Shut Down: Blackface-Wearing VA Governor's Special Anti-Gun Session Has Been Torpedoed By Republicans

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Posted: Jul 09, 2019 1:35 PM
Shut Down: Blackface-Wearing VA Governor's Special Anti-Gun Session Has Been Torpedoed By Republicans

Source: P Photo/Steve Helber

UPDATE: It's over! Virginia Republicans adjourned the special session on party-lines votes and won't take up any new votes until after the election. They grew a spine. This is a great day and a win for constitutional rights. House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox called the session "premature."

It lasted barely over an hour, but this issue isn’t going away. There’s an election in November (via WaPo):

Barely more than an hour after it convened a special session called by the Democratic governor to debate gun legislation, the GOP-controlled General Assembly abruptly adjourned without taking any action, stunning hundreds of gun control activists and gun rights protesters who had packed the Capitol.

The Senate gaveled in shortly after noon and at about 1:30 p.m., voted 18 to 20 along party lines to adjourn until November 18 - after a state election in which all 140 legislative seats are on the ballot.

A few minutes later, the House of Delegates followed suit, as Democrats expressed surprise and outrage.

[…]

Minutes after the General Assembly adjourned, Jason Ouimet, acting executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, released a statement applauding the House and Senate Republican leadership and calling the special session “a complete taxpayer-funded distraction.”

[…]

This is a pivotal election year in Virginia. All 140 seats in the legislature are on the ballot in November, and Democrats are hoping to take control of both chambers for the first time in more than 20 years. Republicans have a 51-48 edge in the House of Delegates and a 20-19 advantage in the Senate, with one vacancy in each chamber.

***Original Post***

The day has come. Virginia’s special session in gun control has kicked off and of course, the anti-gun Left is reaching for the stars with some of these proposals—all of which are trash. This session was spurred by the tragic shooting at Virginia Beach on May 31 that left 12 people dead. Dewayne Craddock had resigned from his job with the city government, only to return later armed with two handguns to commit this heinous act of violence. There were no red flags with Craddock. Yes, he reportedly wasn’t a pleasure to be around in the office, but that’s not uncommon behavior. This incident spurred Virginia’s blackface-wearing governor to hold this special session, which has every initiative from the Moms Demand goodie bag. The outline was released by Gov. Ralph Northam’s office:

Legislation requiring background checks on all firearms sales and transactions. The bill mandates that any person selling, renting, trading, or transferring a firearm must first obtain the results of a background check before completing the transaction.

Legislation banning dangerous weapons. This will include bans on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.

Legislation to reinstate Virginia’s successful law allowing only one handgun purchase within a 30-day period.

Legislation requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours.

Legislation creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order, allowing law enforcement and the courts to temporarily separate a person from firearms if the person exhibits dangerous behavior that presents an immediate threat to self or others.

Legislation prohibiting all individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms. The bill expands Virginia law which currently prohibits individuals subject to final protective orders of family abuse from possessing firearms.

Legislation enhancing the punishment for allowing access to loaded, unsecured firearm by a child from a Class 3 Misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. The bill also raises the age of the child from 14 to 18.

Legislation enabling localities to enact any firearms ordinances that are stricter than state law. This includes regulating firearms in municipal buildings, libraries and at permitted events.

Yes, the so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban include confiscation as an enforcement measure. There is a lot here, mostly lawmakers trying to define what a so-called “assault weapon” is, and providing for exemptions to law enforcement and members of the military. What is clear is that on July 1, 2020—if Democrats have their way, millions of law-abiding gun owners will be forced to turn over their guns. And it’s not just rifles; scores of handguns hold magazines that carry more than 10 rounds. This is a gun ban without calling it one. It’s nothing new (via LIS) [emphasis mine]:

§ 18.2-308.8. Importation, sale, possession, etc., of assault firearms prohibited; penalty.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Assault firearm" means:

1. A semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds;

2. A semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazineand has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a thumbhole stock; (iv) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (v) a bayonet mount; (vi) a grenade launcher; (vii) a flare launcher; (viii) a silencer; (ix) a flash suppressor; (x) a muzzle brake; (xi) a muzzle compensator; (xii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a silencer, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a muzzle brake, or (d) a muzzle compensator; or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii);

3. A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds;

4. A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a silencer, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a barrel extender, or (d) a forward handgrip; or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);

5. A shotgun with a revolving cylinder that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material; or

6. A semi-automatic shotgun that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a thumbhole stock, (iii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iv) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (v) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v).

"Assault firearm" includes any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert, modify, or otherwise alter a firearm into an assault firearm, or any combination of parts that may be readily assembled into an assault firearm. "Assault firearm" does not include (i) a firearm that has been rendered permanently inoperable, (ii) an antique firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.2:2, or (iii) a curio or relic as defined in § 18.2-308.2:2.

B. It shall be is unlawful for any person to import, sell, possess or transfer the following firearms: the Striker 12, commonly called a "streetsweeper," or any semi-automatic folding stock shotgun of like kind with a spring tension drum magazine capable of holding twelve shotgun shells, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm. A violation of this section shall be is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any government officer, agent, or employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States, to the extent that such person is acquiring, possessing, transferring, or transporting an assault firearm within the scope of his official duties; (ii) the manufacture of an assault firearm by a firearms manufacturer for the purpose of sale to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees, provided that the manufacturer is properly licensed under federal, state, and local laws; or (iii) the sale or transfer of an assault firearm by a licensed dealer to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees.

