Here are the Worst Provisions of the Bill Virginia Democrats Just Sent to the House

mark levine virginia assault weapon

VA Del. Levine demonstrating what a hunting gun is. Source: screen capture from YouTube video.

As we noted, the Virginia House Public Safety committee has passed HB 961. It was a substitute of the originally proposed bill that passed. The state site reports that it was “Reported from Public Safety with substitute (12-Y 9-N)”. There have been some major changes in the offered substitute.

The version the committee sent to the full House of Delegates eliminates the earlier § 18.2-308.8 that resulted in conflicting language which appeared to ban possession of “assault firearms” without real grandfathering. And § 18.2-308.12 and § 18.2-308.13 have been rewritten to eliminate any registration requirement.

The substitute version that was passed includes . . .

  • § 18.2-308.2:2 B.1 bans the sale of an “assault firearm” by a dealer.
  • § 18.2-308.7 limits assault firearms to 7-round magazines when carried by a person under 18, with exceptions.
    § 18.2-308.8 is no longer there.
  • § 18.2-308.9 replaces § 18.2-308.8, and defines “assault firearm,” and forbids the “import, sell, transfer, manufacture, or purchase an assault firearm provided that a person may transfer an assault firearm to another person if:”
  • Exceptions include “the transfer occurs by operation of law”.
  • Note that “possess” is no no longer listed as prohibited.
  • § 18.2-308.10 bans “large-capacity firearms magazines” defined as more than 12 rounds.
  • § 18.2-308.11 seems to ban transfer of silencers, but not possession, except “that a person may transfer a silencer in accordance with the provisions of the National Firearms 475 Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.).”
  • § 18.2-308.12 is a bit odd. It bans “trigger activators,” but the definition seems to be limited to bump-fire stocks. Cranks and the like aren’t included.
  • § 18.2-308.13 is now limited to “large-capacity firearms magazines” and “trigger activators,” setting a six month amnesty period ending January 1, 2021. By then then you have to get rid of those.The end result of the substitute seems to be a future ban on commercial sales of “assault firearms” by licensed dealer, a ban on standard capapcity magazines, and bump-fire stocks. Private possession and sales of “assault firearms” can continue, and silencers may still be possessed if registered under the NFA, as before.

While not as bad as the original version, this is still a very bad bill, one that the VCDL’s Philip Van Cleave accurately called “a monstrosity that cannot be fixed.”



  1. avatar ESVAHokie77 says:

    7 rounds is for semi auto shotguns. 12 rounds for rifles. Come on.

    1. Read. The. Bill.

      Ҥ 18.2-308.7. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by persons under the age of 18; penalty.
      It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport a handgun, assault firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.9,or shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered anywhere in the Commonwealth.”

      I’ll grant that what you say may have been intended, but grammatically the sentence diagrams out as essentially “none of these with bigger than a 7 round magazine.”

    2. If the intent was to ban possession of all handguns, and of all assault firearms, and of shotguns with 7+ magazines, they should have written it thusly:

      possess or transport a handgun; assault firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.9; or shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered


      possess or transport a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered, handgun, or assault firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.9

      Grammar matters.

      1. avatar ESVAHokie77 says:

        Fair enough. I agree precise language is imperative and it’s all together too easily Swept aside. Cheers.

  2. avatar James Banish says:

    This is just plain stupid. Before long the regulations will be something else. Let’s just put our cards on the table, it is merely a money grab and nothing else.

  3. avatar OBOB says:

    Now if you live in Virginia?

    say…’why did WE stay home on voting day and let the DemOrats win’ 100,000 times to yourselves!

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Says every person who stayed home in every state where these things pass. Just get out and vote. And one more thing. You have to put your money where your mouth is. Support the candidates who support your rights. It gets noticed.

      1. avatar Donny says:

        What if you’re in a state where neither candidate supports your rights? Then you are screwed both ways.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          There is no right answer, only the best answer. If you want a future where American citizens would be more likely to be prosecuted than illegal aliens, then stay home or vote democrat.

        2. avatar KenW says:

          Sadly we in Floriduh are discovering that very problem.

        3. avatar Hannibal says:

          Unfortunately that is a major problem. And one that can only be solved by major electoral reform. But neither of the two parties wants that.

    2. avatar Draven says:

      I didn’t stay home, i voted against all of these fools.

    3. avatar Robster says:

      People are so flippin lazy. Democrats know how to rally, stick together no matter how wrong, illegal, or dishonest it is, and get it done for their party. Republicans give up too easy, get pissed off for the smallest reasons, and hurt our party and cause because of infighting. We’re pretty stupid for some reason. I’ve been puzzled by this issue for 30 years.

      Vote People!!

  4. avatar Sam Hill says:

    Yup wut we needs is more better guns er laws that are.

  5. avatar Stateisevil says:

    A really dumb comment I see a lot of is that Virginian’s didn’t vote, and that’s why this is happening. Well, that’s not true. Ok, maybe it could have been delayed and maybe the Demonrats will suffer next election.

    But…. The demographics are changing. To keep your 2nd amendment you will have to use it in the end. Why write it at all if you depend on the system? It’s nonsense.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” The demographics are changing. To keep your 2nd amendment you will have to use it in the end. ”

      Maybe not. While it is true that the demographics are changing, this is nothing new. Demographics are always changing. What you’re overlooking is the public’s attitudes change as well. Just because the future will be composed of a different group of people is not a harbinger of some kind of inevitability. Changing circumstances push people into changing opinions, and sometimes that happens even faster than the demographics change. There is every possibility that the new demographics could be even more pro-2A than the current ones. Could go the other way, too.

      The future is never written.

