Republicans Torpedo Virginia Democrats' Anti-Gun Package, But This Is Only Round One

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Posted: Jan 19, 2019 12:30 PM
Republicans Torpedo Virginia Democrats' Anti-Gun Package, But This Is Only Round One

Maryland-style gun control isn’t coming to Virginia this year, as expected. The core of the Virginia Democratic push for gun control ended this week when the Republican majority in the state legislature killed a dozen anti-gun bills in committee. Some of the worst proposed, like the one-gun-a-month bill, universal background checks, and the ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds were defeated in committee. Keep in mind, the 10-round limit was also going to be the basis for a new assault weapons ban, any firearm with a magazine that holds more than ten rounds would’ve been banned, and there was no grandfather clause (via Richmond Times-Dispatch):

A Republican-led subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted down more than a dozen Democratic gun control bills Thursday, including a red-flag proposal endorsed by President Donald Trump’s school safety committee.

In a packed hearing room, Republicans on a House Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee used their 4-2 majority to methodically defeat the gun bills over the course of more than two hours.

[…]

Among the other bills voted down were proposals to let localities ban guns in libraries and government buildings, ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, require universal background checks for gun buyers, restore the state’s former one-handgun-a-month policy, and let localities ban guns at permitted events to avoid a repeat of the chaotic white nationalist rally in Charlottesville during the summer of 2017.

This was expected. As long as the VA GOP controls the House of Delegates, the most egregious of liberal policies, with the exception of the Medicaid expansion (that was a horrible cave) will be killed. We only have a two-seat majority, however, gone are the days when Republicans had a solid supermajority, controlling 66 of the 100 seats. Republicans hold a two-seat majority in the state Senate as well. Now, it’s onto the next wave of legislative elections, and I’m not confident, given the blue direction of the Old Dominion, that the GOP will be able to hold the line. You can pretty much bank that Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam will continue to lay down the groundwork for Maryland-style gun control throughout his term. And given the depleted candidate bench the VA GOP has in the state, along with their inability to stop mucking things up, it’s very likely that a Democrat will win the 2021 gubernatorial election; Northam is barred from running consecutive terms. In the long run, some of these anti-gun proposals, whether it is background checks, which will lead to a registry or magazine bans, will become law within the next few years. It’s the product of losing statewide races over the past ten years. Elections matter and they have consequences. This isn’t over. We won round one, which I expected, but can we win the next several rounds? Not with Democrats controlling Richmond and the governor’s mansion.