After nearly a dozen gun-control bills were passed following Democrats taking complete control over Virginia’s legislature in January, the feared gun ban is finally here.
The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has the scoop: In a 12-9 vote, the House Public Safety Committee voted to ban “assault weapons” such as the popular AR-15 and AK-47, magazines that hold more than 12 rounds, and sound suppressors, effective July 1.
The bill is expected to win passage in the full House of Delegates but faces some difficulty in the Senate, where a handful of Democrats are unsupportive. A similar bill in the Senate was previously withdrawn.
Gun advocates flooded the committee hearing room and were cleared out after the vote when there were some angry reactions. The legislation was amended so that those who own the banned weapons would not have to give them up or register them, but the ban on big magazines and suppressors would stand.
Previously there was no plan to grandfather in current “assault weapon” owners, but perhaps the logistical impossibility of confiscation without a gun registry caused Virginia’s legislators to re-evaluate that. Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam also previously expressed an interest in expanding the definition of what an “assault weapon” is to include most handguns and shotguns. There’s no reason to believe that he’s changed his opinion on that, even if it hasn’t been enshrined in legislation thus far.
Within just a month-and-a-half of there being mere rumors of looming gun control in Virginia, 90% of the state’s counties (which contain 40% of the population) voted to become “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” and refuse to enforce all future gun control legislation. While sanctuary status won’t allow residents to purchased newly-banned firearms, it will protect them against any gun control laws that aim to regulate firearms they do currently own.