Virginia has voted exclusively for Democrats since the 2008 election, and their current State government is controlled by entirely by Democrats (the Governorship plus their General Assembly). As their Assembly was set for both chambers to be Blue this month, strict gun control measures began being discussed in anticipation of full Democrat control. Governor Ralph Northam and his colleagues came out guns blazing (pun intended), calling for not only a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” but confiscation of everyone who currently possesses one.
Not coincidentally, Northam also wants to greatly expand the definition of an assault weapons so that pistols and shotguns are also banned in addition to weapons. Even during the Clinton-era “assault weapons ban,” current owners had their firearms grandfathered in. It was only new purchases prohibited. Within just a month-and-a-half, 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.
They gained momentum in record time, and that enthusiasm could translate support for the anti-gun control presidential candidate this year – Donald Trump.
As the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard writes:
The exploding battle over gun control in Virginia could help President Trump return the state to the GOP in the November elections, according to a leader of the effort to swat back limits on weapons.
“Gun owners are wide awake. Donald Trump is going to be the big beneficiary of this,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
“He should be tweeting more stuff on it, taking advantage of it, activating his base,” he added.
In reaction to plans by the state’s new Democratic legislative majority to pass sweeping gun control measures, some 100,000 gun owners and supporters have flooded into county and city meetings in the past two months to call for “gun sanctuaries” to ignore any new state laws. For reference, Hillary won Virginia by 212,030 votes, or 49.8% to 44.4%.
The polls do show Trump dominating most of the Democrats in Virginia. a Mason-Dixon poll at the end of last year showed Trump leading every single 2020 Democrat except Joe Biden (who has a narrow lead).
Virginia legislators are set to vote on a handful of gun control bills today that include universal background checks, limiting the number of firearms that can be purchased per month, red flag laws, and restricting firearms in more public places. More radical measures are in the works, and when they pass, the opposition is only going to be ignited further.