Anti-gun lawmakers in Virginia are preparing to have a field day this January.
With a Democratic majority taking control of both the Senate and the House of Delegates, legislators are champing at the bit to enact laws that infringe on one’s right to keep and bear arms.
Eight bills are on Gov. Ralph Northam’s January agenda — and all of them will be a burden to law-abiding gun owners.
The list from local news affiliate WSET:
- Legislation requiring background checks on all firearms sales and transactions. The bill mandates that any person selling, renting, trading, or transferring a firearm must first obtain the results of a background check before completing the transaction.
- Legislation banning dangerous weapons. This will include bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.
- Legislation to reinstate Virginia’s successful law allowing only one handgun purchase within a 30-day period.
- Legislation requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours.
- Legislation creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order, allowing law enforcement and the courts to temporarily separate a person from firearms if the person exhibits dangerous behavior that presents an immediate threat to self or others.
- Legislation prohibiting all individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms. The bill expands Virginia law which currently prohibits individuals subject to final protective orders of family abuse from possessing firearms.
- Legislation enhancing the punishment for allowing access to loaded, unsecured firearm by a child from a Class 3 Misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. The bill also raises the age of the child from 14 to 18.
- Legislation enabling localities to enact any firearms ordinances that are stricter than state law. This includes regulating firearms in municipal buildings, libraries and at permitted events.
Dems were hoping to get the ball rolling this week with a Tuesday meeting with the GOP-led Virginia Crime Commission. But Republican leaders canceled the meeting saying there was no point in discussing the matter when Dems have already made up their minds and any suggestion put forth by the GOP would likely get slapped with a gubernatorial veto.
“For reasons both practical and pragmatic, the Crime Commission will not meet on Tuesday,” Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham) said. “The results of Tuesday’s elections, coupled with recent comments from Governor Northam regarding the fate of the legislation we’ve been reviewing, makes holding a meeting impractical.”
Dems blasted their peers for terminating the powwow.
“I was disappointed and disgusted that we could not move forward because they were upset about the election results,” Del. Marcia Price (D-95) told WTKR.
“I think that it underscores that people chose the right people to be in place for this 2020 session,” she added.
Lawmakers can start introducing legislation for January as early as Nov. 18.
Price already has her eyes on drafting a bill to repeal the state’s firearm preemption law.
“Right now, there is a ban on localities putting into place policies that would impact guns or ammunition. Let the localities best figure out how to keep their people safe,” she argued.
As the NRA-ILA recently pointed out, state preemption laws are critical to preserving the 2A.
Today, almost all states have a firearms preemption law that prohibits localities from regulating firearms in a manner more stringent than state law. These laws are vital as they prevent localities from enacting an incomprehensible patchwork of local ordinances. Without these measures unsuspecting gun owners would be forced to forego the exercise of their Second Amendment rights or risk running afoul of convoluted and potentially inaccessible local rules.
Hard not to see this as a nightmare scenario. Should all eight bills pass next year, Virginia gun owners are… well, let’s just hope that somehow, someway it doesn’t happen. Let’s hope Virginia gun owners contact their state lawmakers in droves and make their voices heard, and that is enough to keep these bills from becoming law.