Virginia House Passes Slate of Anti-Gun Measures, Including Universal Background Checks

The VA House passed many of the bills along party lines. (Photo: Public Domain)

Update (2/1): Virginia Citizens Defense League President Phil Van Cleave tells GunsAmerica via email that the efforts of Virginia gun owners can likely be credited for “watering down” the red flag bill and the Senate version of the universal background check bill. He also believes the massive pro-gun rally and the sanctuary movement helped sink the “assault weapons” ban, which he believes is dead for this legislative session at least.

But he also calls the bill that gives local governments the ability to pass their own gun control “troubling” and says,”it looks as if we are going to get some bad gun-control bills signed into law and effective on July 1.”

“Bloomberg bought and paid for the Virginia Democrat Party and we’ll have to take the House away from them in 2021 to put an end to this attack on the Constitution,” he concludes.

The VCDL plans to bring lawsuits and stays on many of the bills the legislature passed this week.


The Virginia House of Delegates passed seven gun-control bills today dealing with everything from background checks to safe storage to handgun purchases.

Many of the bills have already passed the state Senate. While the House and Senate versions will have to be reconciled, passage in the House all but assures these bills will make it to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk. He said before the session began that he would be willing to sign any gun-control measures the Assembly passes.

While the official vote tallies have yet to be posted on Virginia’s legislative tracking website, many of the bills appear to have passed along party lines. Democrats control the house 55 to 45, and many of the bills passed by an eight or nine vote margin. Notable exceptions include the bill allowing localities to adopt their own gun control laws and the “red flag” bill.

Here’s a quick rundown (h/t WAVY):

SEE ALSO: YouTube Quashed Live Streams of Virginia Gun Rights Rally

Absent from this list is an “assault weapons” ban. Democrats threatened such a ban for weeks, and Gov. Northam wanted the legislature to take up the bill when he called a special session last year. But the bill died in a Senate committee earlier this month, and the House version was never taken up.

It’s unclear whether the herculean efforts of Virginia’s gun owners discouraged their elected representatives from pursuing the measure, but the legislation will no doubt be resurrected next legislative session.

The bills that did pass this year are bad enough. The text of HB1083, for example, does not explain how it will be enforced in hunting or self-defense situations. The Virginia Citizens Defense League re-posted a comment from writer and media strategist Gabriella Hoffman, who makes exactly this point:

The new laws are set to take effect this summer.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Ken February 3, 2020, 3:04 pm

    To Jake.
    Before wearing a blue uniform me and many other PIGS -professionally instructed Gunmen wore the flag and uniform of our country. Most of the sheriffs of Virginia have Already pledged to not enforce this crap from the Bloomberg stolen legislature. Theres a lot more of us like minded out here than not. The vast majority of us are God fearing men and women that have entered the profession to serve honorably And uphold the Constitution. I can look my face in the mirror everyday with that honor still. You can throw names at us but when you do you sound like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Rashida Talib.

  • Beachhawk February 3, 2020, 1:17 pm

    Virginia voted in a slate of gun control fanatics and now they have to live with those votes. The fanatics will eventually take your ARs, your AKs and any magazines holding more than 10 rounds. You plan to give your guns to a relative, well good luck with that unless the state approves that gift. Want to go to the range and practice? Well, you will soon have to get permission to leave your home with a firearm and ammunition. Heck, before long you’ll have to have permission from the state to own or buy a firearm. And that, folks, is just the beginning. You Virginia voters have opened the door to losing many of your rights under the Bill of Rights. If the state can limit the guns you can own, they can also limit what you say, with whom you may associate and even where you worship. The Mother of Presidents is now the Mother of Oppression.

  • Bob Ailanjian February 3, 2020, 12:39 pm

    Born in Virginia. Ashamed of the politicians running the state. VERY proud of the gun owners standing up to them, and the peaceful, civilized, and adult way they presented at the rally…UNLIKE the way the left represents themselves at their events.

  • catawampus February 2, 2020, 10:55 am

    WOW!we are all safe now, what criminal, deranged person, terrorist, would ever commit a crime with such tough legislation. with that out of the way they can get on to real issues that effect peoples lives, right?

