Ralph Northam
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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By Alan Suderman, AP

The Virginia Senate blocked one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s top gun-control bills Monday, adding to the list of measures the Democratic governor supports that may not pass the legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted against a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a way that endangers a minor.

It’s one of eight gun-related proposals that Northam has urged lawmakers to adopt. Virginia has become ground zero in the nation’s raging debate over gun control and mass shootings as a new Democratic majority seeks to enact strict new limits. Last month, tens of thousands of guns-rights activists from around the country flooded the Capitol and surrounding area in protest, some donning tactical gear and carrying military rifles.

Two moderate Democrats — Sens. Creigh Deeds and Chap Petersen — joined with Republicans to defeat the bill Monday over concerns that law-abiding gun owners could be unfairly punished.

A similar measure has already passed the House, and the legislation could still pass the Senate later during this year’s legislative session.

“This bill will keep children safe from loaded, unsecured firearms. Like Gov. Northam’s other commonsense gun safety measures, it is something that everyone — including responsible gun owners — should support,” said Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky.

Lawmakers have already signaled that at least one other Northam-backed gun-control bill — a ban on so-called assault weapons like the popular AR-15-syle rifles — may not pass.

A demonstrator stands on the sidewalk before a pro gun rally, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Richmond, Va. There was a light crowd early morning Monday outside the Capitol ahead of the rally. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Both chambers have passed some of Northam’s proposed gun control measures, and will hash out any differences between their respective versions in coming weeks. Those include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Guns were a key topic of last year’s legislative elections — particularly after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach claimed a dozen lives — and gun-control groups heavily funded Democratic candidates. Democrats won full control of the legislature for the first time in a generation.

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    • He is only allowed four years as governor. To run again he has to sit out an election. So he pushes for everything within his four years.

      This makes it much harder for such a person to get what they want because they can’t sit in office for 8-40 years slowly removing rights. Term limits force the bad politicians to shove the people rather then nudge them.

      You can see how Ralph’s term limit push got thousands to show up opposing hie goals. If he had 8 years he could upset the people a little bit at a time but not enough to get them to stand up.

      • And yet, dems are looking to pass a measure to double his term.

        And the assault weapons ban is scheduled for Friday, contrary to this article.

        The democrats have not conceded defeat. They are moving ahead with their illegal bills.

    • I’m sure there’s a golden parachute in the Bloomberg contract. They can’t lose. For now. But they will be remembered.

      • More likely a “Hunter Biden consultancy” with Bloomberg. A do nothing job with at least a mid 6-figure salary.

        • Southern Cross,

          That is my greatest concern. It is de-facto payola (bribery). Sadly, I cannot see any way to prevent it without jeopardizing/punishing legitimate work/business following political office.

          I keep coming back to a potentially unpopular solution: limiting any single person’s wealth. This is a REALLY hard pill for me to swallow because I am a staunch free-market capitalist and staunchly pro-liberty. I frame this like anti-trust laws. If a business or corporation becomes too large/powerful, they can impose incredibly destructive actions upon society. Well, the same is true for Mega-wealthy people such as Bloomberg who could single-handedly bribe — in perpetuity — our entire federal law-making body (Congress).

          While government obviously has a monopoly on law-making and force, there is some semblance of accountability to the populace through regular elections. There is no such “safety valve” on an unelected and unaccountable individual who can literally buy-off the entire federal law-making body (Congress).

        • Hunter Biden was making a pittance for being on the board, Eric, Don and a Ivanka make much more for their last name board positions.

          Of course one must also consider that Nikki Haley, who as SC Governor steered almost $1 billion (you read that right billion with a B) in subsidies and grants to Boeing and now sits on Boeing’s Board.

          What ‘expertise’ does a politician bring to the table at an aerospace company?

          Of course, as a member of Boeing’s board, she bears direct responsibility for hundreds of deaths because Boeing concealed the Design failures of their 737s.

        • Southern Cross,

          Limiting a person’s income is what Bernie & Co. wants.

          Overturn Citizens United. One vote is not congruent with $1M. Bloomberg has no ethical right to give millions to states he does not reside inas it violates the people’s’ liberty. And make it unconstitutional to violate a state election process and the people’s’ sovereignty by making it a felony to give money to a political person or group outside of one’s state of residence.

          • Except that someone like Bloomberg would then buy a house in all states and have it kept as though he was living there permanently rather than staying in hotels when away from home.

        • Mark, is this the sort of campaign contributions you’re thinking of? In this instance, I completely agree with you, and I think we should impeach any politician who is associating with criminals like this, don’t you?

