Virginia assault weapons ban
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert
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TTAG contributor and Patriot Picket founder Jeff Hulbert is in Richmond this morning and in the room with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The reason for all the attention is the committee taking up the Senate version of HB 961, the much-reviled “assault weapons” sales ban bill that would also ban “high capacity” magazines and end the sales of suppressors in the state.

Virginia assault weapons ban
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

But as Jeff reports, a Republican motion to put off consideration of the bill until the 2021 session just passed, meaning there will be no ban bill this legislative session. That result was met with rollicking cheers from the overwhelmingly pro-gun crowd in the room.

That outcome won’t make Governor Coonman happy at all.

As WTOP reports:

Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday’s committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

The bill was a top priority for Northam, a Democrat who has campaigned heavily for a broad package of gun-control measures.

Not to mention Michael Blooomberg and his Moms Demand Action red-shirted sock puppets.

From the AP:

Northam has been able to get much of his gun-control agenda passed this year, but struggled with the proposed assault weapon ban. Earlier proposals to ban possession of AR-15-style rifles or to require owners to register them with state police have been scrapped. The governor had hoped a watered-down would win over enough Democratic moderates for passage.


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  1. Nice, keep up the good fight Virginians. This is just one of many bills. I truly believe Virginia is the test case for WI, MI and Ohio, as well as most of the nation.

    • Hey Jeff,

      As far as I can tell, Ohio has become solid red (conservative) when it comes to politics and voting. I would be utterly shocked if Democrats tried (and had any serious expectation of succeeding) this nonsense in Ohio.

      Now, with respect to Wisconsin and Michigan, I can definitely see Democrats trying this garbage. Whether or not it passes is anyone’s guess. As we all know, both Wisconsin and Michigan vacillate back-and-forth between Democrat and Republican governors, although their legislatures seem to remain in Republican hands, albeit with slim majorities at times and some pretty spineless Republican legislators (a.k.a. RINOs).

      I think the fate of Michigan and Wisconsin firearm laws for the next four years will boil down to whether or not Trump wins re-election in 2020. If he wins, some Republican state legislators will win their elections (riding on Trump’s “coattails”) and unseat incumbent Democrats. Will that be enough for Republicans to propose bills which restore our rights? Probably. Will that be enough for Republicans and a few vulnerable Democrats to override certain vetoes on those bills from Democrat Governors? I doubt it. I hope that I am wrong.

      • Virginia was redistricted under Court order. The “non partisan” commission made up of academics redrew districts to favor the Democrats. SCOTUS has since ruled that redistricting is a legislative function. The Wisconsin legislature is firmly in the hands Republicans. It will take a fairly sustantial political change to reverse the legislature. Tony Evers is politically impotent. Unfortunately this ruling will help the Democrats keep control of the Virginia legislature.

        • Impotency goes both ways: a Democrat Governor and Republican legislature in Michigan and Wisconsin means that neither side accomplishes much if anything.

        • tdiinva,

          The status quo is somewhat okay in Wisconsin. It is utterly terrible in Michigan.

          I tried listing the seven most egregious violations of our right to keep and bear arms in Michigan that does not exist in Wisconsin. However, TTaG (WordPress) keeps swallowing my comment so I am unable to list them. I will try one more time, breaking up the comment and list into two additional comments.

        • tdiinva,

          The following legal requirements apply in Michigan and do NOT apply in Wisconsin:
          (1) Mandatory registration, licensing, and universal background checks for all handgun acquisitions — even private acquisitions and family member to family member transfers. And that handgun licensing means a separate license for every single handgun.
          (2) One of the most expensive concealed carry licenses in the United States (about $120 every five years).
          (3) The second longest list of state mandated “pistol-free zones” (10 different sites/facilities) in the United States, second only to Illinois. Michigan prohibits concealed carry in schools and on school property, college/university dorms and classrooms, daycare centers, places of worship, bars, hospitals, sports venues, large entertainment venues, and casinos.

          … list continues in next comment …

        • … continuation of list …

          (4) Only transport of long guns allowed is unloaded in chamber and magazine and in the trunk or a case that is not readily accessible to the vehicle occupants. (This might actually apply in Wisconsin as well.)
          (5) No private property liability for unenforced privately mandated “pistol free zones”.

