Democrats now have a majority in the Virginia state legislature and Governor Northam has committed to passing gun control measures. And so, it begins…
Back in November when Democrats won control of the General Assembly in Virginia, Governor Ralph “Blackface” Northam said that gun control would be a “top priority” during this legislative session. Northam said that he was committed to undermining the Second Amendment rights of Virginians by “banning the sale of [semi-automatic firearms] and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others.” He also said that he was not opposed to confiscating legal firearms from law-abiding residents, it was “something I’m working on with our secretary of public safety.”
He’s not wavering.
A new law that was proposed yesterday, SB16, would make some currently legal firearms illegal to own and there would be no grandfathering provision.
The legislation § 18.2-308.8 states “It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 6 felony.” The definition of “assault firearms” is so broad that it would include nearly all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
If the law passes, this would instantly make owning certain rifles illegal and lawful gun owners would be in violation of the law unless they handed over their legally-purchased firearms.
Washington Free Beacon firearms policy reporter, Stephen Gutowski, tweeted the news out yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile Virginia Democrats are filing bills to make the possession of millions of currently-owned firearms illegal. SB16 bans possession of many rifles without any grandfathering provision which means it's confiscation. https://t.co/i0SnJNDTxm https://t.co/j6DaJAj7g2
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) December 2, 2019
Virginians aren’t sitting back and taking it, though.
To combat the outright squashing of the Second Amendment rights of Virginians by state legislators, activists are proposing “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions at the county level. Support for the movement is growing.
When Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) president Philip Van Cleave spoke with the Free Beacon on Tuesday afternoon, 15 of Virginia’s 95 counties had passed sanctuary resolutions; five more joined that night.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” he told the Free Beacon. “It’s a sleeping giant that had been pretty much not paying attention to politics, and now they’re awake, and now they’re flooding these sanctuary county hearings. Flooding them.”
Sparked by Democrats’ capture of the Virginia legislature three weeks ago, the sanctuary movement has already passed resolutions similar to VCDL’s model in nearly a quarter of the state’s counties. The movement could give newly elected Democrats from more moderate jurisdictions pause when considering new gun control bills—especially the confiscation plan supported by Governor Ralph Northam (D.). The sanctuary proposals could also set up a showdown between state and local officials if the former adopt new gun bans or a confiscation scheme.
The gun control measures were called for by Democrats in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Virginia Beach on May 31, 2019.
The solutions proposed, however, would not have stopped that tragic event and would affect legal gun owners who are generally not the problem.
“It’s sending a huge message to the General Assembly that a lot of the state does not want more gun control, certainly none of the crap that they’re pushing that does nothing but affect law abiding citizens,” he said. “It doesn’t do anything for criminals.”
He said Democrats elected in counties that adopt the sanctuary resolution are “gonna be under some pressure,” and may be swayed by the effort.
“They’re gonna go ‘whoa, hey, if I vote for that bill you won’t have a Democrat delegate in this county for the next decade,'” Van Cleave said. “All we have to do is turn a few Democrats and these bills aren’t going to go anywhere.”
Source: Washington Free Beacon
The issue is complicated. If the gun-grabbing laws pass, then police forces are obligated to comply and if an officer won’t, his/her job is on the line. However, if the 2A “Sanctuary” resolution passes, some sheriffs and commonwealth attorneys may decide to go along with it because it is the will of the locals. Van Cleave is working on a “multi-pronged approach” to win over sheriffs and attorneys.
Still, Van Cleave says that the “Sanctuary” resolutions are just the first volley in the push back against the proposed legislation. It is far better if the gun control laws weren’t passed at all.