Virginia House passes gun-control measures

Del. Don Scott, Jr., D-Portsmouth, foreground, and other Democratic colleagues look up at the voting board as they vote to pass one of a number of gun-related bills during the floor session of the Virginia House of Delegates inside the State Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia House of Delegates has passed several pieces of gun-control legislation, but some of the measures face an uncertain future in the more conservative Senate.

The Democrat-led House approved seven gun measures Thursday, largely along party lines. The legislation will now go to the Senate for a vote, which has already passed its version of some of the measures but has shown signs that others may not survive. Both chambers are controlled by Democrats, but the Senate is the more conservative of the two chambers on gun issues.

Virginia has become ground zero in the nation's raging debate over gun control and mass shootings as a new Democratic majority has pledged to put strict new limits in place.

“For too many years this body has put the convenience of gun owners above all else,” said Democratic Del. Patrick Hope.

The new majority's agenda has spark ed an immense backlash. Last week, tens of thousands of guns-rights activists from around the country flooded the Capitol and surrounding area in protest, some donning tactical gear and military rifles.

Republicans said Democrats are rushing legislation without thinking through unintended consequences, and law-abiding gun owners will be unfairly penalized.

“Once you lose one freedom, you tend to lose your other freedoms,” said Republican Del. John McGuire.

Both chambers will hash out any differences between their respective gun-control measures in coming weeks. The proposed bills 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.

But other measures passed by the House and pushed by Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, have not passed the Senate and may not be able to secure a majority vote there. Those include a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm" in a way that endangers children and a bill requiring gun owners to report any firearms that are lost or stolen.

Democratic Sen. John Edwards, head of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, said he wasn't sure if those bills would pass the Senate, or if he supports them himself.

“I don't know,” he said.

Several Senate Democrats have already said they are unlikely to back the governor's ban on so-called assault weapons, such as the popular AR-15-style rifles — a key part of Northam's gun-control package. The House version of the bill has also not advanced.

The assault weapons legislation has drawn the fiercest pushback, as gun-rights advocates accuse Democrats of wanting to confiscate such rifles from current gun owners. Northam has said he has no interest in doing so.

An estimated 8 million AR-style guns have been sold since they were introduced to the public in the 1960s. The weapons are known as easy to use, easy to clean and easy to modify with a variety of scopes, stocks and rails.

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.

Gun owners, meanwhile, have descended on local government offices to demand they establish sanctuaries for gun rights. More than 100 counties, cities and towns have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and vowed to oppose any new “unconstitutional restrictions” on guns.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(69) comments

hardworkingamerican

Of course this is going to the Supreme Court where it will be struck down. Now an update, the Social Communist Democratic Party can't even count their own corrupt votes in Iowa. What a joke. Does the country want to surrender it's freedom to this Socialist party where you are told what you can do, when you can do it and more importantly how much you are going to get paid for it? The new Social Communist Democratic Party is working with Russian bots, just ask Hilary when talking about Gabbard, to tear our Republic apart. Fortunately we have a President that will not let that happen. Thank goodness he is there for African Americans, Women, Hispanics, Asians and all who want to have the choice to live the American dream. This is nothing more than people sneaking into your home in the dead of night to take your rights away from you. Turn VA red for life and stop the Socialist Communist Democratic Party from allowing Russia to annex America. Not on Trump's watch. Trump 2020 all the way, and the House and more in the Senate. Clothes are off the Democrats as they unveil their new parties goals. Vote Trump to Keep America Great, Keep America Safe, Keep America Prosperous, Keep America America and of course thank you Donald Trump for keeping your campaign promises. The only President to ever do so, even though Democrats worked with Russia to try and impeach you before you even announced you were running. Wow the swamp is very deep, but we can drain it.

amerigirl

What would the Supreme Court strike these laws down on? You can say 'of course' all you want, but there has to be grounds. Maybe you should learn the definition of some of the terminology you use, it doesn't make any sense. What conspiracy theorist told you that Dems were working with Russian bots? You think that Trump is pro African Americans,83% think he is a racist. They are so desperate to get their votes they are handing out cash to them. Thank God the second event that was suppose to be here in VA was postponed. Women, have you seen the tape and the accusations of sexual misbehavior? Hispanics, he has a 79% disapproval rating among Hispanics, 57% want him removed from office. Probably because he calls migrants rapists, criminals and drug traffickers. Asians, maybe, he thinks they are all smart, too bad he tried to throw refugees from Nepal out of the country. and In early 2017, he detained over 200 Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian permanent residents across the country, causing widespread fear for many Asian communities.