§ 18.2-308.9. Import, sale, possession, etc., of certain firearm magazines; penalty.

A. For purposes of this section, "large-capacity firearm magazine" means any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition, including any such device with a removable floor plate or end plate if the device can be readily extended to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. "Large-capacity firearm magazine" does not include (i) a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition or (ii) an attached tubular device designed to accept and only capable of operating with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

B. It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport any large-capacity firearm magazine. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any government officer, agent, or employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States, to the extent that such person is acquiring, possessing, transferring, or transporting a large-capacity firearm magazine within the scope of his official duties; (ii) the manufacture of a large-capacity firearm magazine by a firearms manufacturer for the purpose of sale to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees, provided that the manufacturer is properly licensed under federal, state, and local laws; or (iii) the sale or transfer of a large-capacity firearm magazine to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees.

§ 18.2-308.10. Import, sale, possession, etc., of silencers; penalty.

A. For purposes of this section, "silencer" means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a firearm, including any part or combination of parts designed or intended for use in assembling or fabricating such a device.

B. It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport a silencer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any government officer, agent, or employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States, to the extent that such person is acquiring, possessing, transferring, or transporting a silencer within the scope of his official duties; (ii) the manufacture of a silencer by a firearms manufacturer for the purpose of sale to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees, provided that the manufacturer is properly licensed under federal, state, and local laws; or (iii) the sale or transfer of a silencer to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees.

§ 18.2-308.11. Import, sale, possession, etc., of trigger activators prohibited; penalty.

A. For the purposes of the section, "trigger activator" means any device that allows a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of any semi-automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.

B. It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport any trigger activator. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

§ 18.2-308.12. Surrender, etc., of prohibited assault firearm, firearm magazine, silencer, and trigger activator.

Any person who legally owns an assault firearm, as defined in § 18.2-308.8; large-capacity firearm magazine, as defined in § 18.2-308.9; silencer, as defined in § 18.2-308.10; or trigger activator, as defined in § 18.2-308.11, on November 1, 2019, may retain possession of such assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator until July 1, 2020. During this time period, such person shall (i) render the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator permanently inoperable; (ii) remove the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator from the Commonwealth; (iii) transfer the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a person outside the Commonwealth who is not prohibited from possessing the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator; or (iv) surrender the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a state or local law-enforcement agency. The provisions of § 15.2-915.5 shall not apply to any assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator surrendered to a local law-enforcement agency pursuant to this section.

Cam Edwards, a pro-Second Amendment commentator and host of Cam and Company, attended the morning portion of the session and noted that turnout was solid for both camps. He noted that Democrats view this as a way to get Virginia Republicans on record for their terrible, terrible position of supporting constitutional rights. They don’t expect to win most or any of these votes. It’s a campaign ploy. With the VA GOP barely hanging onto the state legislature with just a two-seat majority the House of Delegates and a one-seat majority in the state Senate. With the state trending blue thanks to the communist trash that lives in the northern part of the state, he’s hoping to flip the legislature in the upcoming elections this November. This fight isn’t over. And while we may do a victory lap at the end of this session, this will certainly come back front-and-center if Northam has a unified Democratic legislature come next year.  Yet, that doesn’t mean our side isn’t fighting back either. The Virginia Civil Defense League is one of the best in keeping gun rights protected in the state. Also, Edwards noted that a receptionist told him that the office has been hit with a deluge of calls bashing Northam’s anti-gun agenda in the past 48 hours. Edwards did not identify the lawmaker but noted it was one who represented several rural counties in the state. 

Now, let me diverge just a bit, do we have some signs that the VA GOP is wavering on gun rights? The VCDL sent an action alert on state Sen. Tommy Norment, the majority leader for two bills he’s reportedly proposing. The organization said these proposals are a betrayal to gun owners, urging their members to call his office. They also said be polite, but also firm:

Republican Senator Tommy Norment has betrayed gun owners by introducing two gun-control bills:

SB 4013 treats all local government buildings like a courthouse, banning firearms for everyone but law enforcement, judges, magistrates, and several other specific individuals while in conduct of official business.  (Not even an exemption for CHP holders.)

SB 4020 increases the waiting time to apply for a CHP from three years to ten years for someone convicted of certain misdemeanors, including brandishing.   Ten years is an unreasonable length of time to wait and is a solution looking for a problem.

All of us, whether you are in his district or not, need to send a message to Senator Normant, as he is in the Republican leadership of the Senate.  Feel free to use the suggested message as is, personalize the suggested message, or write your own message from scratch.  Either way, be polite, but firm.

Email address: district03@senate.virginia.gov

Suggested Subject: More gun-control is NOT acceptable, withdraw SB 4013 and SB 4020!

The Washington Post added the Norment proposal caught his colleagues off guard:

Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City), the chamber’s majority leader, proposed a bill that would ban firearms from local government buildings around the state and make any violation a felony. State law now bans guns only in courthouses, and violation is a misdemeanor.

Norment’s bill, which caught GOP colleagues off guard, goes further than a similar measure proposed by a Republican delegate. Both are the strongest signs that some GOP lawmakers might support at least one priority set by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) when he called the General Assembly back to work.

Well, apparently he got the message:

Still, it's the principle of it all. If you give these anti-gun nuts one inch, they’ll take several thousand miles. Don’t do it.