          “Igor Fruman and and Lev Parnas pleaded not guilty to violating campaign finance laws when they appeared in federal court in New York for their arraignment. Fruman, Parnas and two other men were indicted earlier this month for “engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates.” The indictment alleged the two men did so to “buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”

          Fruman and Parnas, both Soviet-born U.S. citizens, are also tied to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.”

        • I heard Hunter Biden was on 400K per year and just had to occasionally turn up.

          Unfortunately this kind of thing is common in government and procurement where those who worked for the government take a consultancy with one of the benefactors or vendors. Downunder one of our ex Prime Ministers has an indefinite consultancy with an industrial ethanol producer because they were the sole supplier of ethanol for mixing into fuel.

  1. Oh yes more laws will make us safe. Just because the laws we have that were passed to make us safe aren’t working, don’t mean more new ones will not work either, but don’t worry, if they don’t, more laws can be passed to make us safe.

    • it needs to get rid of basically all of them… bar the 2A but make mandatory minimums for the criminal use. Sort of like (i think it was Kenesaw) did and add 10 years on top if a crime was committed with a firearm with no possible early release… this is at a mimimum

      • Can’t agree, Toni. You see… I’m concerned with the act and not the instrument. A robbery or a killing is no less with a blade or a bat. The crime is equally done.
        I would rather that a perpetrator just judge it all too dangerous. Kick rocks, homeboy.

        • yeah i would prefer that too mate. sadly most of those types seem to get off on others pain and fear. maybe the stocks being brought back should be part for the younger offenders with less serious but still ACTUAL crimes

        • The acts of murder or rape or assault or armed robbery are the only things that should be criminalized, not the tool one uses or possesses, as tools have no morals and their use is dependent on the wielder.

          The physical acts should no longer be pled down. They should be capital charges, with minimum sentences. Even then, the government will abuse them, charging citizens with murder who only defended themselves..

          • i definitely agree the charges should not be plead down. hell they should also not be reduced for good behavior and i would throw hard labor into the mix as well… maybe breaking rocks in a quarry. I can see your point though and cant fault your reasoning

      • EXACTLY. How many times do we read of an exempt person with a gun and instead of charging them they plead away the gun charge. People illegally possesing firearms or in possession of illegal firearms should be convicted. Period. I’m all for removing firearms from criminals. Hey maybe they should make a law stating it’s illegal to rob someone at gun point.

        • yes though you can end up with charges/convictions these days that can take away your right due to being classed as a felony that in now way should be. Other than things like rape, assault, murder, robbery where there is an Actual victim there should be no felonys that can take away your right to keep and bear

      • However, it seems that in all of the recent cases I have read up on, these same firearms enhancements are the first things prosecutors are all too happy to plea bargain away. It seems that the purpose of firearms enhancements was not to keep violent criminals from using firearms nor to discourage prohibited felons from using firearms, rather, in addition to punishing other otherwise legal firearms owners more heavily, to give prosecutors another bargaining chip that they could quickly toss once they negotiated their plea bargain.

        • yeah and sadly that is the sort of thing that happens. Maybe we should also be stringing up a few of these lawyers and judges in the town square. Another part of the problem is lazy cops who dont want to do the hard work of finding the crims. Why do you think there is so much emphasis on the public helping them find suspects. A big part of that is quite closely related to the way it worked in the soviet union where friends and neighbours and even family members would dob you in if you expressed views contrary to what was approved. Red flag laws are another big incursion towards that

  2. Kansas City Chiefs and the Missouri Jayhawks, ,,good gawd Mr.President get a clue about the country you run.. betcha this post gets deleted. A 1911 Glock, there fixed it

      • And if the New England Patriots would have won the SuperBowl I suppose Mr. President would have congratulated the Great State of New England

        • For sure. That’s one of the greatest issues facing this country. The location of sports teams and the politicians who don’t know where they’re located. I also heard that all the players on the Houston Texans aren’t really from Texas. It’s a FAR RIGHT conspiracy.

        • Dan, I even heard one president thought there were 57 states in the union, and then he thought he visited them all…

          This is a true story,

          Sincerely Barry Soto

        • It’s not about location of sports teams. It’s about s man pretending he’s a big sports fan to get the votes and not knowing what he is talking about. In other words that man is a fool playing tools and the tools are too blind to see the truth

        • And the myth that the last Super Bowl was held in Miami. It wasn’t.
          The game was played no where near Miami and many miles from Miami Beach, yet our communities had to suffer the brunt of this.