Why don't you just make some posters and put them on your front lawn instead of politicking in an op-ed? And please give some info on who misled you with the Russian nonsense. Also who is taking your rights away? Paranoid delusions.

Jeanne T

"Why don't you just make some posters and put them on your front lawn instead of politicking in an op-ed?"

Now that's rich coming from you.

"paranoid delusions"

Are you a psychiatrist? Do you have credentials in the mental health profession?

amerigirl

Jeanne, What makes you think that you have to be mentally ill to have "paranoid delusions"?

Paranoia is an instinct or thought process which is believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. People afraid of things like thunderstorms are not mentally ill. Delusions are fixed beliefs that seem real to you, even when there's strong evidence they aren't. Like someone saying that they are out to get their guns and soon will outlaw their knives and fists, when there are federal and state laws that protect them from that happening

Paranoid delusions, also called delusions of persecution, reflect profound fear and anxiety along with the loss of the ability to tell what's real and what's not real. Can you

amerigirl

Jeanne, Sorry the last part didn't print, Can you honestly say that that is not happening with workhard?

amerigirl

loudoun1965, you did not I simply restated comments I made. You made up lies about what I said. That is called slander. I guess you like how it sounded, so I think you should prove it, go back and see if you can find any of the lies you made up about me in any of the old posts. When you can’t you should apologize to me. I could take some of your statements and twist them, but I find that a disgusting, low and typically fascist.

Loudoun1965

Fascist? The logical deduction is that you've made so many comments regarding firearms that you've actually forgotten what you've said. Much like the Trump impeachment, it's not up to me to prove your guilt; it's up to you to prove your innocence.

amerigirl

That is stupid. I know what I do, I know how I live my life and that doesn’t change with how many posts I make. I have said what I do and you are the one who is trying to say that it is something else. You are not me and have no clue how often I practice so you made up your own version of ‘occasionally’’. I have not forgotten; in fact, you can click on the persons name and it will give you past posts. Much like the Trump impeachment, where the lawyers and trump made mass amounts of political contributions to the GOP Senators and refused to hand over documents and witnesses, it was still proven. Many senators said that what he did was wrong but he would learn from it. That doesn’t make it any less a violation of the Constitution. Fascist? Yep, oppressive, intolerant, chauvinist, genocidal, dictatorial, racist, or aggressive.

Jeanne T

Don't be so sensitive. Typing in caps looks like you're yelling and coming unhinged. It undermines your credibility and makes you look like exactly the kind of person you yourself believe should not have access to firearms.

LoudounPulse

The red flag bill is nothing more than a backdoor to the government taking your guns. Its a law that grants the Government power to seize your property without due process, simply because some official deems you dangerous (even though you may not have broken a single law).

I assure you this red flag law will be going to the Supreme Court the first time it is used. There is no way anybody can take your guns without you being convicted of a crime and going through the whole legal process, not some backend rubber stamp by a political hack.

amerigirl

totally paranoid rant. Not based on any factual info.

Jeanne T

amerigirl, is everyone who disagrees with you paranoid and conspiratorial? LOL

Jeanne T

"Where has it already happened?"

Florida.

"You still haven't said how the law makes you a criminal in 1 day."

Nope, I haven't.

Jeanne T

Do you possess the appropriate mental health credentials that qualify you to diagnose others as paranoid?

Jeanne T

"There is no way anybody can take your guns without you being convicted of a crime and going through the whole legal process, not some backend rubber stamp by a political hack."

But they can sure make trouble for you the moment someone who does't like you and decides to be vindictive decides to notify a threat assessment unit in the local law enforcement that something you said verbally or on social media frightens you (because that's all you need as a reason), and LEOs in tactical gear show up at your doorstep to check you out. And you'll likely have to wait a few weeks to obtain the report that is filed to discover who contacted the authorities (because you won't be told at the time if you ask), even if you're cleared. And for the simpletons who post here (and we know who you are) who think such laws could never be abused (or who use the "there must have been a good reason for the authorities to be called, otherwise they wouldn't have come" card), it has already happened.

amerigirl

I don't think you understand how red flag laws work, They can't do anything about a vindictive person, you are still entitled to free speech on line but you can not post threats, just as it is illegal to threaten someone. I don't know why you would think "that's all you need as a reason", it takes alot more than that. It would allow law enforcement officers to confiscate guns from or prevent the purchase of firearms by people deemed to be threats to themselves or others after it has been approved by a judge. Maybe a simpleton would believe otherwise, but the law is the law and it is written in black and white and opinions won't change the real meaning of the law. Where has it already happened? You still haven't said how the law makes you a criminal in 1 day.

