Virginia Governor elect Ralph Northam (courtesy
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Fairfax, VA – -( This week, Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam (above) outlined their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session, and highlighted expanded background checks for all firearm sales and other transfers (so-called “universal” background checks) as a key measure the new governor will be pursuing upon taking office.

This is no surprise. Gov.-elect Northam has “proudly voted” to restrict Virginians’ gun rights for years.

As a state senator, he pushed for expanded background checks, and laws that would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines. As lieutenant governor, he notably opposed permitless carry, casting a tie-breaking vote to block legislation that would have allowed residents, otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit, to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere in the state where a handgun may be carried openly.

In addition to his pledge to expand background check laws, the incoming governor campaigned on promises to further restrict gun show sales, reinstate a one-a-month limit on the number of handguns residents may lawfully purchase (a gun-rationing law that was repealed in 2012), and impose a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and “large” capacity magazines.

All of this attracted the support of billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown group, which reportedly donated almost $1.5M towards Northam’s gubernatorial bid.

Indeed, Gov.-elect Northam describes his legislative priorities as “common sense,” echoing the terminology consistently used by Everytown and the like to justify expanded background checks, gun bans, purchase limits and other gun control measures touted as the key to ending gun crime in America. None of these proposals, though, have proven to be effective in stopping gun crimes.

The kind of expanded background check law likely to be proposed (here, here and here) would make it a crime for any person to participate in a sale, rental, trade, or other “transfer” of a firearm without first having the transaction brokered through a licensed gun dealer, unless the sale or transfer falls within a narrow exemption.

Because such laws are written to include temporary transfers, changes in the possession of a gun, regardless of whether ownership changes, come within the kind of transaction that must be processed through a licensed dealer.

The NRA has universally opposed such background check laws in Virginia and in other states because these measures accomplish little besides burdening law-abiding gun owners with new fees and extra government paperwork for ordinary “transactions” of guns while training, hunting, at the range, and in other legitimate pursuits.

A recent study of laws in three other states confirms the NRA’s apprehensions as to the utility of expanded background check requirements in crime control – “the state most compliant with its ‘universal’ background check law also had the highest homicide rate and the biggest increase in its homicide rate of the states studied.”

And earlier this month, we highlighted a federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which negates claims of private sellers knowingly breaking the law to make guns available to felons and other prohibited persons. In advocating for expanded background checks, gun control proponents have consistently relied on a narrative whereby criminals may easily acquire guns through “unregulated” private channels, including online sales.

Apart from the obvious retort – that criminals are as likely to comply with enhanced background check laws as with existing background check requirements or other laws – the GAO report failed to validate these assertions in any way.

Undercover ATF agents who tested the willingness of private individuals to sell guns to disqualified persons using the “relative anonymity of the Internet” were unable to complete a single transaction: every seller refused to complete a sale on learning of the agent-buyer’s “prohibited” status.

We can’t help but notice that the McAuliffe-Northam legislative package includes a proposal to significantly raise the threshold for felony larceny from $200 to $1,000, something Governor McAuliffe is “very, very passionate about.”

At a joint appearance with Gov.-elect Northam to present legislative priorities, the governor explains that an “18-year-old stealing an iPhone” is “branded as a felon in Virginia for the rest of [his] life,” and raising the felony threshold would mean fewer people are liable to be “ensnared in this lifelong punishment for making a small mistake.”

This anxiety over the potential impact of laws on convicted thieves and felons provides an interesting counterpoint to the ease with which these two officials push hard for new and additional restrictions that encroach on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Virginia’s law-abiding gun owners.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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  1. This is a man who spent eight years in the army. He should know better. He keeps saying that he has seen the damage that such “weapons of war” do and that they have no place on our streets. But the only way that his “assault weapons” ban would have any effect on wound damage (not that there are a lot of assault weapon attacks here in the Old Dominion) would be if he also got the legislature to ban all rifles firing .223/5.56 ammunition, since, as we all know, those scary cosmetics do not affect the ballistics of the bullets. I suspect that VMI and most of its alumni cringe at what the new governor. is doing.

