Virginia Democrats are on a tear to pass as much anti-Second Amendment legislation as possible and are sadly determined to shame the Commonwealth’s own state motto, “sic semper tyrannis,” or “thus always to tyrants”— a rallying cry against abuse of power.
In the last week, the Virginia state Senate passed three anti-gun bills, including requiring background checks on all firearm sales, limiting gun purchases to one in a 30-day period, and allowing localities to ban guns from public events. This was after lawmakers voted the week prior to ban all firearms from the Capitol building, citing the need protect public safety in anticipation of this week’s contentious gun bills. (Of course, the only real effect of this rule was long security lines, delaying staffers, citizens, and thus the votes).
Outrageous. General Assembly staff can’t get to work but Administration officials blithely bypass Dem gun screening. https://t.co/QICJjD0cHD
— Mark Obenshain (@MarkObenshain) January 13, 2020
But that’s not all. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved creating an “extreme risk protective order,” or red flag laws, which are about as unconstitutional as “no-fly” lists. It awaits amendments.
Numerous amendments waiting for SB240 (red flag bill) so it went by for the day
— Virginia Shooting Sports Association (@VSSA) January 17, 2020
Although it struck down the most controversial bill, a version of an “assault weapons ban” on bump stocks, suppressors, and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, it has another bill with a similar focus, HB961, which “allows” gun owners to keep their “banned” firearms if they register them with state police. All of these bills passed straight down party lines. Nope, no tyrants here.
But, wait! There’s more. Gov. Ralph Northam, who admitted to wearing blackface and advocated for infanticide last year, has an eight-bill package of anti-gun legislation he introduced last July. Many of his proposals are already moving forward this week, but additionally, Northam wants to require anyone whose firearm is lost or stolen to report it to police within 24 hours, and he wants to prohibit anyone subject to a court’s final protective order from possessing a gun. Since the Virginia Beach mass shooting last year, Northam pledged to sign into law any new gun legislation that comes across his desk.
Finally, Virginia Democratic Del. Dan Helmer filed a bill Wednesday that would give Attorney General Mark Herring discretion over which states’ concealed carry permits Virginia would continue to recognize. This would mean if Herring found other states’ carry permit requirements insufficient, the permits, potentially affecting 25 states, would be deemed invalid in Virginia.
After the 2019 election, the Virginia Legislature flipped, and Democrats took full control of the statehouse for the first time in a generation. They are clearly taking advantage of it. But pro-gun Virginias, of which there are many, are fighting back. Virginia is of course home to the National Rifle Association.
“Regrettably, Virginia lawmakers approved a series of measures today that will make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to protect themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals. We are pleased one of the most egregious gun confiscation bills was pulled from consideration,” the NRA said in a statement.
130,000 Virginians and supporters of the Second Amendment plan to attend an annual lobby day at the Virginia state Capitol building this Monday. But instead of acknowledging the anger or concern that would drive Virginias to hold such a large, grassroots protest in response to laws such as the ones proposed this week, Northam and the media have painted the gathering of Second Amendment advocates as neo-Nazis and white supremacists. “I took this action to protect Virginians from credible threats of violence,” Northam said as his reasoning for imposing an emergency firearms ban on Capitol grounds ahead of the demonstration.
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) January 17, 2020
The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) and Gun Owners of America filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking an injunction against the ban, but a Richmond Circuit Court judge upheld it, ruling the governor has the authority under state law to take action related to “the safety and welfare” of the state.
The gun groups argued before the judge that carrying guns is a form of symbolic speech, but hours before the ruling, FBI agents arrested three men who were allegedly linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to have plans to attend Monday’s protest. The VCDL has instructed its members to remain peaceful.
The anti-Second Amendment laws pursued by Virginia Democrats are not just an affront to their own state’s motto and seal, as depicted by the Roman goddess of virtue with a spear, standing triumphantly on top of a defeated representative of tyranny, but they entrap innocent people, make Virginia less safe, and do nothing to address the real bad actors they want to punish.