After Democrats won the Assembly, Senate, and Governorship in the 2019 Virginia state election, it was all but certain that Governor Ralph Northam would fulfill his long standing promise to push for stricter gun control in the historically purple state.
Millions of gun owners in the state of Virginia were not going to take that lying down. Thousands of protesters showed up yesterday as the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on whether to advance several new pieces of gun control legislation under the Democrats newly acquired dominance of all branches of the state government.
For safety reasons, the magazines were unloaded.
The mass showing of support for the 2nd Amendment seems to have worked; Democrats unanimously dismissed S.B. 16, a bill which, according to WHSV, “would have expanded the definition of “assault firearms” under Virginia law, outlawed their possession, and outlawed the selling or transfer of any firearm magazine with a capacity for more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” Practically every semi-automatic rifle would be illegal under its wide-reaching definition.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee all abstained from the vote to dismiss the bill “after arguing that it was too late to dismiss the bill since it had already been docketed.”
However, though S.B. 16 was the most controversial of bunch, it was not the only change in gun legislation proposed and was the only one curbed.
S.B.22 and 69, a combination of bills which would limit the number of handgun purchases per person per month was passed along party lines.
S.B. 12 and 70 also passed along the same 9 to 5 party lines and would establish mandatory background checks on any and all firearm transfers, including private sales.
S.B. 240, the final bill passed, would establish the controversial ‘red flag laws’ within Virginia.
These bills will be brought before the entire state senate for further review and debate before a final vote can be held. If the Senate votes in favor of these laws, Gov. Northam made it clear he’d immediately sign them.
Dozens of Virginia counties have already passed resolutions declaring themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries, proclaiming they will not enforce any gun control legislation that violates its constituents’ constitutional rights.