By Larry Keane
Virginia’s U.S. senators want to export the gun rationing law that’s been instituted in the Old Dominion to the rest of the nation.
Gun control politicians swept to majorities in Virginia in 2019 and passed gun control immediately. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed several bills, including a “one handgun per month” rationing of the Second Amendment on law-abiding Virginians.
Virginia’s senators aren’t satisfied with limiting gun rights in their own state. They want to do it in every other state too.
Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are more focused on enabling special interest gun control than listening to their constituents. There’s no other logical explanation for their latest gun control scheme to ration the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Nearly every county and several cities passed Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions during the commonwealth’s gun control takeover. Virginians purchased firearms in record numbers last year, just like the rest of the nation. There were 823,513 background checks for the sale of a gun in Virginia in 2020, up from 512, 766 in 2019. So far, Virginia’s tallied 198,111 background checks for gun sales in 2021.
Sens. Kaine and Warner can’t be bothered with facts and figures. That’s why they reintroduced their “Virginia Plan” for national-level gun control that includes limiting Americans who pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) check from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period.
“Mark and I have the feeling that if we can do it in Virginia, we can do it in Congress,” Sen. Kaine said announcing the legislation.
The plan is endorsed by Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, the same attorney general who was embroiled in his own blackface scandal after Gov. Northam admitted, then denied his own scandal. AG Herring said Virginia’s gun rights rationing “…Proved to be extremely successful in keeping a large number of firearms off our streets.”
He must have missed the memo that criminals don’t buy their guns at retail. They obtain them through the black market.
One-handgun-per-month proposals only limit the ability of law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to protect themselves. While those who follow the law are restricted and limited, criminals will continue to steal and buy guns on the black market as they have always done. The policy doesn’t do anything to solve a very real problem.
Sens. Warner and Kaine have long been listening to gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, rather than their constituents. If they had, they would recognize Americans have voted for the Second Amendment with their wallets overwhelmingly during the past year and rejected the rationing of their rights.
Sens. Warner and Kaine reintroduced their legislation this year because the duo tried once before to pass the rights-rationing bill in the previous Congress. It failed to gain traction then and will likely go nowhere this time. President Joe Biden is now in the White House, but the U.S. Senate is deadlocked 50-50 and gun control proposals aren’t gaining traction. On top of the political realities in Washington, D.C., Americans’ support for stricter gun control is at the lowest level in several years.
President Biden announced executive actions for gun control but his administration may have recognized the changing political calculus of Second Amendment supporters and those casting votes at the ballot box.
As the pace of firearm sales has continued at blistering levels in 2021 so far, it’s even more evident that law-abiding Americans have little appetite for legislation that rations their rights and ability to provide for their self-defense. They recognize the ruse of the “Virginia Plan” federal bill offered by Sens. Warner and Kaine as a scheme to only ration their Second Amendment rights while doing nothing to solve the real problem of criminal violence and criminals illegally obtaining firearms.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.