  3. Tomorrow (04 FEB) is a big day. If you are in the Richmond area, show up to the Pocahontas building to have a presence. They will be discussing some of the awful gun bills that will truly end the 2A in VA. If you can’t own weapons most effective against criminals and tyrants, then your rights are effectively stripped and the government is saying that they own you. We have to keep up the pressure on the gun bills until Friday in the committees. There are also other bills they want to pass that don’t deal with guns that will turn Virginia into East California.

  4. Wanna keep kids safe when there’s firearms in the house?
    -Teach them the ‘4 rules’ and explain why they’re so important.
    -show them your guns and let them handle them (under supervision)
    -take them out back, or to the range, and let them shoot them. Work them up from the smallest to the largest they are comfortable with, or can safely handle.
    -shoot some melons or something to show that they can be fun but also that there is a lot of destructive power there.
    If you take away the mystery and teach them responsible handling the odds of a tragic mishap drop to near zero.

    • spot on mate. kids are naturally inquisitive and they will find a way to play with and investigate anything that is verboten. take away the verboten and make it so all they have to do is ask and follow your instructions and suddenly 99% of the risk and danger surrounding firearms and kids disappears. It is the same with most other things too. Wrapping kids up in bubble wrap is the worst thing you can do as they learn nothing and end up the wining sooks we see today. Will also add that sometimes a good hiding is needed to show there are consequences to bad actions and to get there attention focused back where it should be

      • I agree with you this time and maybe add that the young’uns don’t need helicopter parents. Most need to earn a few bruises.

        • yep a few bruises and broken bones wont kill them. Most helicopter parents are the ones that wrap the kids in cotton wool. I would be taking them out working on the farm…. get a splinter… sure we stop for a min, dig it out and get back to work. minor cut same thing, major cut but not life threatening, yep treat it with good first aid and if stitches required put them in. Not a big deal. No time for sitting around sooking and winging.
          BTW i got on a horse I was breaking in once not realizing i had a tailbone that was broken in 2 places. I rode it to a standstill despite being on the verge of passing out. Once i got off they had to get the doctor to come see me cos i knew there was not much the doctors could do and would not go see the doctor because of that.

      • “…a good hiding…” seemed counterintuitive until i realized.
        you mean like hide tanning.

      • Same here. My son has known I own firearms since he was 2, has been going to the range with me since he was 3, and has been interested in shooting since 5. He’s nearly 12 and can start shooting soon. He is now influencing by purchases as it must be something he can use too. We’ve decided on the Ruger Precision Rimfire and luckily someone at the range had one to show us.

        My son has only had to ask and I will show him. We repeat the 4 rules several times over when traveling to and from the range. And he practices his athletic throwing events while I’m competing or cleaning.

        • yep exactly mate. good to hear your son takes a keen interest. Dad never went to the range, if he shot at targets at all it was a bit of paper 100 yards away on the farm and then he was just working up a load. He only reloaded to save money where i quickly learned to see far more advantages to reloading than he did.

          it is a shame we are not in the US or still have the same regulations we used to have when i was growing up. so long as you did no harm you could do pretty much as you liked which is how it should be

  5. What’s with this clown and his desire for felonies? His senate may just tell him to really kiss off because he’s violating the Constitution.

    • Distracted and reckless driving laws have been a thing everywhere for a very long time.
      That hasn’t stopped states from enacting “texting while driving” laws.
      The #1 job of any legislature seems to be reinventing the wheel in perpetuity. Not unlike Hollywood.

    • Mine used to not post. I figured it was the eff bee eye or sea aye a interrogating my post.to get the dirt on me

  6. Interesting that Creigh Deeds sides with the Republicans. Maybe a primary challenge against the proggies coming up? Deeds, for those who don’t know, was a losing candidate for governor, later stabbed by a mentally ill son who then killed himself. A highly public failure of the mental health non-system.

  7. Since this full fledged libitards term limited. If there aren’t too many imports to the states Northern 3 counties that carried the election. As in all big states a small libitard population pushed the rest of the state around.
    If the rest of the state gets off its fat butts next time around vote them out and change the laws back to what the real people want.
    Its a very simple process in most of the east coast states. Get out and vote.
    Its what we have to do here in Florida. Vote out the RHINOs and all the Northern imports screwing things up.

  8. “Guns were a key topic of last year’s legislative elections — particularly after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach claimed a dozen lives — and gun-control groups heavily funded Democratic candidates. Democrats won full control of the legislature for the first time in a generation”

    And the liberal socialist scum exploit tragedy every time. The tin foil hat crowd believes all of these events are secret plots run by the government, it’s getting harder to make fun of those theories.

  9. Damage control, pure and simple.

    Just think, the new Democratic majority could have enacted

    * Medicare for all
    * criminal justice reform

    but instead chose to focus on gun control.

