Second Amendment supporters received a bucket of good news today when Virginia lawmakers voted to reject the assault weapons ban being considered and instead shelve the idea for a year while the consider options.
Cheers erupted from the committee room that was packed with gun advocates. In a rare display of bi-partisanship, four moderate Democrats joined with their Republican colleagues to reject legislation that would have banned the sale of certain firearms — including AR-15 style rifles — and the possession of magazines holding more than 12 rounds.
Governor Ralph Northam had campaigned heavily on gun control, and this bill was a top priority for him, but it ain’t happening this year.
However, some are not so sure it’s a permanent victory. David Majure, a gun-rights advocate who attended today’s committee hearing expressed his concern about where the bill goes next.
“I’m happy about it, but I don’t trust them, “ he said according to AP.
The Senate has now rejected three of the governor’s eight gun-control measures. Moderate Democrats have already voted with Republicans to kill a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a way that endangers a minor, and a bill that would require gun owners to report the loss or theft of a gun to police.
This vote represents rejection number three of the governor’s eight gun-control measure. A bi-partisan coalition put the kibosh on a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a manner that endangers a minor, and another bill that would require gun owners to file a police report if a gun has been lost or stolen.
However, there are other gun-control measures that are moving ahead. Including limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks, and other areas; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others, per AP.
These were among the seven bills which the House of Representatives approved in less than 90 minutes at the end of January, as we reported here.
Earlier this year, tens of thousands of gun rights activists marched (peacefully) in protest in Richmond. In addition, more than 100 counties, cities and towns in Virginia have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, vowing to oppose any new “unconstitutional restrictions” on guns.
It appears to be kinda working.
Activists have been most vocal about the ban on “assault” weapons, accusing the governor and others of wanting to confiscate commonly owned guns and accessories from law-abiding gun owners. Northam and his allies have said repeatedly they do not want to confiscate guns, but argued that banning new sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would help prevent mass murders, per AP.
At least for the moment, the government isn’t coming to take them away. But we’re pretty sure this isn’t the final answer.