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Smelling Blood: Virginia Democratic Governor Readies New Anti-Gun Package

With Virginia on the verge of becoming a full-blown blue state, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is readying a new anti-gun package. It’s more than likely to fail on its first legislative push, but with the Republican majorities in Richmond razor-thin, it wouldn’t be shocking if it passed when the Democrats retake the state legislature in the next election cycle. Northam is merely laying the groundwork. The GOP finally caved on Medicaid expansion this year. Northam can’t run for re-election. The political climate favors Democrats at the moment, so why not go for broke on an issue that has long been taboo in pro-gun Virginia. Northam wants to expand background checks, re-impose the one-gun a month rule, and ban so-called assault weapons. On the latter, that would be any firearm that has a magazine that holds ten-rounds or more (via WaPo):


Flanked by fellow Democrats from the House of Delegates and state Senate, Northam rolled out a package of bills Friday that would require universal background checks for firearms purchases, ban assault weapons and resurrect individuals’ purchase limits to one handgun per month, among other proposals.


They include:

• The “Extreme Risk Protective Order,” sponsored by Del. Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan Jr. (D-Fairfax) and Sen. George L. Barker (D-Alexandria), which would allow a court to temporarily prohibit someone from access to his firearms if the person has been found to pose a danger to himself or others. In response to concerns raised by Republicans last year that such power could be misused, the proposal specifies that any removal order would have to be brought by law enforcement and approved by a judge or magistrate.

• A bill requiring background checks on all gun sales, including private sales at gun shows or online. The measure is sponsored by Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-Fairfax) and Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

• A revival of Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law, which had been in effect for nearly 20 years when it was repealed in 2012. Sponsored by Del. Jeion A. Ward (D-Hampton) and Sen. Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton), the measure would “prevent people from stockpiling firearms and transporting them for sale in other states,” Northam’s office said.


Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) and Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) are also sponsoring a ban on assault weapons, defining them as any firearm with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.


I wish I could say hold the line here, but I’m not going to lie—some version of these laws are going to be enacted. Again, it might not be on the initial attempt, but in the near future, Virginia could have gun laws similar to that of Maryland or New Jersey. If not under Northam’s tenure as governor, then definitely under anti-gunner Mark Herring, who is the current state attorney general, who plans to run for governor in 2021. He was the man who tried to mess with Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements; McAuliffe and the legislature came up with a deal that was pretty solid. It made Virginia one of the best states in terms of honoring others’ carry permits. The Virginia Civil Defense League, a staunch state-based pro-gun rights group, lauded the agreement when it was signed at the time. Those days are long gone. The anti-gun Left’s persistent campaign in this state seems to be on the verge of paying off. 

And if it isn’t Herring, it’ll be any other Democrat who wins that primary should there be one. The Virginia GOP has zero reputable or solid candidates to run. And with Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and the Richmond suburbs deciding the state—all of them Democratic bastions—a Democrat will probably win again, only this time they will probably have a Democratic legislature to go with it. The 2009 election is the last statewide race the VA GOP has won. Northam smells blood, the VA GOP is in shambles, and wants to blitz while the going is good. This time I have zero confidence the Virginia GOP will be able to hold this off. Things are looking grim. 


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