EdMyers

This concern about due process is exactly the concern on the other side as gun owners offer no due process before killing their victims. At least gun owners get their guns back when the red flag process determines there is no justification. Parents don't get their children back when gun owners "mistakenly" kill because of mental illness or whatever. Too many children have been killed by gun owners.

Loudounest

Hate to rain on your parade but 17 other US states today have Red Flag laws similar or more restrictive than Virginia. Guess the Supreme Court didn't know that? Go for it!

amerigirl

And Red-flag gun laws have been shown to reduce firearm suicide rates, with one suicide averted for every 10 to 20 gun removals. Every life is precious.

Jeanne T

"The laws do NOT penalize law-abiding citizens."

The laws passed on one day can make the previous day's law abiding citizens into criminals.

amerigirl

How?

Matthew

Does not matter now, did not make it past the senate. Good for them.

Jeanne T

Put on your thinking cap, amerigirl. Perhaps you'll actually have an enlightened thought.

EdMyers

Thanks to all those out-of-staters who came to Virginia armed to the teeth with talk of violent insurrection … it backfired. Next time rally without the guns and the apocalyptic language because that Trump-style bullying produced the opposite of what you wanted.

bluedog20175

Except it actually didn't happen. Get your facts straight. The Richmond rally was peaceful, law-abiding, and diverse. People across the political spectrum from all races, genders, religions came together in Richmond to protest the Legislature's unconstitutional frenzy into supposed gun control measures that will have no impact on gun crime in Virginia, but penalize law-abiding citizens. FBI court filings just this week showed that the arrests in Maryland were not people who were coming to the protest afterall and the Governor orchestrated the entire "state of emergency."

EdMyers

The were pictures of lots of people with large guns not appropriate for hunting or protecting one's home. Those guns were not needed for a rally other than to intimidate. In those pictures were signs threatening violence should the laws regulating firearms affect said gun owner.

Are you saying those pictures are fake?

Violence didn't happen because counter-protesters disengaged in fear for their lives. The rally was not peaceful because violence was the core message.

amerigirl

Did you watch the news? Why do you think it was alright for people from other states to try and interfere in our state politics? If they want to make a political statement then they should hold their protest in Washington, not invade states. The laws do NOT penalize law-abiding citizens. Other than that being a favorite gun rally song, can you say how that would be true? Also the only place you will hear about the FBI saying that those people had no intentions of going to the rally was the 'daily caller', and if you click on the tweet they are using as proof, it proves just the opposite'. The Governor acted on the info and suggestions he was given. There is no conspiracy there except the ones that have been made up.

Jeanne T

"Parents don't get their children back when gun owners "mistakenly" kill because of mental illness or whatever. Too many children have been killed by gun owners."

Parents don't get their children back when illegal immigrants kill them with firearms (no doubt obtained illegally) or while driving drunk. Too many children have been killed by individuals who are in this country illegally.

Jeanne T

Well said, Loudoun1965.

Happily, those who have the gun fetish are losing their ability to inflict their insanity on the rest of us. This reeling in of NRA nuttery is long overdue. Kudos to Virginians for making this happen.

gbay926

Well said! I look to a long period where reasoning folks prevail

Jeanne T

"Jesus wants me armed to the teeth, amirite Brother Mitch?"

You mean armed with spiritual weapons, amirite, MAGA?

amerigirl

What is a spiritual weapon? Please explain your post.

Jeanne T

What is a gun fetish? LOL

Jeanne T

"Happily, those who have the gun fetish are losing their ability to inflict their insanity on the rest of us."

Is someone taking away our guns?

amerigirl

That would have nothing to do with taking away guns.

Loudounest

I would like to thank President Trump for the beginning of updating the gun management in Virginia and making it a safer place to live. Trump? If it wasn't for him in 2016 and his GOP platform there probably wouldn't have been the blue waves in 2016 & 2018 as voters sent elected officials to Richmond that shared their views on guns, ERA as well as diversity in our legislative government. Hold on there will be plenty more changes to come.

Duncan Idaho

Gee, if only the Republicans hadn't hitched their wagon to Donald J. Trump, maybe Virginia would still be a red state.

It's OK, GOP, once the voters remove Trump from office in November, you can begin the necessary soul searching and the healing can begin. Maybe there wil be a time when you're relevant again.

