Virginia Democrats are now looking to score some compromises as they push forward a controversial set of gun bans and regulations.
Undoubtedly looking to set the nationwide precedent on gun bans, Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Democrats within the General Assembly are pushing an assault weapons ban and magazine confiscation legislation.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
The bill, HB961, is the most controversial advanced by Democratic lawmakers and Governor Ralph Northam (D.) since they took control of both houses of the state legislature in November. It would outlaw new sales of some of the country’s most popular firearms, including the AR-15, and make it illegal to possess ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 12 rounds, even if they were previously legally purchased. Friday’s vote was along party lines, with one Democrat abstaining.
Friday’s move is just the latest in the ongoing struggle over gun control in the state. The liberal offensive in that struggle, which has been spearheaded by Northam, has prompted peaceful protest by thousands of Virginians and a spike in gun purchases amid fears of more draconian legislation. The latest legislative move is likely to further galvanize gun-rights proponents, who have promised to make their fight against Northam’s laws a long one.
The state government is receiving tremendous pushback from law-abiding gun owners across the state, including from the National Rifle Association who are getting involved to defend the gun rights afforded under the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
“This gun ban will make millions of law-abiding Virginians felons overnight while doing nothing to decrease crime,” NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen told the outlet. “That’s why a majority of Virginians oppose it. The fact is lawmakers delayed bringing up this bill so they could pander to Mike Bloomberg, their billionaire benefactor who will be in Richmond next week to headline a Democratic fundraiser to further enrich themselves. It is clear that House leaders would rather bow to out-of-state interests than listen to their constituents and fellow lawmakers.”
According to the report, the anti-gun bills have already been forced to move away from their more extreme versions that were initially proposed.
As the deliberations continue, these bills are expected to meet further compromises. Such a compromise could include raising the magazine capacity which would qualify under the new ban (so banning fewer magazines overall) with the acceptance of the AR-15 ban among others.
From the report:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The version of HB961 passed Friday is less extreme than the first AR-15 proposal backed by Northam, which would have actively confiscated “assault weapons” in addition to magazines. The current proposal also raised the magazine limit by two rounds, from 10 to 12, and removed a registration requirement. Democrats’ backtracking comes after months of protests and sanctuary resolutions being passed across the state, culminating in a rally with tens of thousands of attendees in Richmond last month.
There may be further revisions made to the bill during the required three days of deliberation in the House before a final vote can be taken. The House has until Tuesday to pass it, after which it is required to move on to budget bills. If it passes the House, the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Democrats have a two-vote majority and state senator Lynwood Lewis (D.) has publicly opposed a new ban on guns or magazines.