With Dems Help, Virginia Senate Blocks ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban (For Now)

The committee voted 10-5 to table the measure until the state crime commission can study it. (Photo: VCDL Facebook)

A Virginia Senate committee voted today to delay a bill that would have banned any new sales of AR-type semi-automatic rifles, magazines capable of holding more than 12 rounds, and suppressors.

Four Democratic Senators joined six Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay passage of the bill until 2021. In the meantime, the bill will be sent to the state crime commission to study the issue and make recommendations, according to local media.

After the 10-5 vote, spectators in the committee room broke into applause, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League President Phil Van Cleave credited Second Amendment advocates with the victory.

“Congratulations, VCDL! Your phone calls, emails, attendance at the Second Amendment Sanctuary hearings, attendance at General Assembly committee hearings, and attendance at Lobby Day has paid off – HB 961, the ‘assault weapon’/higher-capacity magazine/suppressor/bump stock ban, is DEAD for the year!” Van Cleave said in an email to supporters.

SEE ALSO: Virginia Advances ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban in House

The National Rifle Association also credited the committee’s decision to the thousands of Virginia gun owners who have supported the Second Amendment sanctuary movement and visited the state capitol to lobby legislators.

“Thanks to Second Amendment supporters around the Commonwealth ceaselessly voicing their opposition to a sweeping gun ban, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to reject House Bill 961 on February 17,” the NRA said on its website. “Bloomberg’s House majority in the General Assembly is not going to deliver their most coveted agenda item to their billionaire master.”

Van Cleave reported that thousands of gun owners packed the capitol building and flooded into the committee room.

Democratic Senators Deeds, Edwards, Petersen, and Surrovell joined Republicans Chafin, McDougle, Norment, Obenshain, Stanley, and Stuart to block the measure for this year.

Van Cleave warned gun owners not to get complacent but sounded a hopeful note moving forward.

“Next year, the battle will continue, but if we fight like we did this year, vote in every election, and support pro-gun candidates, we will continue to be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “We dare not get complacent again.”

The move comes as a significant setback for Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. Gov. Northam has pushed the legislature to institute an “assault weapons” ban for years, and Northam had hoped a version of the bill that included a grandfather clause could get through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The Senate is still considering a red flag law, a universal background check bill, and a bill that would allow local governments to impose their own gun control laws. All are expected to pass.

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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 jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Brievolz February 21, 2020, 3:50 pm

    Goes to show that while gun rights usually falls upon party lines, there are Democrats out there willing to look at what the people want and vote accordingly.

    Perhaps we should stop calling all Democrats libtards and other derogatory epithets since this is encompasses everyone and not just a particular party…?

  • Ricky Price February 21, 2020, 1:46 pm

    If you thank one minute that they are easing up. Thank again. It’s coming to all states. When you have nun citizens coming over the border and every thing else. After a while they bill up ,plus northern scum. Then people stay home and don’t vote. We are losing our rights by the second. I rather fight street to street house to house then go down without freedom. How many people would do that. Big question.

  • John February 21, 2020, 8:17 am

    Don’t break your arms patting yourself on the back. This piece of crap legislation is only tabled for a year in hopes they can sneak it through with less hubbub. THIS IS NOT A WIN. A win would have been an apology to gun owners and taking off the table completely. Thats a win.

  • thomas jefferson February 21, 2020, 7:53 am

    Take a look at the “score” thus far since the Libtards took complete control of the once-great state of VA. You will see that Virginians have take 3 or 4 steps backwards, and a temporary 1 step forward. It used to be the commies took a little bit at a time. They are now going for whole chunks at a time. Use this time reprieve to initiate recalls, initiate Supreme Court challenges, and to upgrade, clean and ready thy weapons.

  • Mike February 21, 2020, 6:09 am

    Mental illness is the problem that our legislators should be focusing on, not removing society’s liberties.

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