        • … and I cannot complete the list because WordPress keeps swallowing anything and everything that I type, no matter how short.

        • And I give up trying to type the last bogus legal requirement since WordPress will not let me post a single sentence even though that sentence cannot possibly have any words in it which any filters would ever determine to be objectionable.

        • Apparently WordPress will reject comments with the awful words “parents” and “criminal” and “lawsuit” in them.

      • Republicans always have more balls for passing liberty restoring legislation when they know they have a democrat governor to veto it for them. That way they can make no progress whatsoever and still say to their constituents “Hey, I supported X. It was that dem governor who stopped it.”

  2. You can thank the Virginia protest movement. The People have been heard but you have wonder whether the word came down from the DNC to cool it on the ban out of fear of turning Virginia red.

    • Too late. Virginia has opened a lot of eyes. There will be a lot of one issue voters in November.

        • That’s why we are in chaos now. 1 issue voters not seeing the big picture.

          That’s why we will all continue to be fleeced, no matter who is in power.

        • Even though this country is not constitutionally a two party system, it has effectively become one because of the expense of running a national campaign. We are offered very little choice and are often forced to vote for a candidate who in spite of supporting one issue important to us is generally against other issues of secondary import.
          Keep in mind a two party system is just one party away from a one party system. All of my liberal friends would be happy with a one party system as long as it is the Democratic Party.

      • Never underestimate the stupidity of people. Many POTG will roll out the “mission accomplished” banner and go back to their lives, and continue to never, ever vote.

        When an even worse version passes in a year right under their noses they’ll splutter in outrage.

        • It’s not really so much stupidity as that they have lives to live, jobs to work, kids to raise etc. Their attention is divided while the other side is focused on stripping away individual rights in a way that means they never stop trying.

          Every time they catch us paying attention to something else they take another bite at the apple.

          Just as it’s always been. It’s not like the Alcmaeonids just went away when Cleisthenes did his thing. Freedom requires enormous effort to protect and eternal vigilance. From time to time we will stumble on both fronts.

      • Needs to be two issue voters – gun laws and voting laws. If the voting laws are manipulated to favor statists, they can pass whatever gun laws they want at any time they want. Gun laws are the canary in the mine.

  3. Stay vigilant. They’re hoping next time less people will care less so they can try to pass even more egregious bills

  4. Now is not the time to relax. We have to run a solid viable candidate for Governor this year and elect Republicans to a majority in both houses. Never forget the rank treason of “Black-faced Baby killer” and his fellow travelers. Never forget! Never forgive! One more thing. Keep holding their feet to the fire on the other unconstitutional infringements.

    • Michael Crognale,

      I was in utter disbelief when Virginia’s Governor openly advocated to murder newborn babies in a public interview. I actually replayed that interview a total of three times to make sure I was accurately hearing and understanding what he said.

      I was beyond utter disbelief when the press failed to shout it from the rooftops and the populace did not move to immediately remove Virginia’s Governor from office.

      • Really? We heard quite a bit on the subject here, and I *was* astonished, tho perhaps for a different reason than you. I could not believe the stupidity of the man, since if he meant what he pretty clearly said, he was claiming that he could easily redefine the legal term “murder”, without even telling us what the new definition was. What a fool.

        • Larry in TX,

          While it is deeply troubling that a Governor would advocate redefining murder (especially unilaterally redefining murder), it is much more troubling that a Governor would openly advocate for murdering newborn babies.

          That is EXACTLY what Virginia Governor Ralph Northam did — advocated murdering newborn babies.

    • Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase announced her candidacy for Governor this afternoon. Probably not a better 2A candidate out there, but she will likely suffer the same fate as Ken Cuccinelli, the GOP party establishment will abandon her.

  5. Braack, braack. Chickens! Perhaps before they decided to continue down their chosen path, some of those anti-Rights solons took heed of Thomas Sowell’s common response: then what?

    • Nailed it. That is their one and only reason for this. And I’m fine with that. They, and I mean all legislators regardless of party, should be in fear for their jobs. It’s up to us to make sure they realize how quickly they can be replaced.

      • The gun-haters certainly don’t think so.

        And if they plan to write it so narrowly, then why is SCOTUS “holding” EIGHT gun-control cases?

