On Election Day, Democrats won total control of the Virginia General Assembly for the first time since 1994. It’s only been a matter of time before the assault on the Second Amendment began.
On Thursday, the Virginia state senate passed three gun control bills. The first seeks to bring back the “one gun a month law.” A person is limited to one gun purchase a month. This law was enacted by a Democratic governor in the 1990s, then repealed in 2012 by Gov. Bob McConnell.
The second, according to the Roanoke Times, “would permit localities to prohibit firearms in buildings owned by the localities or used for government purposes, in public parks owned by the localities, and at permitted events. Democrats said the bill would reduce guns from being introduced into hostile situations, like protests.” This one makes no sense to me. Do these people really want to become sitting ducks?
Both of these bills passed along party lines.
Two Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues to vote for the third bill which expands background checks.
Enforcing it is a whole other story. In less than six weeks after Virginia Democrats initially began discussing gun control, 90% of the state’s counties (containing 40% of the population but the majority of the gun owners) became “Second Amendment sanctuaries” that refused to enforce any new gun laws. Further complicating things, cash purchases of the exact firearms Virginia Democrats want to eventually ban outright began to surge. Perhaps the unenforceability of confiscation without an existing registry is why they dropped that bill (for now, at least).
So strong is the opposition to gun control that one Sheriff promised to deputize his entire town if gun control laws were enacted, which would exempt his citizens from them. One West Virginia lawmaker offered to annex Virginia’s sanctuaries counties to exempt them from gun control with a bill trolling Virginia’s lawmakers.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) told the Roanoke Times,“This isn’t about safety, this is about feeling good. That’s what this legislation is about.” He added that “it was sending a message that the General Assembly is hostile to the lawful possession of firearms.”
Meanwhile, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) will hold their annual “Lobby Day” pro-gun rally in the state’s capital of Richmond on Monday. Ahead of this event, Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order which declares an official State of Emergency to remain in effect until the day after the rally and orders that no weapons will be allowed at the venue.
(Note: According to VCDL’s website, Open Carry is legal in Virginia in most places with or without a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). Concealed Carry requires, with a few exceptions, a CHP.)
“Due to potential civil unrest at the Virginia State Capitol,” Northam told reporters on Wednesday,“no weapons will be allowed on Capitol grounds. Everything from sticks and bats to chains and projectiles…The list also includes firearms.” He claimed he had received intelligence indicating that “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol.”
The governor also cited the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA protests which resulted in one death and multiple injuries as a reason for the EO and firearm ban.
Northam’s order was appealed by several pro-gun organizations. Lawyers representing the groups argued, “Without relief from this court, petitioners and thousands of other rally participants will be irreparably denied their right to bear arms.”
Unfortunately, on Thursday, a Virginia judge upheld the ban.
This annual event has never turned violent in the past.
The threat to the Second Amendment is real. Virginia is the first state to take such draconian measures against gun ownership.
All eyes will be on Richmond, VA on Monday.
This is the right decision. I took this action to protect Virginians from credible threats of violence. These threats are real—as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms. Read my full statement:https://t.co/UE4WSbvOIL https://t.co/8Ex7WzBs1P
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 16, 2020