Virginia Democrats Propose Firearm Ban Bills
In Virginia, the rights of gun owners are under siege once again. Following a narrow victory that prevented a ban on common semi-automatic rifles in 2020, Virginia gun owners are facing renewed threats with the Democrats’ slim one-vote majority in the state House of Delegates and state Senate. The proposed bills, SB2 and HB2, aim to ban a wide range of commonly used firearms and standard-capacity magazines. These measures not only infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners but also potentially violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen ruling.
The early introduction of these gun bills as the second measure of the year in both the House and Senate reveals the Democrats’ zealous anti-gun agenda. It’s ironic and telling that the first measures introduced were pro-abortion bills, highlighting the party’s radical priorities. Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), rightly pointed out the significance of the early introduction of these measures, warning that gun control would be a top priority for anti-gun lawmakers. His cautionary words echoed the fears of many gun owners that a loss in the elections would lead to an aggressive push for an assault weapon ban and the extension of red-flag laws.
The new bills are more insidious than their 2020 predecessor. While they include a grandfather clause allowing current owners to keep their banned firearms and magazines, the prohibition on purchasing new semi-auto rifles that meet the ban criteria or magazines holding more than 10 rounds after July 1, 2024, is a clear infringement on the rights of Virginians. This ban would effectively strip future generations of their right to own these firearms and limit current owners’ options to replace or upgrade their guns.
Van Cleave aptly criticized the misleading nature of the grandfather clause, exposing the true intent behind these bills: a gradual erosion of gun ownership rights in Virginia. The ban on future purchases is a tactic to slowly but surely chip away at the Second Amendment rights of Virginians, under the guise of not taking away currently-owned guns.
The VCDL’s scheduled annual Lobby Day on January 15 at the state capital is a crucial opportunity for Virginia gun owners to stand up for their rights. It’s imperative that they make their voices heard and inform lawmakers about the unconstitutional nature of these proposed infringements. The fight for gun rights in Virginia is far from over, and it’s essential that gun owners remain vigilant and engaged in protecting their freedoms against these relentless attacks.