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Tipsheet

Virginia Delegate Embarrasses Himself With His Definition of an 'Assault Weapon'

Virginia Delegate Mark Levine showed his ignorance on firearms during a town hall on the new gun control bills that have passed the commonwealth's Public Safety Committee. Levine, who represents parts of Democrat-heavy Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County, was unable to accurately define what an "assault weapon" was.

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Levine defended the "assault weapons" ban bill as a way to decrease mass murder.

"So what the bill does, is it distinguishes basically the differences between guns that go like this," Levine gestured as he was holding a long rifle. "These are rifles. You use them to shoot an animal and you can shoot very precisely...you can have a scope. Those are the kinds of thing hunters like to use."

"Mass shooters don't like things that go like this," Levine gestured again. "Because what that means is someone can hit the edge of the heads...it's very hard to shoot a lot people fast that way."

Levine said mass shooters "like to use guns that go like this," and gestured in a sweeping motion while using a pistol grip: "And guns that go like this are widely inaccurate, that's why hunters don't like them, but mass shooters do like them because their goal is generally not to accurately shoot one person, like an assassin, but to shoot many, many people fast." 

An assault rifle is typically defined as a rifle being able to fire more than one round per trigger pull via a selector switch. AR-15s and similar styles of rifles are not made to fire more than one round per trigger pull.

Levine asserted that the best weapon for home defense is a shotgun because of its dispersion.

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"This is pathetic. But, funny. Virginia [Delegate Mark] Levine (a Bloomberg-owned 'Gun Sense Champion') introduced HB961 to ban 'assault weapons.' A town hall attendee asked him to define 'assault weapon.' Bloomberg’s 'champion' spewed garbage for 7 min [and] couldn't answer the question," the National Rifle Association tweeted as they shared highlights of Levine's answer.

Levine added his bill would allow people to keep their AR-15s, but they would need to register them with the state "so we know where they are."

The town hall came after thousands of gun owners peacefully protested outside the Virginian statehouse to voice their opposition to the numerous gun control bills. Many of those in attendance were armed and no one was shot during the hours-long event.


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