Virginia’s “Lobby Day” patriot rebellion paid off in a big way on Monday. The state Senate voted 10-5 to shelve controversial HB 961 for at least another year. Even Democrats weren’t comfortable banning “many commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, suppressors, and standard capacity magazines.” Had it succeeded, “millions of Virginians” would be forced “to dispose of their property, become a criminal, or surrender [prohibited equipment] to the government.”
Patriot rebellion pays off
Philipe Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, was thrilled to announce the defeat of an unconstitutional bill. “HB961 went down by a 10 to 5 vote! Everybody’s hard work, Lobby Day, and sanctuary movement paid off!”
HB961 went down by a 10 to 5 vote! Everybody’s hard work, Lobby Day, and sanctuary movement paid off!
— Phil Van Cleave VCDL (@VCDL_ORG) February 17, 2020
The NRA also released a statement praising the decision. “Thanks to Second Amendment supporters around the Commonwealth ceaselessly voicing their opposition to a sweeping gun ban, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to reject House Bill 961 on February 17th.” They directed a shot at the newest Democrat presidential candidate. “Bloomberg’s House majority in the General Assembly is not going to deliver their most coveted agenda item to their billionaire master.”
The bill was widely recognized as “a comprehensive ban on many commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, suppressors, and standard capacity magazines.” After the patriot rebellion, the sponsors walked back a few of the provisions and were willing to allow citizens “to keep affected firearms they lawfully owned prior to the ban.” While that sounds like a compromise solution, the “licensing and registration scheme” is an unconstitutional burden. While gun owners could keep “currently owned firearms and suppressors,” their “lawfully acquired magazines with capacities greater than twelve rounds” had to go. That’s unacceptable, “forcing millions of Virginians to dispose of their property, become a criminal, or surrender them to the government,” the NRA wrote.
Gone for now but waiting in the wings
The Judiciary Committee agreed to keep studying the issues and promise progressives that they’ll “revisit the matter next year,” After conservatives get to hold another lobby day patriot rebellion. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam isn’t happy. “While the Governor is disappointed in today’s vote, he fully expects the Crime Commission to give this measure the detailed review that Senators called for. We will be back next year.”
He still has seven more anti-gun bills on the table. “Despite today’s vote, the Governor is proud of the several commonsense gun safety measures that continue to advance. These bills represent historic steps forward in keeping Virginians safe from gun violence.”
Virginia is one of a growing number of Second Amendment sanctuaries which insist that the constitution be obeyed and the rights of citizens to bear arms shall not be infringed. Not even a little bit.