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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Gun Ban Democrats Want to Roll Back Pro-Rights Laws

The Virginia General Assembly gaveled into session yesterday and as of today, there are 38 House bills related to firearms, the vast majority being gun control bills, and 15 in the State Senate, the vast majority being gun control bills.  Besides bills to ban so-called "assault weapons" there are bills to repeal the ability to carry concealed in restuarants like Applebees and Olive Garden - resturants that serve alcohol as well as food.  There are bills that would impose as much as a five-day waiting period (there is also one imposing a three-day wait) before you could complete the purchase of a firearm.  There is a bill that would reinstate the requirement to be fingerprinted to obtain or renew a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).  There is also a bill that would basically repeal the law that was passed during the McAuliffe Administration that undid the attack by Attorney General Mark Herring on Virginia's reciprocity agreements with other states.  This new bill would basically codify the restrictions that Herring attempted by fiat. Herring basically tried to repeal agreements with states that did not have the same disqualifiers for obtaining a permit.  At that time those states included Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Other bills include an attempt to add an additional 5% tax to the purchase of firearms and ammunition and give the money to the Virginia Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program and Fund, a bill that would remove references to the National Rifle Association (the NRA) and the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) from the Code of Virginia that allow the organizations to certify ranges and instructors and for courses offered by them to serve as proof of demonstrated competence in firearms safety and training for the purpose of obtaining a concealed handgun permit or receiving training as a minor in the use of air guns. The bill also repeals authority for NRA special license plates. 

These are just a few of the bills that VSSA wll be fighting this session. You can see the entire list of legislation here.

It is likely our only chance to stop any of the bills will be a heavy lobbying effort to get Governor Youngkin to veto any that land on his desk.  In 2020, the only gun control bill that did not pass was HB961, the "assault weapon" ban bill, because it was killed in the State Senate.  Hoever, by 2023, the three Democrats that stopped that bill voted for a different version of the ban.  Two of those legislators are now gone and replaced by even more anti-rights members.  I would be suprised if there are any Democrats in either chamber that vote against this year's list of gun control.

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