The newly minted 2020 Virginia state legislature – led this session by Democrats in the General Assembly and Governor’s mansion – has wasted little time acting to curb their citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
Numerous gun control proposals were introduced as legislation, including one particular bill that will lead to widespread confusion regarding the Commonwealth’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements.
It’s a move that’s potentially damaging to not just Virginians, but law-abiding concealed carry permit holders who travel to and through the state.
Virginia currently has concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 35 other states, meaning Virginians can carry concealed with their valid Virginia permit across state borders in those states, down through Florida, west to Nevada and north to Ohio and West Virginia.
Likewise, valid permit holders from all other states are legally authorized to carry concealed while in the Old Dominion. Virginia is a full reciprocity state, meaning state authorities will honor all other U.S. state and territory valid permits.
Politics with Permits
Reciprocity could be in jeopardy. Virginia Democrats in Richmond are giddily playing politics with the Virginian’s Constitutional rights, and any other valid permit holder who travels in from out of state.
The proposal – HB 569, introduced by Democrat Delegate Dan Helmer, would give the Commonwealth’s Attorney General Mark Herring unilateral say over which states to allow reciprocity in Virginia and which states he could now disallow.
The Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. Just as free speech does not stop at a state line, or due process rights, our Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be limited to the state in which a person lives or visits.
Instead of standing up for his citizens, Delegate Helmer would sacrifice their civil rights to make the already complex patchwork of state gun laws as confusing as rush hour traffic headed through Washington D.C.
Not the First Time
The really crazy thing, however, is this was done before only to face a swift backlash from Virginia voters.
Attorney General Mark Herring played politics with Constitutional rights when he discontinued Virginia’s reciprocity agreements, but then agreed to allow them to be reinstated with nearly all states a few years ago under then Governor Terry McAuliffe. It’s no wonder Virginia gun-owners are rightly concerned.
There’s so much confusion around the legislature and these proposals which would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.
This is a glaring example of why Congress must act on The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019 (S. 69/H.R. 38), introduced by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) to establish common sense, nationwide reciprocity.
These national reciprocity bills would ensure that a licensed individual permitted in their home state would have their concealed carry permit treated in the same manner as their drivers’ license.
States would still set standards for issuance and rules of carrying, but that permit would be honored as fully legal across a state line. It makes it so a law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be caught in the lurch, unwittingly breaking the law by driving into or through a neighboring state.
The rash of gun control bills now under consideration in Virginia fail to offer real solutions to address the criminal misuse of firearms, accidents and suicides.
They only chip away at the rights of those who already follow the law, have endured multiple background checks and proven their trustworthiness.
Playing politics with Second Amendment rights is absurd and Congress has the opportunity – and responsibility – to protect the rights of all Americans from these underhanded maneuvers.
Pay attention to what’s also playing out in Washington.
We have always said that when someone, especially the government, is showing you something in their left hand, always look for what the right hand is doing.
We have been distracted a bit over the past couple of weeks on what the gun grabbing Democrats in Virginia are trying to do in that state, between threatening to confiscate semi-automatic rifles to calling in the National Guard to enforce their gun laws.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who has reportedly had his campaign funded by billionaire trouble maker George Soros, has proposed an extensive package of anti-gun bills.
The legislation that Ferguson proposed which are supposed “to combat mass shootings in Washington State” was unveiled last month.
“In 2019, we saw more mass killings than any year on record, many using high-capacity magazines and assault weapons,” Ferguson told The Associated Press. “We continue to see growing evidence that restricting access to high-capacity magazines and assault weapons will save lives.”
Of course, this has gotten the attention of pro-gun rights groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation, a Bellevue based group. Dave Workman, spokesman for the group said that gun rights groups will show up in force to protest anything that tries to infringe on Second Amendment rights.
“There’s a tendency to demonize the gun and the person who owns it instead of the bad guy who commits a crime,” he said.
A spokeswoman for a group called the Alliance For Gun Responsibility hopes that lawmakers in the state will now support bills that failed in the past.
“In 2018, Washingtonians elected the first true gun responsibility majority in Olympia and we saw the difference that made last session when the legislature passed 10 gun violence prevention measures,” said Kristin Ellingboe. “That’s evidence that our elected officials are finally catching up to the people of Washington State on this issue.”
Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee want to limit magazines to 10 rounds in the state, with exceptions cut out for law enforcement, military, and recreational shooting ranges.
Of course, they also want to ban the evil, scary looking “assault weapons”, which are defined as semi-automatic guns that contain at least one “military-style” feature. In other words, are black and scary looking.
In this case, the Washington bill would grandfather possession of weapons that were purchased before the effective date of the bill.
Ferguson acknowledges that banning assault weapons will be a challenge.
“On banning the sale of assault weapons, I’ll be candid: It’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “We’ve seen that the people are ahead of the politicians on this. I’ll keep fighting for it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Workman, speaking for Second Amendment Foundation said that banning assault weapons is difficult because of the actual definition of the gun.
