We always hear from gun control advocates that they want “common sense” gun legislation. They tell us that “reasonable people” should not be opposed to universal background checks.
When the truth is, every piece of gun legislation has an end game. And that end game is gutting, if not total eliminating the 2nd Amendment.
Case in point? The Commonwealth of Virginia. Last month, Democrats took control of both houses of Virginia’s legislature. They already control the governor’s office with Ralph “Blackface” Northam.
On November 18, mere weeks after Democrats learned they would be controlling the government in Virginia, State Sen. Dick Saslaw introduced a bill that he will sponsor next year in the 2020 legislative session. The bill will outlaw not only the sale or transfer, but also the possession of certain firearms.
SB16 provides that:
‘It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or transport an assault firearm” and makes such actions a Class 6 felony. Of note is that in Virginia, Class 6 felonies are punishable by imprisonment for between one and five years.’
This proposed bill widely expands the definition of “assault” firearms, including a wide range of center-fire rifles, pistols and shotguns.
Basically, every rifle of the common AR-15 type design, as well as a number of pistols and shotguns that are commonly used for personal defense, target shooting, and hunting would be banned.
Since mere possession of such weapons would be illegal, they would also have to be either surrendered to or seized by law enforcement authorities in the jurisdiction in which they are located.
This law, if enacted, would greatly exceed any other gun control law in the United States by making possession of the covered firearms illegal, rendering them subject to seizure from their owners.
Saslaw is not the only politician looking to jump on the gun control bandwagon. The governor of Virginia, Northam, has stated that he plans on reintroducing a package of laws addressing “gun violence” during the next legislative session.
“Things like universal background checks. Getting rid of bump stocks, high volume magazines, ‘red flag’ laws. These are common sense pieces of legislation. I will introduce those again in January,” he said. I’m convinced, with the majority now in the House and the Senate, they’ll become law and because of that Virginia will be safer.”
Earlier this year after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach where 13 people were killed, Northam convened a special session of the state legislature to consider a group of bills including background checks and limiting devices that suppress the sound of gunshots. Also included was a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Republican legislators blocked consideration of the bills, with House Speaker condemning the special session as an “election year stunt.”
During the election cycle, former New York City mayor and current Democrat presidential wanna-be Michael Bloomberg spent $2.5 million on the election on behalf of Democrat candidates through his Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group.
Under Saslaw’s bill, Virginians would not be allowed pistols that accept the magazine into the weapon at any other point than the pistol grip.
They would also be limited to an unloaded weight of 50 ounces. The bill would also limit shotguns to a magazine capacity of no more than seven shells.
The bill itself indicates that it may increase imprisonment.
“The provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment,” an indication that increased imprisonments are a likely outcome of its passage.
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The National Rifle Association, as expected, opposes the bill. According to the NRA-ILA, the bill does not grandfather existing owners of the firearms, stating that current owners would have to give up their banned firearms or face a felony conviction. The NRA said that the bill is “clearly designed to be firearms confiscation.”
The law also uses the words “like kind”, which the NRA defines as “unacceptable vagueness” that would place a burden on gun owners with guessing how courts may interpret the provision and potentially judge components on their firearms.
It is likely that any such legislation passed in Virginia will end up in the Supreme Court. In 2008 in the Heller decision (District of Columbia v. Heller), the Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms belongs to everyone.
In a decision written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the court ruled that the “Second Amendment is a personal right that is not limited by the prefatory phrase about well-regulated militias.”
In the decision, Scalia referred to historical sources, such as 1ith-century dictionaries, to prove that the definition of “arms” included not only weapons of war but also all firearms. Specifically, Scalia’s decision states that:
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications…and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search…the Second Amendment extents, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.
The decision continues:
Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualification on the commercial sales of arms.
The last paragraph does give courts leeway to limit the sale of certain weapons, and some have in fact ruled that way. SB16 is not limited in that manner.
This legislation will not limit the rights of criminals or terrorists. It will however limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. This law will take away citizens’ individual rights to protect themselves.
One result of this unprecedented run on the Second Amendment is the birth of “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” You’ve heard of “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens? Now we are seeing Second Amendment sanctuaries being declared by counties in Virginia.
According to Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a state-based pro-gun rights advocacy organization, the Democrats in Virginia have “awakened a sleeping giant.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” he told the Free Beacon. “It’s a sleeping giant that had been pretty much not paying attention to politics, and now they’re awake and they’re flooding these sanctuary county hearings. Flooding them,” he said.
In nearly a quarter of Virginia’s counties, so-called sanctuary proposals have been passed. Basically these “sanctuary counties” would refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. Van Cleave also said that his group will target Virginia’s sheriffs and commonwealth attorneys as well.
“It’s part of a multiple prong approach. A lot of sheriffs and even chiefs of police are going to be watching what localities do. Some of the sheriffs have said, ‘if my locality does this then I’m going to go along with it.’ Then, if we get commonwealth attorneys to say, ‘I’m not prosecuting this stuff,’ well that closes the loop at least in the county.
Van Cleave said that his group has been getting huge turnouts for its events since word got out about what the Democrats were proposing. He said that where they used to get about a hundred people at the General Assembly for gun bills in the past, they are now drawing around one thousand.
“It’s sending a huge message to the General Assembly that a lot of the state does not want more gun control, certainly none of the crap that they’re pushing that does nothing but affect law abiding citizens,” he said. It doesn’t do anything for criminals.”
So, keep your eye on Virginia. It may be “ground zero” for fighting back for our Second Amendment rights.
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