Gun Owners are a pretty laid back group of people historically. They just want to be left alone for the most part. To see more than 20,000 of them come out on a freezing cold January morning in Richmond, VA to stand together and say “no more” was quite a sight. It is really hard to imagine any politician that would look at that and say, “Who cares, I’m going to do what I want on gun control”. Well, that is what is going on in Virginia. A representative government is no longer representing the will of the people.
Shortly after the rally ended the Virginia State Legislature got back to work passing gun control bills as fast as they could. As if the rally never happened they went about passing the very bills the people had come out so strongly against. They even added a few new ones to take away other rights too. Lets break down the week in review for Virginia.
First, there was a LOT of action. More than 20 bills did not make it and some of that is good news. Most of the bills that failed were submitted by Republicans of course. The bills that were struck or tabled were by Democrats and that is just because they chose to go with a different version of the bill. The bills Republicans offered that were voted down ranged from protections for hunters, more carry options for churches, adding security for gun free zones, constitutional carry and increased penalties for gun crimes. They even voted against increased penalties for school shootings. That should keep us safer.
Now, what DID get passed… I hope you are sitting down. First off, RED FLAG is now moving forward in Virginia. The one handgun a month law looks like it is removing the permit holder exemption and universal background checks again. Other gems are increased penalties for leaving a loaded unsecured gun around anyone under 18. Gun rights would be completely striped from anyone the subject of a protection order and The Gun Violence Prevention fund looks to be be using your hard earned tax dollars to keep everyone safe, haha. If you liked being able to take the CHP training online well, I have some bad news, bye-bye! The other bill I think is such irony is that local governments can enact their own gun laws, as long as they are stricter than the state laws. Somehow it is OK for these communities to decide their own needs but not for LESS gun laws. Can they even hear themselves? Lastly, and I wish it really was lastly but it is just for this week. If your gun is stolen or lost you MUST report it within 24 hours. No more boating accidents I guess.
The greatest shock comes with the filing of HB1627. This one looks to strip your first amendment rights as well. If you harass or threaten the governor, lieutenant governor, the attorney general, members of the general assembly, justices of the supreme court and judges it would be a crime. If you use vulgar and indecent language it would now be a crime. This bill also protects places and property owned by the state. That is a direct swipe at future gun rallies I’m sure. I get that decent people should talk to each other with respect and a level of professionalism. I agree that threatening anyone is a bad move should not be allowed. The big problem here is HOW this would be implemented. I’m sure there would be no abuse of such power by the government, right? I’m sure that as soon as they deem your email about a bill you don’t agree with gets labeled a threat that law enforcement won’t be sent to serve you with your Red Flag order and take away all your guns. That could never happen, could it? Not in a free country like ours? This one is what I call a “tin foil hat” bill. Everyone will see it through their own filter and make claims of how great or terrible it is. I think you can see where I stand. What is certain is that restricting ANYONE’S RIGHTS is a bad idea.