    • Scott February 3, 2020, 11:45 pm

      You’re just as safe as the people on that Greyhound bus in the gun control capital of the US – Comiefonia. All their stupid laws aren’t doing anything for the law abiding citizens and they certainly aren’t stopping the criminals.

  • Jake January 31, 2020, 11:54 pm

    The only reason any of this matters is due to the fact that the blue dogs or the government will do the job tasked to them.
    The police will/are willing to take the rights of citizen and piss on the constitution for a paycheck… wow what hero’s huh?
    We let this happen.
    We can’t stop the pigs and the pigs work for the state… neither work to up hold freedom, liberty or the constitution.
    Welcome to the demise of America… remember to thank the pigs for your safety and think not of the freedoms traded for this police state safety you enjoy. Embrace your new overlords by flying the pig flag.

    Honestly America, you get what you deserve….. that old freedom for safety quote should be stinging your ears but instead you will only be upset that I call pigs pigs…..

  • elton January 31, 2020, 12:49 pm

    Its time for another battle like that of Athens Tennessee. our constitution grants us the permission to fight tyranny, and an unconstitutional law is no law at all, so the enforcement of such a law would be tyranny.

    • Jake January 31, 2020, 11:59 pm

      And the Patriot act makes anyone who tries as a “domestic terrorrist” and then you don’t exist and are not given the constitution rights.
      America’s gone bud… cops took it and gave it to the political ruling class.
      Remember to thank a cop.

  • Carl Zeus January 31, 2020, 12:37 pm

    The laws passed are clearly unconstitutional. It is the National Guard’s duty to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. Virginians stand fast for your 2nd amendment rights and vote these idiots out plus have the national guard arrest these clowns TODAY!!!!

  • Fred January 31, 2020, 12:04 pm

    This is one party rule. This is why most of our metropolitan areas which have been run by liberals for decades are failing.

  • Tom F January 31, 2020, 11:32 am

    Its just another way the Democrats try to take away the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding citizens… If they don’t like the Fore Father’s law of the Free USA and the right to own and bear Arms, let them go to a socialist country and Live!!!! I just hope the GOP Drains The Swamp….

  • bob January 31, 2020, 10:37 am

    The National Guard that Northam is threatening to use against gun owners, has sworn allegiance to the Constitution and not to any politician. I would think that the State Commander of the Virginia’s Nat. Guard should arrest Northam, and any politician who voted for these laws. The laws passed are clearly unconstitutional. It is the National Guard’s duty to protect us from enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC.

    • Jake February 1, 2020, 12:05 am

      So do cops and we all know how well they uphold constitutional oath….
      Who enforces the “RED FLAG” laws???? That’s right cops..
      We don’t have a militia…. we’ve lost.
      Thank a cop thou…

  • Christopher Chason January 31, 2020, 9:32 am

    Yup. This is what happens when the Lunatics are allowed to run the Asylum. Hmmmm: I wonder, WHO voted these outlaws into office?

    • Stan d. Upnow January 31, 2020, 11:29 am

      The same clueless idiots who put Obama in office(twice!) and voted for Hillary.

  • patrick January 31, 2020, 9:16 am

    I would take West Virginia up on their offer and become part of their state that is more gun friendly. It would serve to put notice on democrats that your civil rights shall not be infringed as it says in the Constitution and Bill of Rights!

  • Bryan January 31, 2020, 8:52 am

    Dims are disgusting…they are indeed the new Nazi Regime…

  • rsmalt January 31, 2020, 8:32 am

    None of these bills will make Virginia ANY safer. But the Baggy-Eyed Bolshevik Billionaire, Mini Mike Bloomberg, has paid for this Virginia legislature and expects a return on his investment. Blackface Ralph, the New Caesar of the Old Dominion, and his Idiot Minions in Richmond will make sure that he gets it.

    Progtards are incapable of rational thought.

  • Griffendad January 31, 2020, 8:30 am

    I think Virginia has seen it’s last peaceful demonstration.

  • Alej January 31, 2020, 8:24 am

    This is what happens when too many Yankees flood your state.