    2. avatar Wesley's Human says:

      By and large, Virginians didn’t vote. The turnout was just over 42% of registered voters (5,649,127 registered voters vs 2,388,213 that voted = 42.27%). According to the WaPo the total votes for democrats for all the candidates was 823,694.

      5,649,127 registered voters
      2,388,213 total voters casting ballots
      823,694 votes cast for democrats

      The problem is that people don’t vote. I’ve had this argument many times in the last few weeks. There is no reason for anyone to not have voted in Virginia in November 2019. There are plenty of excuses.
      Polls open for 13 hours
      Employers required to allow employees time to vote
      Employers required to allow employees to work as election officers
      Absentee ballots available for those that still can get to their polling place
      Absentee ballots may be requested in-person, by mail, or online

      1. avatar Napresto says:

        What makes you think all those people who didn’t vote A) care at all about the 2A, and b) would vote against democrats?

  6. avatar Will says:

    Given the recent ban on private sales, a ban on dealer sales is all that is needed, as far as I understand it. Now, given that the private sale ban only banned sales, not transfers in general, it seems that the state of Virginia will create a gift economy in assault weapons.

  7. avatar Curmudgeon says:

    ” bans the sale of an “assault firearm” by a dealer.”

    Good to know. Since I’m not legally a dealer I can still sell them!

  8. avatar Mark Ching says:

    § 18.2-308? Do they do this on purpose? That would require knowledge.

    Virginians, we cannot let this pass the full House. Let’s keep the pressure up! Write your assemblyman, ESPECIALLY if he or she is a Republican. It is up to them to get the message across to their Democrat colleagues what kind of $#!Tstorm they’re stirring up. Three Democrat senators — that’s all we need to vote no or present to kill this!

  9. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    If this gets the final votes, to my knowledge the law won’t go into effect until something like July 1 2020 or somewhere near then, I bet there will be a very big sales spike in Virginia, I’m sure PSA(and others) will be very busy!

    1. If passed in regular session, it does go into effect 7/1/2020. If it doesn’t pass then, and they call a special session in which it does pass, the date is pushed back.

      Firearm sales in VA are already skyrocketing. After today, dealers will have trouble keeping anything on the shelf.

  10. avatar RGP says:

    Definition of “assault weapon” may be expanded at any time to include “a board with a nail in it.”

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      Not to exceed 7 nails…

      1. avatar RGP says:

        Damn! That ruins my entire plan for world domination.

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    “§ 18.2-308.11 seems to ban transfer of silencers, but not possession, except “that a person may transfer a silencer in accordance with the provisions of the National Firearms 475 Act (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.).””

    So… it does nothing then?

    1. avatar RGP says:

      I believe it actually does something ethereal in their minds, and in the minds of the idiots who voted for them. It makes them feel good.

  12. avatar Hydguy says:

    They are actively attempting to cause gun owners to respond with violence.
    And at some point, gun owners will have to oblige them, or there will be nothing to defend.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Maybe first they could respond with votes. Like someone posted above, less than half of registered voters bothered to show up. I think the dems were more motivated due to the Charlottesville debacle and the hyped up Russia collusion hoax. The Mueller team intentionally withheld information from the public in order to interfere with the midterm elections. Ironic huh?

  13. avatar Ross says:

    The purpose and intent of the Second Amendment is to ensure that the people have the tools available to affectively and violently resist tyranny and oppression. This bill is tyranny and oppression plain and simple.

  14. avatar Darkman says:

    The most Insidious part of this whole situation is: Good Patriots are idly standing by allowing Their Rights to slowly be transgressed. All the while howling at the moon and preaching to the choir. Betting their Freedom on a system controlled by the very enemy they so loudly rail against. Even Our Fore Fathers came to a point of understanding. Knowing that words loose their reasoning. When the enemy fails to heed them. Freedoms easily lost. Are not easily regained. Societies that kneel into Tyranny. Seldom Rise Up Against it. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      “… Good Patriots are idly standing by allowing Their Rights to slowly be transgressed. …”

      20,000+ “Good Patriots” showed up on Jan. 20th. Only to be promptly and completely ignored by their legislative representatives.

      1. avatar Darkman says:

        Knowing that words loose their reasoning. When the enemy fails to heed them. Or in this case cares not. They simply changed the recess rules. So the children could play. All the while plotting to remove recess from the curriculum. The protesters were Allowed to play. As long as they allowed their Rights to be Amended to fit the Rulers Agenda. So how much did they really accomplish outside of their own circle? They certainly showed we’ll bow to whatever rule is placed in front of us. As long as they can play with their toys. In the eyes of the enemy they showed they are controllable and easily manipulated. Protest marches are just as ridiculous for the Left as they are for the Right. They change no one’s mind. At the end of they day accomplish nothing. Especially in the face of Tyranny. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  15. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    So, what have we learned? The anti-people…

    — Have an agenda; you’re not part of it.

    — Hijack govt to impose it; you aren’t part of the governing.

    — Work the political system to get in; not to represent.

    — Are relentless, ubiquitous, n shameless; unlike you, they’ve got nothing better to be doing.

    — and are some mix of pathological imposers (Hi, Bloomie!) getting off on ordering the proles (That’s you.) to their will, and conned true believers, high on the hit of righteousness; they’re addicts.

    We really can’t expect them to ever make sense, allow others their ways, or be honest brokers. They’re addicted. They’re high. And squeezing us is their hit.

    They can’t be trusted as hall monitors, let alone Governor (Blackface), gendarmes, or legi-critters. They’re Cartman with his Authoritah, worse, with an agenda and a plan.

    Act accordingly.

  16. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Worst parts of a crap sammich?

  17. avatar JUST HARD FACTS says:

    Who owns this place again? Taxpayers=Citizens!
    Who are our servants who WE can revoke their privileges @ anytime? The Gov,Police.

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