When the state passed initiative 1639 in 2018, an assault weapon was defined as “any rifle that reloads after firing a round when the trigger is pulled as opposed to a gun that requires the person to open and close a bolt to reload.”
Well, call us stupid but that would appear to define nearly every rifle and shotgun made. As Workman says, the definition covers every semi-automatic rifle that’s ever been manufactured.
“You press the trigger, the action cycles, slides a new round into the chamber and you’re ready to go bang again. It applies to millions of guns,” he said.
The backers of the initiative were attempting to target scary black guns that look like military weapons, however the definition goes far beyond that and includes virtually everything.
“They function like grandpa’s old shotgun,” Workman said.
Any new legislation involving assault weapons will be impacted by that flawed definition that Workman spoke of. Don’t think for a minute that the ambiguous definition wasn’t by design.
Gong further, Ferguson wants to restrict the purchase of ammunition and wants to require background checks for ammo sales. This would be in order to make sure felons and prohibited persons can’t buy bullets. Because you know, bullets can hurt people if you have them thrown at you. Absolutely insane.
Pro-Second Amendment advocates say that weapons are being blamed instead of the people who carry them.
“We need to address the mental health issues that people claim are the cause of all of these mass shootings,” said gun shop owner Dan Davies. “Obviously the people are the cause, not the objects.”
Bruce Rogers, a gun owner is concerned that lawmakers will turn hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens into criminals.
“You’re turning them into criminals. That’s your neighbor, that’s your brother, sister. That’s a lot of people to criminalize.”
Ferguson’s office dismisses those concerns and says that if you already have these items, such as “assault weapons”, you can keep them. For now.
Phil Fortunato, a Republican state senator and candidate for governor says he will vote no when the bill comes up for a vote in the senate.
“My concern is that it’s just an incremental step,” he said. “It’s that ‘we’re going to focus on this gun because it’s scary looking,’ even though only a small number of crimes are actually committed with this type of weapon.”
Below is a list of current proposals. Some are house bills and some are senate bills; many address the same issue and are raised in both chambers.
- HB 2467- Statewide excise tax on sale, trade, or transfer of all firearms
- HB 2240- Bans possession, sale, use or transfer of all magazines above 10 rounds
- HB 2241- Bans semi-automatic firearms and magazines above 10 rounds
- SB 6076- Bans semi-automatic firearms and magazines above 10 rounds
- SB 6077- Bans possession, sale, use or transfer of all magazines above 10 rounds
- HB 2519- Background checks for ammunition, licensing of all ammunition sellers
- SB 6288- Creates the “office of firearm violence prevention.” (another government bureaucracy)
- SB 6294- Mandates potentially expensive, time consuming or hard to obtain training for CPL (concealed pistol license)
- HB 1068- Bans “high capacity” magazines above 10 rounds
- SB 5062- Bans “high capacity” magazines above 10 rounds
- SB 5340- Bans assault weapons and magazines above 10 rounds
- HB 1286- Bans assault weapons and magazines above 10 rounds
- HB 1346- Bans the sale of ammunition to individuals under 21
- SB 5174- Implements expensive training requirements and fees for CPL
- HB 1315- Implements expensive training requirements and fees for CPL
- SB 5434- Implements “gun free” zones at day cares, libraries and public parks
- HB- 1530- Implements “gun free” zones at day cares, libraries and public parks
- HB-1374- Repeals state preemption law (this basically allows cities/towns to make stricter gun laws than permitted by state statute).
Eighteen…read ‘em eighteen proposed gun regulations. Hopefully, and it appears to be so, people in Washington State are paying attention. The gun grabbers are becoming bolder and in order to protect our Second Amendment freedoms, patriots need to remain vigilant.
In case you missed it, there’s another group in the meantime referring to all gun owners as “extremists”.
Their message is simple: there’s no place for gun owners in America.
That’s what legal citizens who support their constitutional right to bear firearms are being called by a grassroots group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“Lawless County resolutions.”
That’s what the group is calling Second Amendment Sanctuaries.
I tried really hard to not write against this group, I really did. The website says it was started by a mom of five who is concerned for children’s safety. I’m a mom, and I get it, wanting to do what you think is right to protect your kids.
But then I read an article released by group a couple of days ago and changed my mind real fast.
“On January 20th, gun extremists – including out-of-state militia groups – will descend on the Virginia General Assembly, hoping to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting the democratic will of the people who, by wide margins, want (and voted for champions of) common-sense gun safety laws.”
This is just the first paragraph and already so much misinformation.
First of all: Gun extremists? I didn’t realize it was extreme to expect to be allowed to live by our constitutional rights. It’s pretty offensive to call people who honor the rights of citizens in this country a harsh term that’s obviously meant to be derogatory and spark fear into those who don’t know more about the situation.
Out of state militia groups? I have seen many people commenting that they’re planning on attending to support Virginians and their rights, both as fellow Americans and recognizing that if Virginia can strip its citizen’s rights, other states could be next.
But to call them militia groups? Again, a term obviously being utilized to ignite fear and paint gun rights advocates in a negative light.
“Descend on the VGA…to intimidate lawmakers?”
