The Old Dominion, famously the site of many historic battles for America’s freedom, including pivotal campaigns during the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War and even the War of 1812 is again shaping up to be an epic battleground over the fight for gun rights. With a thinly elected Democrat majority in both the state senate and legislature this past November, the anti-gun political party was quick to drop as many as 47 gun-control bills for consideration and so far, every single Democrat has supported them along party lines.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in all the years I have been lobbying for VCDL,” writes Philip Van Cleave, the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League President in the organization’s most recent VA-ALERT sent to members and email subscribers.
Most recently, and perhaps most alarmingly, the Virginia house passed the assault weapons ban Friday on a straight party line vote.
NBC 4 Washington reports:
The Virginia House of Delegates approved an assault weapons ban on a party line vote Friday.
Fairfax County Democratic Del. Dan Helmer’s bill would end the sale and transfer of assault firearms manufactured after July 1, 2024. It also prohibits the sale of certain large capacity magazines.
“This bill would stop the sale of weapons similar to those I and many of the other veterans carried in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Helmer said.
He reminded lawmakers about tragedies across the country in which assault-style weapons were used.
“Our schools, our community centers, our college campuses, our nightclubs and our shopping malls are not war zones,” he said. “At least they shouldn’t be.”
Arguing against the measure, Culpeper-area Republican Del. Nick Freitas, who was a special forces weapon sergeant in Iraq, said the focus of legislation should be on criminals, not guns.
“If you take a weapon and you put it on a desk and you don’t touch it, no one gets assaulted,” he said. “People do assault other people, and that should be the sort of crime that we are actually going after. But again we’re going after inanimate objects.”
While the bill would not impact assault weapons manufactured before July 1, it does prohibit younger Virginians, those under age 21, from owning, selling or transferring assault weapon regardless of manufacture date.
Freitas said he fears if this bill becomes law, even greater restrictions could be ahead.
“Ultimately, I don’t agree that this is going to save lives and I also don’t agree that this is where it’s going to stop,” he said.
The Virginia Senate has not taken a floor vote on its version of the bill. If it passes the House and Senate, it goes to Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who could veto it.
In a recent address, Youngkin called Virginia’s current gun laws “some of the toughest in the nation.”
“He’s asking the General Assembly members to hold accountable those criminals that commit crimes with guns by lengthening and making more severe the penalties in order to keep criminals off the streets,” a spokesman added.
According to the VCDL, additional bills on the table in Virginia, all proposed and supported by Democrats alone, include laws that would:
- Make carry of an air gun on school property a felony
- Take away gun rights for 5 years for a simple assault (a misdemeanor)
- Require new and renewing CHP holders to be fingerprinted.
- Make it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy any kind of firearm – handguns, rifles and shotguns.
- Put a 5% tax on guns and ammunition to fund a “gun violence intervention program.”
- Require a 5-day waiting period on purchasing a firearm.
- NRA and USCCA instructors would no longer be allowed to teach gun safety classes to get a CHP, which jeopardizes gun safety across the state.
- NRA license plates would no longer be available. “How petty and vindictive is that?” Cleave says.
- Prohibit concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol.
- Make legally owned (and very expensive) auto sears illegal.
- Ban carry in hospitals, emergency rooms or other places that provide mental health or developmental services.
- Require a 3-day waiting period for purchasing a firearm.
- Make it illegal to carry an “assault weapon” in a public location, including even roads and sidewalks.
- Make unserialized guns, even those made before 1968, illegal, which can greatly impact the collectibles and antiques firearms markets.
- Take away a person’s gun rights for 5 years for a second offense of drunk driving.
- Take away the gun rights of a person living in the home with someone else who happens to be the subject of a red flag gun ban.
And this is just “some” of what the rabid gun-hating Dems have proposed.
Speaking with Cleave during the VCDL’s recent Lobby Day event, in which members and other gun owners listened to speakers such as Republican gun-rights champion Del. Nick Freitas, Gun Owners of America President Erich Pratt, Guns & Gadgets YouTuber Jared Yanes, Cam Edwards from Cam & Co. and others after visiting with their legislators, he stressed Virginians need to remain vigilant.
“The concern is despite all of the attacks looming against gun-owning Virginians, that people won’t take the threats seriously because they figure (Governor) Glenn Youngkin will veto them,” Cleave told me. Others in the know echoed that concern.
But as these laws march closer to approval, it is only Youngkin who can ultimately defend liberty for Virginia. And he is only one man. The Democratic Party threat will not go away. If gun owners wish to protect their rights well into the future, they need to work harder to get freedom-respecting legislators elected in every election going forward.
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