    • spent eight years in the army

      Oh BS he was a freaking Dr. Perhaps mpre useful that a JAG officer but still overhead. As about and “Army” as the Dominos pizza driver.

      AND he milked the taxpayer for his med school training. ETS at the earliest possible moment (8yr). Uncle pays your med school should owe 20yr. AND he wasn;t even a GI doc. A freaking a pediatrician

      • Okay, you can take that position, I suppose, with anyone who is not a grunt. I was in the Navy, so I don’t have a position about what constitutes the “Real Army.”

        That being said, between VMI and the Army, the guy had to have learned a few things about firearms. (And yes, they do actually shoot guns as part of the ROTC component at VMI. My daughter is a VMI alumna. She tells me she liked the .50 cal best.)

        My point is, that, given that knowledge, Governor Northam’s attack on “assault weapons” is knowingly and deliberately disingenuous.

    • Was that the US Army he served in? He sounds more like a veteran of the Cuban armed forces. How times have changed. Virginia used to be the bulwark of the (pro-white) Confederacy, while the turncoats in ‘West Virginia’ went over to the Dark Side. Now things have just about flipped 180 degrees.

  2. This sounds common sense, they could let the criminals get off easy if they aren’t stealing too much. Maybe even for stealing a firearm. Why should a mistake mess up your life?

    But make sure to turn the regular, law abiding citizens into criminals for some paperwork crimes against the state. How much grace will they get?

    • I fear you’re correct. The once-reliably red state is “purple” at best, with the northern half (as I understand it, locals feel free to correct me) being pretty darn blue (and thus, anti-2A). I don’t see that trend reversing in the foreseeable future.

      • Both of you are correct. I’ve been in Virginia almost 9 years, and it tilts farther left with every election. Soon to be known as South Maryland.
        Forget that. I’m out of here this summer. Back to Georgia, where hopefully I’ll be safe until I drop dead. Fear for my kids, though. Eventually, there will be no place left to run to.

        • No! Don’t surrender the field and make me go all Jean-Luc Picard on you all. Virginia is still a good place to be a gun owner. Permitless open carry, good hunting, easy CHPs, gun stores everywhere. But if every surly gun person pulls up stakes at the first hint of adversity, we’ll have only ourselves to blame.

          Yes, the cities, NoVa, and Tidewater are bright blue, but we’re far from lost. Most of the counties are still red or lean conservative, which is why the state houses are still in the R column, even if barely. The Republicans ran a decent slate, but we were undone by anger at Trump. The Dems mobilized their base, but they won’t always have that kind of ammo. Stay focused and stop giving up.

        • Numbers are all that matter. Urban areas outnumber the rural. Urban voters outnumber the rural. The only way to reverse the numbers is to have more strict constitutionalists move into the urban areas. That is not happening.

          Rather than exhaust your voters in futile battles, consolidate and become the huge majority where the numbers are in your favor. No one wins by losing “honorable”, but becoming futile casualties in a war for survival.

        • I get what you’re saying, Sam, but you’re thinking like a Democrat — win national, lose local. Plus Virginia isn’t anywhere close to being lost. We’ve been holding the line here — when McAuliffe and Herring tried to revoke our reciprocity, we fought back and won. I get tired of POTG who don’t seem to have any stomach for fighting the difficult (or even the easy) battles of democracy, skittering off to Texas (or Georgia, in HealthyK’s case) when the numbers look grim. Join the VCDL, go to Lobby Day, support the pro-gun reps and look what happens:

        • The US won all the tactical battles in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan; lost the strategic battle.

          VA has a one vote veto over wild-eyed statists; one vote. How long do you expect that to last. VA is also a large importer of people from nations without strong cultures of self-governance. Statists do not want to live in rural areas, so they congregate in the cities (where the freebies are most abundant). Rural populations can never out-vote the cities, but they can consolidate in more friendly rural areas, and be an effective blocking agent.

