Friday, March 6, 2020

Washington Free Beacon: Virginia Gun Sales Surge as Dems Pass Gun Control

Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon writes that firearm sales in Virginia surged as Democrats in the General Assembly were busy passing new gun control laws:
Nearly 66,000 background checks were performed in Virginia in February as the state's Democratic-controlled legislature weighs a number of strict background checks—a steep increase from the 40,381 checks performed in February 2019. Virginia experienced one of the most dramatic upticks in background checks—a strong indicator of total sales—in the nation, according to data released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Gun sales are up nationwide with average growth rates of 16.7 percent, according to the report, but the surge was especially dramatic in Virginia where checks rose by 63.4 percent compared to 2019.

The spike in Virginia gun sales, which have increased for four consecutive months, shows that guns remain at the forefront of many residents' minds. While Democrats dropped a proposal to ban so-called assault weapons after facing public backlash from Second Amendment activists, they have moved forward on seven other gun-control measures; five have already passed through both chambers while two more are slated for a conference committee. The remaining proposals—including a red flag bill, a one-gun-a-month purchase limit, and a universal background check bill—appear to be enough to drive Virginians to their local gun stores.
The story quoted a representative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) as saying the increased sales numbers should send a clear message to lawmakers as they weigh additional restrictions.
"They see that their elected representatives are infringing on their Second Amendment rights and they're buying the firearms they want to provide for their own protection."
The General Assembly is scheduled to wrap-up work tomorrow. A number of bills, including reinstating handgun rationing and a red flag law are already on their way to the Governor. The handgun rationing bill does include an exemption for people who have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) so expect the number of people with permits to increase along with the sales that have already surged.

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