VIRGINIA- In what some are calling a reversal of their initial position, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the state Democrats have dropped their calls for an “assault weapons” ban. But there is only partial truth to that statement.
What he is actually going to do is consider and support a gun ban bill that would grandfather currently possessed firearms but still require owners to register the newly prohibited firearms with the government.
Northam wants law-abiding gun owners to register their guns with the same people who have already stated that they want to confiscate them.
According to the Washington Free-Beacon, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which has pushed counties to refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, said that there is no doubt that the “reversal” was a result of 2nd Amendment sanctuaries.
“They were hoping to play that card [backpedaling] later, but they’re playing it now because they have to find some way to slow down this whole process,” Philip Van Cleave, the group’s president, told the Washington Free Beacon.
Back in June, Northam announced a special session of the General Assembly in order to enact a draft of gun control legislation. During his remarks, the governor expressly said that:
“I will propose many of the same ideas that we have proposed before… A ban on assault weapons…”
A month later, Delegate Mark Levine delivered for Northam and pre-filed gun ban bill HB 4021. The legislation garnered 23 cosponsors. That same day, Senator Adam Ebbin pre-filed the identical SB 4024, which attracted 16 co-sponsors.
The legislation would have banned the importation, manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of what it termed “assault firearms.”
The term was defined to include any semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds or any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of several enumerated features.
These features included a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a silencer, a flash suppressor, a muzzle brake, a muzzle compensator, or a threaded barrel. The legislation also would have banned commonly owned semi-automatic shotguns and centerfire pistols with any one of several prohibiting features.
As Levine and Ebbin’s legislation prohibited possession of these firearms, the bills, which were drafted at Northam’s request, were firearms confiscation.
One month ago, Senator Richard Saslaw pre-filed SB 16 for the 2020 session. This legislation would ban the same types of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms as HB 4021 and SB 4024. Again, as the bill would ban the possession of these firearms, it is gun confiscation.
Discussing the governor’s proposed ban, Northam Spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky told Virginia Mercury:
“In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”
The paper’s website also reported,
The Northam-backed plan mirrors the federal assault weapon ban passed in 1994, which included a grandfather clause for weapons that were legally owned when the legislation was enacted. The federal ban expired in 2004.
Under the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban, gun owners could continue to possess and transfer prohibited firearms that were lawfully possessed prior to the ban. In direct contrast to the pending Northam proposal, the federal ban had no firearm registration requirement.
The details of Northam’s gun ban have yet to be released. However, the 1994 ban’s prohibiting criteria were far different than what has been proposed by Northam’s General Assembly allies.
The previously proposed Virginia legislation would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms with only one offending feature.
The “assault weapon” definition under the 1994 federal ban required that a firearm have two prohibiting features.
Virginia lawmakers have listed prohibitions that are much broader and include such ambiguous characteristics like thumbhole stocks.
According to the AmmoLand website, Northam told reporters:
“I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…”
“…we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.”
Well, one or more of those statements are false.
The reality is the gun bans proposed by Northam and his allies are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.
Monday morning, Law Enforcement Today reported on how Tazewell County, Virginia is crafting a militia to defend the Constitution in the state. And within hours, we were flooded with thousands of emails from people across the state – police officers, veterans, and patriotic Americans – who said they are joining.
And it’s a movement that’s gaining traction across the state.
Wrote one man:
“I am Vietnam vet, ex-police, retired and am behind your ideas 100% , anything I can do I would like to help.
I live in Franklin County, which voted down being a sanctuary city being the council is Democratic, a moonshine county giving up their guns is dumb.
The South gave up their flag, their statues and now they want their guns, sounds like Hitler’s Germany.”
“There had already been rumblings locally about a militia being formed last month. We started carefully and quietly assembling patriotic Americans who are prepared to defend freedom at all costs.
In the past day those numbers have swelled. We have a very strong military presence here – more veterans and both active and retired LE than you can count.
As of this evening, we’re talking about thousands of people that have expressed an interest in being a part of this movement.”
Here’s the deal. Last week, we reported on how lawmakers over in Virginia were threatening to use the National Guard if members of local law enforcement refused to enforce laws passed in the state that they felt violated the second amendment.
That’s what sparked things in Tazewell County, which said it isn’t going down without a fight.
On top of calling themselves a second amendment sanctuary county, they’re also crafting a militia as well. The Virginia county has taken the movement that has swept across the state and added an element that is sure to trigger pro gun-grabbing politicians in the state.
Just this past Tuesday, on December 10th, the Board of Supervisors from Tazewell County passed two different resolutions in light of controversy circling those who are pro-gun.
The first resolution declared the county to be a second amendment sanctuary.
This is not at all surprising to see, as 76 out of 95 counties, 9 out of 38 independent cities, and 13 towns have adopted second amendment sanctuary resolutions. The second item on the agenda was the proposition of establishing a militia in the county.
When both of the resolutions passed, the crowd cheered loudly in support of the decisions.
Also, the resolutions didn’t exactly pass by a small margin; the votes were unanimous, with more than 200 citizens standing by in support. The motion of the creation of the militia had already succeeded in an unofficial way based on the results of a survey conducted earlier in the month by county officials.
