Monday January 13th, 2020 was a big day for the Virginia State Legislature. It was time to hold committee votes on several gun control bill. These had been pre-filed last year so we knew what was coming. None of it looks very good from a pro gun rights perspective and for good reason.
The day did not exactly start off very smoothly. The new gun free zone rules for the capital had the lines to get in at over an hour long. That was just for employees. Everyone now has to go through metal detectors before entering the building. So much fun. The next hiccup happened when a the turnout for the pro gun side was huge but Mothers Demand Action, the Bloomberg funded “grass roots” group did not have such a great turnout. Fearing the optics of shoving gun control down an angry mob’s throats the dems decided to divide up the seats available in half between the two sides. That meant a huge number of people who stood in line for hours were kept out while the MDA folks got the move to the front of the line. Fairness in action.
As expected the committee was able to push several items through and move them along for a full senate vote. These included SB 240 or the Red Flag law. That was passed on party lines.
SB 22 and SB69 were combined and passed. That would limit firearms purchases to 1 gun per month. Gun rationing is nothing new and has been used to California.
SB 12 and SB 70 were combined as well and cover universal background checks and a de facto gun registry. All sales and transfers, commercial or private, will require a background check with this bill.
I’m having trouble finding a bill number but 3 senators introduced a bill that would allow local governments to ban guns from certain areas during permitted events. Parks, public area and gov building would all be allowed to ban guns and be gun free zones. I feel safer already.
The only somewhat good news was that the worst of the worst did not make it through and was stricken from the docket. SB 16 would have banned almost all semiautomatic firearms and all magazines over 10 rounds for rifles. It was less for pistols and shotguns. Before you start feeling like this was a victory or something the reason is they decided to go with HB 961 instead. Same restrictions on firearms and magazines but with a grandfather clause IF you agree to register the gun with the state. That is their gun registry. This is the bill they think will hold up in court. We will keep an eye on this and bring you the latest.
On another note. The NRA did actually show up. They handed out t shirts and stickers so the pro gun side had a uniform to show solidarity. That helps a lot and was good to see. Thanks NRA. I feel kinda bad for the VCDL, FPC, GOA and all the rest of the groups that have been doing all the leg work on this only the have the NRA show up at the last minute and get all the credit but at least the NRA was there. Magpul was also handing out 30rd magazines to the folks there too. Give them a huge thank you for coming out.
January 20th is fast approaching and we all have to show up to keep the pressure on. Let them see us stand together and hear our voice. Now more than ever. The movement to take back our rights starts in Virginia. Make no mistake about that.