    • bob January 31, 2020, 10:40 am

      I know what you mean, but I’m a Yankee, who loves this country, and think Democrats should be arrested en-masse. They should spend the rest of their natural lives in prison.

    • Stan d. Upnow January 31, 2020, 11:26 am

      I’ll give you 4 out of 5 stars for ignorant comment of the month.

    • Gary February 3, 2020, 12:11 pm

      In 1861, as the United States itself became massively divided over slavery, leading to the American Civil War (1861–1865), the western regions of Virginia split with the eastern portion politically, and the two were never reconciled as a single state again.
      So as YOU can clearly SEE, W.Virginia WAS A Yankee state you moron!! Virginia WAS a Rebel state dimwit!
      NOW it has swapped! So much for Yankees and Rebels!
      It’s idiots VS Republicans NOW stupid!! Virginia like NY is FULL of Idiots!!
      Maybe YOU should move FIT the requirements!

    • Scott February 3, 2020, 11:53 pm

      There are plenty of Yankees in PA that are on your side. Bloomberg is busy spending money flooding the TV with his crap up here. He actually brags about buying elections. Virginia is a shining example of what happens if you listen to this fool.

  • Gomer January 31, 2020, 8:23 am

    As a transplanted Virginian, I apologize for the hubris and arrogance of our elected democrat “representatives” in the State Legislature and the Governor’s mansion. The framers of our US Constitution and, indeed, the original Virginia governing documents are surely turning in their graves. God help us as we now attempt to beat back the carpetbaggers and scalawags who now make the laws of tyranny here in the once-great Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Ron Y January 31, 2020, 7:38 am

    The Socialists. They want to control the people and run their lives with their approved agenda. Think not? You can’t be trusted to not drink to much soda so they regulated how much in some areas. Need votes? Give drivers driver’s license to illegals then require only a driver’s license to vote and claim the majority of voters support you. Have to get rid of that pesky 1st Amendment? Attack the 2nd and use the media to keep running scare stories. The CDC issued a report last summer of the top 107 causes of death. Gun deaths were 103 and about 2/3 rds of those deaths are suicides. Still doubt? Who would issue a list of top 107 vs top 100, a nice round number. Nope doesn’t fit the agenda to not list gun deaths. People better wake up and do their own research and VOTE.

  • Hendrik Haan January 31, 2020, 7:24 am

    Just when do we hear from “Black Rifles Matter”? It’s high time we have opposing points of view considered.

  • VA-MBG January 31, 2020, 6:40 am

    Am I reading HB 421 right? The Dems keep saying it allows local governments to restrict firearms in public buildings. But, as I read 15.2-915 under this bill, it allows a local government to restrict the possession, carrying, storage, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components in such locality.

    This does not appear to be limited to public buildings, but could apply anywhere in that locality. If someone has a better understanding of this, please let me know. Thanks

    • Brett January 31, 2020, 9:33 pm

      I had the same question and have never heard a definitive answer.

  • Hoss January 31, 2020, 4:20 am

    Reminds me of the events in Germany leading up to 1944. The first steps to disarmament then to Dictatorship over the regular citizens.

    • Mr. Salty January 31, 2020, 6:35 am

      Oh it does, does it? What group is currently overwhelmingly behind gun control in the US?

      • Rozziebo January 31, 2020, 7:25 am

        Democrats, plain and simple.

      • Dave January 31, 2020, 8:20 am

        Yup. Very ironic and sad. Like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving.

      • JCS January 31, 2020, 9:29 am


      • Stan d. Upnow January 31, 2020, 11:23 am

        Progressive-Socialists (formerly known as Democrats)

    • Clint W. January 31, 2020, 9:13 am

      The NSDAP of 1930’s-40’s Germany first removed private possession of firearms, then banned books, then arrested and killed, not only Jews, but gypsies, homeless, the insane, homosexuals, and anybody who opposed them. Democrats want gun confiscation, they don’t burn books but they quash legitimate debate in the public arena including opposing viewpoints being aired or printed, they don’t kill Jews, but they do kill infants who survive abortion, not to mention promoting all kinds of abortion up to the moment of birth. To gas somebody, and put them in an oven, is not much different than partially removing an infant from the womb and cutting its spinal cord with a pair of scissors.

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