        • Rokurota, I retired from the Navy in Virginia and lived there for another couple of years for a total of 12 years overall. I was a member of VCDL, went to Lobby Day when I could and talked with different politicians on both sides of the aisle. It was disappointing. 2012 was the first year I voted in Virginia. I stood in line and talked with other voters. The progressive message is strong with them. The urban areas are growing ever faster with an ignorant and lazy population. They will continue to elect Democrats like Morrisey. The rural areas will be out voted. Taxes will continue to increase to pay for progressive policies. Virginia is following the same path as California.

          I now live in South Dakota. I hope to live the remainder of my life in a progressive policy free State. I have my doubts.

        • Sam, we have a one vote majority, IMO, largely due to Trump, and to give credit, to the energized Dems who got out their vote in opposition to him. Republicans need to do the same instead of fussing that their candidate didn’t win the primary. We need optimism and a can-do attitude to drive our strategy, instead of this defeatism. The next election is an opportunity to increase our majority. If we look at it only as a lost cause, then we deserve the bootheel of the state.

        • There is a difference between defeatism and tactical or strategic withdrawal. Hitler tried all that defeatism stuff (as did Stalin), and Leningrad was the result. The latest Repub win was a coin toss in a very tight race (even Steven). The fact that it was tight, and that overall the politics are that much in equilibrium are not factors for eventual victory.

          The tide of demographics are not favorable. DC is surrounded by leftists, liberals and statists. We are not seeing a decline in numbers there. Nothing reported nationally indicates a pending wave of red about to move into Virginia. Once DACA (or whatever) is installed, the next step will be citizen (and Democrat votes) for all the “refugees”, and VA has more than enough to forever rule the state. Repubs are deluded that 30% of the “new citizens” will vote Repub. Their idea of acquiring power is to gather one third of potential new voters, while the rest go to the opposition. Classic display of political victory.

    • This right here. I am a Maryland resident and was considering moving to VA a few years ago. Really happy I didn’t because it is another North East blue state now and it’s only going to get worse as more North East transplants move to the DC area for jobs.

      Slowly making plan to move to TN so I can live out my days in a solid red state.

      • They aren’t just moving to the NoVa area. The state has been infiltrated en mass by a bunch of libs from the northeast. They move to the tidewater and Richmond areas as well. I think we need an immigration ban from the Northeast.

        Also, if the cancer known as northern Virginia could be annexed by DC that would be great. I would venture that less than a quarter of people that live in that area are from here.

        I know I sound cummodgeny but I’m tired of it. The worst part is the libs always beat the drum about how Virginia is a blue state.

  3. Once again, a Democrat has the hots for new restrictions that will make life harder for me, as a law-abiding citizen, while not inconveniencing criminals in the least.

    Not only that, he wants to make life easier for any criminal that might make the “small mistake” of stealing my stuff — a mistake that surely isn’t going to feel small to me if I’m the victim.

    If this is commonsense lawmaking for Democrats, it only goes to prove that stupidity (if they really think this is going to make America a better place) and malice (if they’re smart enough to know what’s really going to happen) are utterly commonplace in the ranks.

    • Curious. VA is so close to DC you’d think some of that respect for the constitution and people’s freedoms DC is known for would have spilled over.

  4. The Dem/progs have the three top offices (Gov, LtGov and AttyGen), but the House of Delegates and the Senate are (barely) still Republican. Additionally, rural Dems are usually pro-gun, so I think that any anti-gun bills will probably die in committee, at least for the next couple of years. Then it depends on the legislative elections to determine who will prevail. VCDL is an effective organization at lobbying and getting the word out to its members and other gun owners. I think that once the gun-owning public sees what the Dem/progs are up to, things will change in our favor. But in 20-25 years, who knows?

    • Sounds a lot like where WA is right now. The Dems are giddy because they finally have the Governor’s office and the state Senate…by a single seat. But committees are still stocked with ranking Republicans, and Democrats who aren’t from the SeaTac urban core have traditionally joined Republicans in killing all the obnoxious anti-gun crap.