        If NYSRPA won’t affect them, why not go ahead and dispose of them (accept or reject) now?

        • TFred,

          You make an interesting (and compelling in my opinion) point.

          Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the United States Supreme Court issues a proper ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association versus New York City — and then turns around, bundles all eight cases, and issues a proper ruling for them building upon their freshly inked ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association?!?!?!?

        • I have a suspicion that certain members of the court have been increasingly alarmed, as Scalia was, in recent years about the general direction of the federal court system vis a vis individual liberties.

          I also suspect that they see the two most recent justices as a chance, not a guarantee, but a chance to rectify some of that in ways that won’t be undone with a quickness.

          Much as people complain about certain recent rulings, it’s interesting to view those rulings in the light of some of the things Scalia wrote outside of official opinions and to read those items with an eye towards history around 1940. If one does this it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that part of the court has been biding it’s time and waiting for a “carpe diem” moment that they could actually use effectively.

        • Because, like the NRA, they can’t drum up support by selling complacency. There’s no way to tell how serious a threat they think the decision will be based merely on the over-hyped fears they pitch to the people they want to send them money.

        • “And if they plan to write it so narrowly, then why is SCOTUS “holding” EIGHT gun-control cases?”

          Got a link on those 8 cases, please? I’m aware of one being held back, but not of the other 7…

        • “If one does this it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that part of the court has been biding it’s time and waiting for a “carpe diem” moment that they could actually use effectively.”

          Timing is politically *critical*, here.

          When the ‘NY Pistol’ decision is finally announced, it could provide *massive* motivation for one party in particular in November to ‘storm the polls’ in anger against *us*. A massive gun rights win could cost us dearly, as in, RBG’s seat…

        • “Got a link on those 8 cases, please? I’m aware of one being held back, but not of the other 7…”
          As a matter of fact… not links but case numbers, easily Googled. There are some duplicates, as these issues are not isolated infringements.

          Mance v Barr (18-663) whether the federal government can prohibit interstate handgun sales
          Pena v Horan (18-843) whether possession of a gun can be limited to “safe” guns
          Rogers v Grewal (18-824) whether the government can require a “special need” in order to allow carry outside the house
          Gould v Lipson (18-1272) whether the government can require a “special need” in order to allow carry outside the house
          Ciolek v New Jersey (19-114) whether the government can require a “justifiable need” in order to grant a carry permit
          Cheeseman v Polillo (19-27) whether licenses can require a “justifiable need” for possessing a gun
          Worman v Healey (19-404) whether “assault weapons” and “large capacity feeding devices” can be banned
          Malpasso v Pallozzi (19-423) whether licenses can require a “good and substantial reason” for possessing a gun

        • “Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the United States Supreme Court issues a proper ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association versus New York City — and then turns around, bundles all eight cases, and issues a proper ruling for them building upon their freshly inked ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association?!?!?!?”

          Indeed, a hoot! I’m hoping and praying that Clarence Thomas is the author of the opinion.

          I suspect the far more likely outcome (even if the ruling is very good) would be for the court to remand them all back to their respective lower courts with instructions to reconsider in light of the new ruling.

          But anything could happen! A per curiam ruling on each of the eight would be awesome, although I would be VERY surprised.

        • “…it could provide *massive* motivation for one party in particular in November to ‘storm the polls’ in anger against *us*.”

          Statistics on gun control beliefs suggest this is unlikely. Serious gun control support runs deep but it is not wide. The same is true of serious gun rights support.

          The vast, vast majority of people consider guns to be, at best, a secondary issue. For most it’s much farther down the line. You can see that in the polls of “top issues”. Gun control on either side isn’t in the top 5, usually not even in the top 10 issues.

          This is what I said about HPA three years ago. If Joe Sixpack and Sally Soccermom have economic security they won’t oppose HPA. OTOH, if you put HPA front and center up front those people will feel you’re putting a small, niche special interest ahead of broader issues and while they mostly won’t oppose HPA on philosophical grounds, they will vehemently oppose your chosen order of operations.

        • TFred
          After reading these cases, assuming all eight actually do get cert, it would not surprise, considering SCOTUS’s usual track record in cases like these, for them to consolidate at least five of them based on similarities at issue into one case as they did with New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York.

