Right Out of the Gate, Virginia Dems Make Clear They Haven’t Changed

Why Second Amendment Sanctuaries Are Important In Virginia & the U.S., Allexxandar-iStock-884220580
Democrats from Richmond, VA to Olympia, WA are pushing restrictive gun control laws. (iStock-884220580)

No sooner did Virginia Democrats arrive in Richmond to take back control of the legislature than they quickly resurrected their gun control agenda, and newly-elected Virginia House Speaker Del. Don Scott promised a “Lobby Day” crowd at the capitol lawmakers would pass a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

The Cardinal News reported that legislation known as SB 2, backed by Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Charlottesville Democrat, would make possession or sale of an “assault-style” rifle or “high-capacity_ magazine a Class 1 misdemeanor.

According to Fox News, “Democratic legislators have filed a range of measures they say would promote public safety and reduce gun violence, including bills that would ban new assault-style weapons and enact strict new limits on concealed handguns in restaurants and clubs.”

And so, it goes. Democrats in Virginia appear determined to set the example for fellow politicians across the country, wasting no time pushing a restrictive gun control agenda.

At the other end of the country, House Democrats in Washington this week held five back-to-back hearings on as many bills during a meeting of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee in Olympia. The two-hour meeting managed to take testimony on these measures:  HB 1902, Enhancing requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms (permit-to-purchase plus training requirement); HB 1903 – Reporting lost or stolen firearms; HB 2021 – Concerning the disposition of privately owned firearms in the custody of state or local government entities or law enforcement agencies;  HB 2118 – Protecting the public from gun violence by establishing additional requirements for the business operations of licensed firearms dealers, and HB 2054 – Concerning bulk purchases and transfers of firearms (one-gun-per-month).

There was testimony against these measures from gun owners and representatives from the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and National Shooting Sports Foundation. At least two certified firearms instructors were among the witnesses.

Whether any minds were changed is debatable, but it was noted at the end of the meeting that since 2014, when Washington began adopting increasingly strict gun control laws, the number of homicides statewide has doubled and in Seattle, it has tripled. This raises the question: How much longer should it take before lawmakers realize the state is on the wrong track and that restrictive gun control isn’t working.

House Civil Rights & Judiciary

The Washington Post acknowledged that gun control efforts had been “defused in recent years because Virginia has had a divided government… But with Democrats winning a majority in the House last fall and preserving their majority in the Senate, the number of gun control bills being introduced has increased — including measures to ban assault-style weapons and prohibit firearms in mental health facilities and restaurants that serve alcohol.”

The only thing standing in their way this year appears to be Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. The Washington Post quoted Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who stated, “We have no reason to think that he would support any of the gun-control bills.”

On the other side, however, Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action, told WTKR Democrats “ushered in a whole new crew of people that are going to be working to put lives first.” That may translate to putting Second Amendment rights last.

In addition to the semi-auto ban, Fox News also said there are bills in Virginia to “enact strict new limits on concealed handguns in restaurants and clubs.”

WWBT quoted gun control advocate Lori Haas at a vigil organized by the Virginia Center for Public Safety. She told the station, “We intend to get a lot of laws passed and a lot of legislations on the Governor’s desk. We need from Governor how he stands on this issue.”

Whether Virginia or Washington state, Oregon or California, the New Mexico office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the common thread is that members of a single party are pushing gun control measures, and they are showing no interest in backing off in those states where they control the legislature. What is also clear is that they do not seem at all dissuaded by the possibility that their proposals may be unconstitutional.

That was one message witnesses directed toward the House committee in Washington state. The committee was reminded at least twice that the bill to require permits-to-purchase firearms was identical to a mandate in neighboring Oregon that was declared unconstitutional late last year. Whether this slows down their rush to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens will soon be evident.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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