, but how many firearms can they realistically confiscate with eighteen people? They still don’t even know how to identify who their state’s gun owners are.