Really? Again, using a word like descend has a harsh connotation, making the advocates seem more like terrorists. Then implying that advocates of their own rights are like a bunch of bullies who are going to start pushing and shoving inside the capital until they get lawmakers’ lunch money.
Rejecting the democratic will of the people? What are you on? The article links to another article that lists a poll claiming 53-83 percent of Virginians are all in for full on gun control legislations, depending on which bill they were asked about. Interesting since there are over 100 municipalities have voted to become sanctuary entities.
A closer look shows that this magical poll they conducted was a telephone survey…conducted on 818 people. That’s an insanely low number to go on claiming “the majority of Virginians” support the proposed gun legislation.
This is just the FIRST paragraph of the propaganda Moms Demand Action is pushing.
Not surprisingly, Moms Demand Action is an extension of Everytown for Gun Safety Support is funded by Michael Bloomberg. While the website states that mom, Shannon Watts, is the founder, the tax information for the group lists Michael Bloomberg.
The group goes on to say that “Lawless County” resolutions “hold no legal weight, undermine law enforcement, and create a dangerous environment for people who may hurt themselves or others.”
And, “Policy experts, state attorneys general, and law enforcement alike agree: Lawless County resolutions, or as gun extremists call them, ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ resolutions…have no legal force.”
I’m not sure who you’ve been talking to in law enforcement, but I haven’t talked to a cop yet that doesn’t support the sanctuaries. Not saying they aren’t out there (there are bad seeds in every profession) but to generalize law enforcement and say we all agree they have no legal force is ignorant.
I have heard of some law enforcement administration types insisting on enforcement of unconstitutional laws, so maybe that’s what the group is referring to. But the rank-and-file officers are a different story, and I’m not sure how the admin expects to enforce gun confiscation laws on their own.
One such administrator, Sheriff Paul Penzone of Maricopa County, Arizonais quoted on Everytown’s website.
He said, “With the same conviction we display when taking the oath of office, we must commit to practice impartial and non political actions during the course of our duties. Our democracy was designed to incorporate due process to write new laws and eliminate ineffective or unconstitutional laws.”
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Yes, our democracy was designed to eliminate unconstitutional laws. Our constitution was designed to prevent them from being passed in the first place, and to allow the people to defend themselves should they be enacted.
The Sheriff continues, “Denying, ignoring or refusing to recognize and apply the laws as they are written is not within the authority of law enforcement professionals. Terms such as ‘Sanctuary’ county become an excuse to circumvent the law and defy due process and democracy. We must adhere to the Constitution when it meets our principles and values, and as importantly when it is in conflict. This is the basis of a nation founded in respect for the rule of law and due process. We owe it to our children to keep them safe and protect our democratic government.”
Interesting. I was forced to recognize my city ordinance in Oakland, CA as a police officer when I was denied authority to report an illegal immigrant committing crimes to federal law enforcement. The “sanctuary” city didn’t adhere to the constitution in keeping our legal citizens safe, but democrats didn’t have a problem with that.
Illegal aliens who shouldn’t be in the country? Yes, absolutely allow them to reside in immigration sanctuary entities. But legal citizens advocating for their own God-given and constitutional right to own firearms? They’re militant, bully extremists and their sanctuaries are unconstitutional.
The information on Everytown’s site as well as the article released by Moms Demand Action is ignorant. It’s tainted with lies (shouting gun advocates are white supremacists, an allegation I don’t even have enough time to debunk in this article). It’s incredibly misleading.
But that’s what you’re going for, isn’t it, Moms?
I know I’ve droned on longer than the average American’s attention span can handle, but I can’t leave this next part out.
The hypocrisy among the left is well documented and blaringly obvious in most cases.
It’s slightly less exaggerated here, but it’s still prominent.
Said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Americans expect our sheriffs and law enforcement to uphold their oaths, respect the will of the people, and enforce the laws of their states.”
Respectfully, Mr. Feinblatt, I disagree.
Democrats don’t want laws enforced. They want criminals to be on the streets. They want illegal immigrants stripping resources from our citizens. They don’t want police doing their jobs.
Until it suits their interest. Then they cry out how these sanctuaries “threaten the safety of communities nationwide by fostering distrust in law enforcement.” You mean how Democrats foster distrust in law enforcement by screaming racism every time a black person is arrested?
Or how they insist that police have to be “nice” to every person that they come in contact with, regardless of how the person is treating the officer? They can threaten the cop, spit at him, call him names, but the officer better not DARE use a curse word or he’ll suffer the wrath of the loving and tolerant left.
Or how they are starting to take away the separate crime of assault against a police officer in major democratic-run cities like Seattle, and instead saying any assault against an officer is just in the course of his duties?
Democrats demand that police “do their jobs” and enforce the laws of the country, state, or local entity. Until they don’t want them to.
They demand our constitutional rights be extended to illegal immigrants. Until it comes to the second amendment. Then they want to rip away those rights from our nation’s people, and call anyone who defends their rights intimidating, militant extremists.
Even for the left, that’s pretty extreme.