Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s sweeping gun, magazine, and suppressor ban was defeated in the state senate’s Judiciary Committee Monday morning in front of a crowd of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters. Four Democrats joined every Republican on the committee in rejecting HB961, which had narrowly advanced out of the House of Delegates just before a legislative deadline last week.
Committee chairman John Edwards joined fellow Democrats Chap Petersen, Creigh Deeds, Scott Surovell, and every Republican on the committee to send the bill to the Virginia Crime Commission for further study, which kills the bill’s chances for this legislative session.
The gun ban bill was the first on the docket for the Judiciary Committee, and GOP members grilled bill sponsor Del. Mark Levine over his definition of an “assault weapon,” the arbitrary ban on ammunition magazines that can hold more than twelve rounds, and other aspects of the legislation. Bearing Arms
While the gun, magazine, and suppressor bill is dead for this legislative session, it will almost surely be back again next year, and in the meantime Gov. Northam will likely get a chance to sign several gun control bills, including measures that would roll back the state’s firearm preemption law, change training requirements for concealed carry licensees, and more…
Still, Virginia gun owners can rightfully be pleased and proud that their activism and engagement helped to defeat HB961, which was the centerpiece of Gov. Northam’s anti-gun agenda. Even as the bill was watered down to attract the support of House Democrats, four Democrats in the state Senate (the three mentioned above as well as Sen. Lywood Lewis) continued to voice their concern or reservations about the legislation.
This is a small win for the Second Amendment and the people of Virginia, Northam will continue his agenda when it comes to firearm bans and destroying the Second Amendment. Senators voted to put off the issue for 2020 and instead defer to Virginia’s State Crime Commission to further study the issue.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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