But Board Chairman Travis Hackworth said people have persisted to press for the district to declare itself a second amendment sanctuary.
Hackworth went on to state that there were three attorneys on the Board of Supervisors. Many of the other declarations made from other counties in Virginia were closely checked by the three attorneys to ensure nothing important would be glossed over or left out.
Two of the biggest factors in resolutions such as these can be boiled down to funding and prosecution.
The resolutions in Tazewell County would remove funding for any law enforcement department that would infringe residents’ right to keep and bear arms.
Yet, if the state wanted to combat the resolutions, they could deny the county funding in areas other than law enforcement, or perhaps attempt to evict public officials from their held offices. Those are rather valid fears, considering this week’s warnings from Northam and Congressman McEachin.
County Administrator Eric Young reportedly considered that element, and that’s why they opted for the militia aspect:
“Our position is that Article I, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia reserves the right to ‘order’ militia to the localities. Therefore, counties, not the state, determine what types of arms may be carried in their territory and by whom. So, we are ‘ordering’ the militia by making sure everyone can own a weapon.”
Thus, if anyone from the state tries to remove the Sheriff from their elected office because they refuse to enforce unjust laws, those state officials will be faced with a lawful militia composed of citizens within the state.
Caroline County Va Sheriff Tony Lippas comments on 2A. “I know the Sheriff can start a militia if need be.” #2A #Virginia #Constitution #liberty #wehaverights @TuckerCarlson pic.twitter.com/V2aab4DbpN
— SirJames24820 (@james24820) December 12, 2019
The county is taking their militia element very seriously as the new ordinance calls for concealed weapons training for any resident of the county that can lawfully own a gun.
Another couple sent in this message late Monday to LET:
“…my husband and I are die hard 2nd Amendment defenders, and if they want our guns they will have to kill us to get them, but I guarantee that they will not come out of that battle unscathed!!!
We are both disabled but we would be ready and more than willing to fight side by side with all of our like minded brothers and sisters.
We are from West “by God” Virginia and we tell everyone who cares to ask what we think about guns and the 2nd Amendment, that we were born with a gun in our hand and will probably die the same way! Guns don’t kill people, at least not without a trigger person, it is usually by a deranged person or a gang member or a person in the act of robbery or drug running, kidnapping etc .
And usually committed with an illegally purchased or non registered weapon, the leftist, dictator, communistic socialist ‘ idiots need to realize that if they take away legal gun owners weapons , who have been trained to properly handle a weapon, they might as well open the doors and announce to the criminals to come get what they want because the criminals will be the ONLY ones to have a gun which was obtained from the black market.”
The county has also called for schools to adopt firearms safety training programs. Considering the blue wave that hit the state, along with Bloomberg pouring in millions toward the election, this is a massive win that shows gun owners aren’t going to lie down.
And as they’re pushing to ramp up safety and training – officials within the state are trying to get rid of personal defense. And if it’s not bad enough that they’re going after firearms, they’re going after self-defense measures as well.
An amendment to a current law in Virginia has some martial arts companies, as well as some citizens concerned. Known as SB64, the bill, according to Self Defense Company, would “instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons.”
They also claim that it would criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.
According to SDC, the law would “even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.”
The law, which was initially passed in 1987 relates the following: A person is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
- Teaches, demonstrates to any other person the use, application or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
- Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
SB 64 adds the following language:
- Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.
According to the article in Natural News, the language of the bill as written is too wide open to interpretation, especially in a state that appears to be going hard left like Virginia. We recently published a couple of stories on new confiscatory gun laws that are being proposed in the Virginia legislature.
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In fact, numerous counties in Virginia and elsewhere have vowed to become so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” (thank you California and other immigration law sanctuaries for the idea) where any laws that counter the Second Amendment would not be enforced.
The fact that this law is being amended, at the same time when new confiscatory gun laws are going to be put forth, gives gun owners reason to be concerned. As always, laws like this will likely be adjudicated in court. As we are painfully aware, that can be a crapshoot.
It is inevitable that this new law will somehow be tested via a court case. One can understand how people might be concerned. For example, the firearms addendum is somewhat vague.
If a person has a license to carry and happens to be with one or two people and they are involved in a counter protest to something like an Antifa or BLM rally, based on this law, the Antifa thugs or BLM participants could say that someone exercising their Second Amendment rights “intimidated” them and that would result in them getting arrested.
The statute is ripe for abuse. Are some being paranoid? Perhaps. But in 2019, anything goes.
All it takes is a social justice warrior wearing a robe and you could easily see why some people are concerned.
Last Thursday, lawmakers in Virginia threatened to deploy the National Guard to enforce the strict gun legislation they’re pushing for if law enforcement officials refuse to do it themselves.
They said, “the law is the law.”
But apparently that’s a double standard in Virginia. Instead of focusing on what is and what isn’t against the law, it seems as though these lawmakers are only pushing to enforce rules that they believe are right. Is Virginia the place where the battle for our rights will begin? Tell us your thoughts!
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