Monday, July 8, 2019

Governor Northam's Gun Control Op/Ed in Virginia Pilot

Governor Ralph Northam had this Op/Ed in yesterday's Virginian Pilot.  He starts out by saying there is a "gun violence emergency" in the Commonwealth, then lays out what he want's in this week's special session:
I will ask lawmakers to do things I’ve asked them to do in the past.

I will ask them to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. I’ll ask them to make background checks universal — a policy that 90 percent of the public supports. I will ask for an Extreme Risk Protective Order law — a way for law enforcement to ask a court to keep guns away from someone who poses a substantial danger to themselves or others, a concept supported by President Donald Trump’s School Safety Task Force. I will join President Trump in supporting bans on silencers and bump stocks.

I will ask legislators to reinstate Virginia’s successful “One Handgun a Month” policy, first enacted under former Gov. Doug Wilder. Being one of the top states for gun trafficking is not something to be proud of.

I will ask for tougher penalties for anyone who leaves a loaded gun around a child, and to require anyone whose gun has been stolen to report the theft within 24 hours.

And I will ask to give localities more authority to regulate firearms, including in their own government buildings.
Northam repeated his call for the full Assembly to debate the measures and made the dishonest claim that subcommittees meeting in early hours have killed his bills in the past.  The House subcommittee that has defeated Northam's gun ban proposals meet in the afternoon, almost after work hours (4:00 PM), making it easier for people to attend, and every one of those bills had a thorough hearing with people from both sides having their say.  He also uses a dishonest number to illustrate the number of people who died in violence involving a firearm.  Northam said that 1000 have died from "gun violence this year - more than the 900 killed in automobile incidents, but that 1000 includes suicides, which is a completely different issue and requires different solutions than criminal use of a firearm.

The gun ban bills he listed have finally started appearing on the Legislative Information System.  It should be noted that this time, the bill to reinstate handgun rationing would move us back to pre-2004 days.  In 2004 the law was amended to exempt individuals possessing a concealed handgun permit.  The House and Senate bills have removed that provision.

The bills that have been introduced to date are below.

  • HB 4001 Right to keep and bear arms.
  • HB 4002 Concealed handguns; carrying with a permit by employees of any agency of the Commonwealth, etc.
  • HB 4003 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties.
  • HB 4004 Handguns; limitation on purchases, exceptions, penalty.
  • HB 4005 Control of firearms by localities.
  • HJ 4001 Gun Violence Awareness Day.
  • SB 4001 Control of firearms; chambers of local governing bodies.
  • SB 4002 Handguns; limitation on purchases, exceptions, penalty.
Please continue to contact legislators and urge them to support HB4001 and HB4002, then ask them to oppose HB4003, HB4004, HB 4005, HJ4001 SB4001 and SB4002.  Expect more bills to drop.

You can find the members of House Militia Police and Public Safety by clicking here.  You can click here for the members of Senate Courts of Justice.

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