#600SeatsLostUnderTrump

Loudoun4Trump

Trump will win in a landslide in 2020 after the Russian hoax, impeachment farce, Kavanaugh debacle, stormy, avenatti, Bolton, lev, on and on....anyone with half a brain knows democrats/media (I repeat myself) are liars and have zero credibility....I suspect the Trump GOP will pick up a senate seat or two and some house seats...GOP is losing seats bc they put the same losers up and people like me will vote democrat than for a lame GOPer like Collins, flake, romney, etc.... already picked up a house seat with van drews switching party's....TRUMP 2020....all aboard......keep on winning.....

Duncan Idaho

Yeah, keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

bluedog20175

And a solid economy, job numbers up, new trade deals working and illegal immigration being curtailed. Certainly nobody want the economy to tank or taxes to go up, something the Democrats in Richmond are showing as their agenda every day. But hey, Democrats are making it illegal to criticize the government, curtail the First Amendment in Virginia. Where have we seen the government stifle dissent? What was the outcome?

Duncan Idaho

Trump stifles dissent all the time. Just watch what happens when State TV (FOX) dares to interview a Democrat. Trump's Twitter feed goes berzerk.

More Cowbell

You forgot to add all the indictments coming to those involved with FISA warrant. expect about a dozen. Can't wait to see Comey and McCabe doing time.

romano

yes, no doubt the Supreme Court will strike down several of these laws eventually. An unintended consequence of this liberal rash of laws will be to fire up gun owners across the country for the general election in 2020. It is in fact a gift for President Trump. In key battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc where there are large numbers of gun owners, they watching what happens when Democrats win elections. An already enthusiastic Trump voting bloc will be rabid with fear by November. Thank you VA Dems!

MAGAHAHAhahahaha

Elections have consequences.

And years of gleefully preventing ANY gun control measures by the Republicans in Virginia has its consequences.

Loudoun4Trump

Next headline will read, US Supreme Court finds laws unconstitutional. If anyone thinks any of this makes them safer they are delusional and only fooling themselves....

amerigirl

Why wouldn't it make them safer? How would you expect the Supreme Court to find it unconstitutional? It Is very constitutional. I think you are the one fooling yourself if you think we should do nothing about the gun violence in our country.

workhardgetahead

I think we need to do something about Democrats in this country.

Chris McHale

It doesn't make them safer because if I were planning to kill someone or many people there is nothing approved that would stop .me from doing so.

BTW - I agree with some of these proposed laws to include securing guns around kids and reporting a lost or stolen weapon (assuming it requires the individual to know the weapon has been lost or stolen)

Loudoun4Trump

Because criminals DO NOT follow the law....Dems want to give felons with gun crimes voting rights and take away rights from law abiding citizens....not very smart and completely backwards...the only law that may pass muster id the universal background check which is already done so really a law already on the books....the others ban commerce and ban citizens rights......just look at Chicago that was the toughest gun laws....how's that working out for them.....not good!

Loudoun1965

amerigirl, it's completely contradictory for you to lecture anyone on the concept of gun safety. You have previously stated that you own a gun. You also stated that you do not like to shoot it because, while your husband does take you occasionally to the range, you don't like how loud it is because you have sensitive hearing. While that may sound like a reasonable excuse to you, it actually reveals that you are a safety issue when it comes to firearms. Here's why: If you have a firearm in your home for self-protection as guaranteed by the Constitution, then you have a huge responsibility which comes with that right, and that responsibility is to be capable of handing the firearm in a safe manner. Should you actually need to access and present the firearm in an emergency, you, by admission, would actually be more dangerous than someone who is presenting the danger to you, like a home invader or robber. So, you're left with two choices: practice regularly with your firearm so that you are not afraid of it as you have indicated you are, or get rid of it. But your constant challenges and google search statistics mean absolutely nothing to the multitude of gun owners in this state who do adhere to the safety rules of practice and storage, permit holders, hunters, and virtually everyone else who sees this as an attack on our rights as the law abiding citizens we are. You are in no danger from us; I, for one, am definitely concerned about anyone who owns a gun and has no idea how to use it. Being a "good shot" at the range, as you also stated in another post, has literally nothing to do with gun safety, especially in an emergency. But the overarching issue is that these new law proposals are not addressing any issues concerning unlawful gun ownership or criminal behavior; they are a blatant attack on regular, law abiding citizens who happen to own the most popular guns in America. If yours is not a revolver, this will soon apply to you as well.

amerigirl

workhardgetahead here what you do about democrats, keep electing them.

workhardgetahead

No Amerigirl, we need ban democrats. I served in the military for 20 years. When I joined back in 1984 the Soviet Union and Communism were our enemy. Sorry to say, you and your ilk have evolved into Communist. You are the enemy now. Look who leads your polls for the nomination for President, Bernie, the Communist, Sanders.

amerigirl

Loudoun1965, Telling lies about me?? Can you stick to facts instead of slander? Who did I lecture on gun safety? Are you saying that my 2 questions and 1 statement qualify as a lecture?