    • ”Medicare for all”

      So you think a state legislature can have jurisdiction over a federal program? You’re just like Donald Trump, who said no one really knew this healthcare could be so difficult, hilarious.

      And the fact is, in 2008 to 2010, when the Democrats did hold both houses of Congress and the presidentcy, they did not go for gun control. In fact, they did Expand healthcare to cover more Americans.

      But don’t worry, Donald Trump and Republicans have already signaled their desire to cut Medicare so there are some changes coming your way, brace yourself!

      • Intermediate jurisdictions, smaller than The Feds, bigger than individual — er individuals — are a thing.

        VA should go implement whatever state health progams they want (within prohibitions of federal law.) It’s not like they’re shy about doing state-wide stuff. (I do believer the “within prohibitions…” part is required. No “health care for the right folks, but not Those People.” VA has a history of excluding citizens they dont’t like from protections and services. There was a war about mostly this…)

        • Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but…

          /Virginiacare ain’t Novel or Hard

          It doesn’t even take a whole state. Even smaller metros are big enough to have purchasing leverage and make legit statistical universes. I can name two that based on local economy, and local preferences had, and have, locally more expansive “health care” services and support of various kinds.(*)

          Virginia could, and if they want should, go enact “Virginiacare for all Virginians” within their jurisdiction, with whatever terms n services they like. Indeed they’d have greater flexibility to tailor to exactly what they want, without requiring agreement of any distant, differnt or deplorable others.

          So, go for it. Call it what you want. BTW, how’s Mass Rommneycare working out for them? Is this perhaps the problem — it just doesn’t work? No amount of Fauxcohantis figurin’ will make reality come out other than … well reality gets its own vote, no matter what you want. Or want to promise.

          I think Governor Blackface should maybe consider that imposing his — or his patron’s — preferences on people who will peacefully rally outside the fences he put up to provoke them, 22,000 at once, in the cold, might not be such a great idea. Certaily, there’s a difference in understanding of the “support” for the agenda, which seems to have penetrated the skulls of some of the VA legi-critters, despite the folks with that particular wrongthink being kept from petition of grievances by fences. Fences they were charged to erect. Just like the “govt shutdown” fences at the DC WW-II memorial. They had money to put up fences, but not to keep the memorial open. That seems to be priorities, not funding.

          The good news is, we can, no, we should and must, expect Gov Pointy Hat to show the same diligence in providing “safety” around other ralleys n lobbying. Like bandanna-masked jackbooted thugs anti-fu-fu-fu-ing burning cars, smashing storefronts, n braining (small, gay, Vietnamese-American but who’s keeping oppressed group score) journalists. Fences. Metal detectors. Bans on all the things. Snipers in overwatch. Law enforcemenet rousting people 100’s of miles away. There’s so much he can do.

          (*) One in particular smaller city, thought deep in “red” territory had a disproportionatly large gay population *during peak AIDS.* Health coverage, local delivery, and partner laws were all more “liberal” than most places. Gay folks relocated, n worked there, including partners securing coverage for their partners. Never any pushback. Didn’t collapse the economy either.

      • But don’t worry, Donald Trump and Republicans have already signaled their desire to cut Medicare so there are some changes coming your way, brace yourself!

        During the drought, the state of California cut water usage to ensure there would be water next year.

        Same principle applies here.

  10. I’m thinking some Dims actually paid attention to the Rally and the 2A Sanctuary of practically the entire State and are now worried about their re-election chances.
    It’s called play it safe and CYA.

    • They’re worried about the 2021 Governor Race, including Lt. Governor and State AG races. The VA Legislative Democrats will be able to Gerrymander themselves into Majority Status after the 2020 Census, but looking at VA’s Population Geography, they won’t be able to hit Supermajority Status.

      If they lose the Statewide Office in 2021, the Legislature Gains of 2019 become moot, and basically null and void for 2021.

  11. It’s great to see the 19 Senate Republicans standing strong on these. VA cannot afford to lose any of them.

  12. This Ignoranus should NOT have ANY protective services available to him that he is seeking to DEPRIVE EVERYDAY CITIZENS OF HAVING THEMSELVES!

  13. Seems like all is not lost, maybe. The current legislative session has a while to go though, as has been noted. Otherwise, something that Virginians might trouble to remember, elections, including those that were not participated in, have consequences.

  14. “Military rifles”? What a load of crap from the AP writer; no military force on Earth has ever been issued AR-15s.

  15. “This bill will keep children safe from loaded, unsecured firearms. Like Gov. Northam’s other commonsense gun safety measures, it is something that everyone — including responsible gun owners — should support,”

    If it’s common sense then you have no need to tell us that it is, unless you’re a liar.

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