      We were undone by our stupid initiative process — which should be exhibit A in why the U.S. was founded as a republic, not a direct democracy. Turns out the legislature actually had more respect for constitutionally protected freedom than the moronic voting majority.

      Now the same totalitarian/progressive fanatics have re-introduced the same anti-gun crap they try every year…and we’ll see the true colors of a lot of Democrats this time around. Hopefully at least two of them still have some respect for the constitution and individual rights — or at least realize that their district will turn on them (as a few certainly will) if they vote for draconian gun control.

      • WA state resident here.
        “Hopefully at least two of them still have some respect for the constitution and individual rights — or at least realize that their district will turn on them (as a few certainly will) if they vote for draconian gun control.”
        Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed!

      • “…which should be exhibit A in why the U.S. was founded as a republic, not a direct democracy.”

        The overall movement to popular election of the president is stronger than understood. And it will not require amending the constitution. States are passing legislation requiring electoral delegates to vote for whomever receives the most popular votes. First, we are at a point where electors in 50 states must all vote for whomever got the most votes in the state (plurality becoming majority). Next, we are seeing pressure to require electors to vote for whomever gets the most popular votes in the nation. This will put the US under the control of the coastal elites and the big cities, effectively converting the US into a democracy.

  5. Just to clarify the once a month handgun law, was for anyone without a carry permit. If you had a permit only your wife and wallet limited you, in that order. It was aimed at (PUN) to cut down straw purchases.

  6. Once upon a time, Virginia schools graduated students that could read and comprehend a simple, straight, forward statement like “…the right of the people shall not be infringed.” Once upon a time Virginians understood what it meant to swear an oath of “…I will support the Constitution of the United States…”, that such an oath was morally binding upon your sacred honor. I was not in Richmond for the inauguration of another democratic governor but was there 2 days later when the Virginia Citizens Defense League held it’s pro-gun rights rally. The turn-out was pitiful, 200-225 by my estimation. A few politicians made speeches that said the right things in the right way. A speech made by victim of spousal abuse talked of how she was not helped by the authorities to make her life safe and of how her life was ultimately destroyed. The whole event was very underwhelming in my eyes. I felt no indignation in the group for wrongs committed to all Virginians and wrongs being planned by the incoming state executives. I felt no spirit of defiance around me. I had a very strong sense of everyone there was just going through the motions. I left the event feeling we were letting our forefathers down, not just the historically famous Virginians, but also the everyday Virginians we all have in our families past. I want to contribute something profound here but just don’t know how to say it.

  7. The senate killed all but one of the anti gun proposals yesterday. The only one to move out to the Finance Committee was the bump stock ban bill. It’s expected to die there.

    The House hears bills tomorrow, and the anti-bills will face the same fate.

    This story is a little outdated.

  8. I call him “numbnuts northam”. He long ago surrendered any ethical standing when he decided that murdering babies was a good thing.

  9. What does the dollar limit matter on felony larceny? Northam, like McCauliffe, would automatically give them their voting (for D) rights and other civic privileges back as soon as their sentence was done. I guess to them it does matter. The criminal could not vote for them while in jail.

    • The felony threshold amount was established at $200 in 1980. Thirty-eight years later, $200 is worth a lot less. The proposal is to push it up to $500. That is in line with what most states have. 34 states have thresholds of $500 (17 states) or $1000 (17 states).

  10. This scalawag successor to infamous Carpetbagger-Governor Terry McAuliffe is soft on crime but tough on teh Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens! No big surprise!

  11. I moved from the Communistwealth to the great state of Alabama after I was rear ended by a teen with a privileged father and I was somehow at fault thousands of dollars later, not to mention the fight for custody that insued which was so against me. I saw the legal system and those appointed for what they were and packed bags, shame too I worked hard to write and voice my opinion on our fading rights in that state I guess all is for not.

  12. Damnit, I’m moving to VA this summer. It’s only for 2-3 years, but if VA goes full retard, I’ll have to store the fun stuff in another state. Just like when I had to move to Massachusetts.


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