  6. Good news for today ‘this year” we shall see what happens in 2021 TFred is correct , let’s hope SCOTUS does the right thing in NYSRPA stay vigilant .

  7. Postponed ?….. Wait…… Hold it…… But…… But….. Gunsarebadmmmmmkay !

    Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Soros and all the other usual-suspect typical Democrats now want to know what they paid for.

  8. Virginia General Assembly
    21 Democratic
    19 Republican

    House of Delegates
    55 Democratic
    45 Republican

    Doesn’t take much in the Senate there, just a couple of moderate Democrats joining with Republicans can stop an anti-gun bill.

    Hope this postponement until the 2021 session is just a sneaky step to killing the bill next time around.

  9. Just remember… this win only sticks if Virgians get out in November and vote everyone who supported these infringements into the unemployment line. Fight aint over, not even by a long shot.

    • Virginia does not reelect Senators and Delegates until 2021. Barring resignations, we are stuck with this crew for next year’s General Assembly session as well.

      Not to say the November 2020 election is meaningless. A Trump win in Virginia – and dare I hope, some Republican gains in Virginia’s national representatives – could go a long way toward changing the climate and attitude, even among those already in office.

      • I need to make a correction, the Virginia Senate does not stand for reelection until 2023. Every four years, while the House of Delegates is every two years.

  10. Congrats Virginians. I think we’re going to have to put the same efforts in with PA Governor Wolf and AG Joshie Washie. Bloomberg’s bound to strike here soon if not next.

  11. This is part of their plan….. they wanna wait so that people will forget….. at that point they’ll pass it in the middle of the night, in a backroom somewhere….

  12. I would say that the peaceful display of 25,000 or more open carry gun owners does have an effect on creating legislation. They didn’t count the ones who couldn’t get into the city. There was probably over 100,000 outside the city trying to get in.

    Simply having 25,000 open carriers does educate elected officials about the thoughts of the voting public.

      • The press can try to frame the issue the way they want to. But we all have camera phones. And WE CAN tell OUR OWN story. And send it out to millions of voters.

        Organized open carry conducted in a peaceful and polite manor is a positive PR bonanza.

      • Please refer to the Bill of Rights. The part where it says that you have the right to address the legislative body for redress of grievances.

  13. History clearly shows the first sign for a nazi or racist is Gun Control. The democrat party concocted laws to prevent freed slaves from owning firearms. The socialist nazi party took democrat Jim Crow and replaced Negro with Jew. The face of Gun Control is ugly to say the least. The democrat party just can’t shake its old habits. Perhaps holding the party liable for Monetary Reparations would help.

  14. IN other words, they decided to post pone loosing a CIVIL WAR.

    WE Ohio Militia will back up Virginians…

    We’ll flood the state with thousands of militia from 11 states.

    We will NOT compromise the 2nd Amendment away…

    We will NOT disarm.

  15. ….And Massachusetts Draconian “Distracted Drive Law” 🚗 goes into effect on Feb 23. If Local/City/State Police see a citizen with ANYTHING that looks like a smart phone ☎ or any device or item…Police can pullover the citizen and charge them with Incremental fines, and “Distracted Driving Reform school.”

  16. they got a tap on the shoulder from someone way higher up in the democrat party power structure
    the realization is there now that theyve awakened a nationwide sleeping giant that was going crush them at the polls in november

  17. Well that’s special…show up & vote Virginians! As stated by me several weeks ago the bad guys blinked when they saw all those armed folks. SEE: Bundy Ranch. And STOCK UP!

  18. Think that members of the Virginia Senate might have heard from law abiding gun owners who oppose the governors antics?

  19. Virginians, your sorry governor and his Democrat stooges are playing a game. All their tyranny will come back full force after the general election. They want to be re-elected and that fuels their deceitful strategy. Vote for Trump and vote out all Democrats.

  20. In Wisconsin where I’m from this governor Evers is trying to pass anti-gun crap while we are asleep at night. Under the cover of darkness. Keep your eyes on him closely Wisconsinites. Tell him how you’ll vote next time.

    • The Republicans dominate both Houses of the Legislature. Unless he declares himself a dictator all he could do is bay at the moon.

  21. All the committee has done is move the debate/vote to a Friday evening a few months off to sneak in the passing vote while the public’s attention is on another crisis.

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