And look WHO IS LECTURING! No, I don’t like shooting and I never said my husband took me “occasionally to the range”. If you read my whole statement you would also know that I am very accurate. Also, you have NO clue how often I practice, Right? Do you know how often I clean my gun? Do you know what safety procedures I have in my home? YOU KNOW NOTHING! Do NOT lecture me on how what know about handling a gun when you know are ignorant of any of the facts. YOU LIE about me when you said, if I actually need to access and present the firearm in an emergency, would actually be more dangerous than someone who is presenting the danger to you. How is that since YOU know nothing about me or my use of guns? And what is this “you, by admission”? Please find that statement and stop lying. DO NOT give ultimatums on things you know absolutely nothing about.

Jeanne T

"It Is very constitutional."

Why is it constitutional? Please be specific. You're making assertions without providing any basis or context for them.

Loudoun1965

amerigirl, I simply restated comments you've made in previous posts regarding firearms. If you don't like how it sounds, don't say it.

MAGAHAHAhahahaha

Of the laws passed, which ones do you think will not survive a challenge on constitutional grounds?

Jeanne T

Why don't you tell us?

amerigirl

All

amerigirl

Jeanne, none of these laws are unconstitutional. You have not lost your right to guns. There is nothing in the Constitution that says there is an unlimited right to have what ever you want. There are many weapons that the public is not allowed to own including ghost guns, sawed off shotguns. Firearm owners are subject to the firearm laws of the state they are in.

EvilHomer

Tremendous start! And I hope the AG arrests any rogue Sheriff who refuses to follow the oath they took to uphold the law.

MitchT

The Sheriffs are not rogue, the legislators and governor are. The Constitution is a higher law than the State's laws, and God's law is higher than both. If a Sheriff enforces a law that is unconstitutional, THEN he is rogue.

It's so sad that people want to waste so much time and money making it harder for law-abiding citizens while doing NOTHING to stop criminals, NOTHING to even try to figure out and address the real causes of gun violence.

The Washington Post has a nice section on gun homicides in the region. You can easily see how the places with FEWER people and MORE RESTRICTIVE gun laws have much higher homicide rates than the more populated NoVA, with less restrictive gun laws. Why is that? And you can't say they are getting guns in VA because it's so easy.... because those same guns don't seem to be causing all that homicide in VA--the guns don't know where they are. Why do the people of DC and MD shoot each other more? I'm guessing you don't care, because you support laws that will have no effect except maybe make it worse here.

amerigirl

Come on Mitch, tell us how the legislators and governor are rogue. They ran on the platform of gun control and they are doing what the people elected them to do. Everyone knows the Constitution is a higher law than the State's laws, but atheists like me will disagree with you on the God's law thingy. If you think doing NOTHING to stop criminals, NOTHING to even try to figure out and address the real causes of gun violence, then you haven’t been paying attention. Please tell me how people waste so much time and money making it harder for law-abiding citizens? You still will have your right under the 2nd. Much of the crime rate has to do with the poverty rate not how many people there are in that area. People in NOVA are generally not as poor as those in high crime areas. They can just go buy what they want even if they need to save up for a couple of weeks. In DC and pars of MD they shoot each other and they have a higher poverty rate. Please explain how laws that will have no effect except maybe make it worse here

Jesus wants me armed to the teeth, amirite Brother Mitch?

Jeanne T

Sheriffs and police officers took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

marv

There is NO law including "Total Confiscation" that will stop criminal behavior. Restrictive gun laws will only affect the law abiding and aid the perpetrator. No, then explain why Vermont and New Hampshire are safer than Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore or D.C.. And until Bloomberg gets his way Virginia vs Maryland. Gun

Free Zones mean no resistance for the crook.

Jeanne T

Right you are.

amerigirl

There is NO law including "Total Confiscation" that anyone is trying to pass. Who is trying to take all your guns away? That is just a mantra that the NRA has used for years.

LoudounClear

Keep it coming. There are a number of smart changes we can make to gun laws to keep everyone safer and still let those who enjoy guns continue to do so.

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