Virginia pushes legislation to force gun owners to surrender suppressors, ‘large magazines’ and more


RICHMOND, VA- Gun control measures are gaining more and more traction within the state of Virginia.

Last week, the House Public Safety Committee voted to ban “assault weapons”, which this bill passed in a 12 to 9 vote.

The new measures, that would potentially go into effect on July 1st, 2020, would ban weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47, magazines that hold more than 12 rounds, and even suppressors.

While the bill still requires passing within the state’s House of Delegates, and subsequently the state Senate, it should be noted that the House of Delegates is Democratic-controlled.

There’s speculation that HB961 will get passed by the House of Delegates, but might hit some roadblocks in the Senate due to some Democrats being unsupportive of the bill.

Virginia State Senator Lynwood Lewis was among those critical of a bill aimed at banning firearms and various accessories.

Back when SB16 was making waves within Virginia, Lewis marked his concerns within an op-ed on several notions being pushed by firearms bills. Lewis stated the following on the Sb16 controversy:

“As I stated publicly before the Session and as was reported in Eastern Shore news media I will not be supporting any type of ban legislation whether on a particular type of firearm or a particular type of magazine.”

Based upon the language present within HB961, it’s likely that if brought before Lewis he’d not be a fan.

While lawful owners of “assault weapons” who were in possession of the weapon prior to July 1st, 2020 may retain ownership if approved via a permit from the Department of State Police – the same cannot be said about various firearm accessories.

The language from the bill reads the following:

“The bill makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport large-capacity firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators, all defined in the bill.

Any person who legally owns an assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator on July 1, 2020, may retain possession until January 1, 2021.”

If passed, the bill would afford owners of the aforementioned 6 months to relinquish ownership or functionality of their accessories. Meaning they could either destroy them personally, give them to someone they know outside of the Commonwealth, or hand them over to local law enforcement.

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What’s curious in all this is why the honing in on suppressors?

They’re not some form of attachment that makes guns magically quiet as a mouse.

Suppressors slightly reduce the decibels produced by a fired weapon so as to decrease the risk of acquiring noise-induced hearing loss. It’s been debunked numerous times – “silencers” don’t come anywhere near to making a weapon silent. So, the stance against suppressors is genuinely perplexing.

It’s at least slightly comforting that Lewis has some sensibilities when it comes to gun laws presented. Back when another senator suggested raising the age required to purchase a firearm, Lewis noted the following on that notion:

“Senator [Dick] Saslaw put in a bill which would raise the legal age for firearm purchases to twenty-one.

As a general philosophical approach to legislation which seeks to increase the age threshold from eighteen to twenty-one I have a problem, since we allow eighteen year olds to vote and in all other respects be treated as adult members of society.” 

Back when SB581 was introduced by Senator Janet Howell, which was defeated earlier this month, Lewis had some words about that proposed legislation. The bill was going to charge firearm owners with a misdemeanor if they owned unsecured firearms that anyone under 18 in the home could access.

When Lewis caught wind of that, he stated the following:

“Senator Howell has proposed SB581 which is very problematic and further highlights the cultural divide in our Commonwealth. That bill has an unintended consequence making it very difficult for our young people between the ages of fourteen and eighteen to have access to firearms for hunting and other purposes.”

While the war on gun-owners in Virginia is far from over, thankfully there’s at least one outspoken person trying to talk some sense into his party.

They can’t even run a caucus, but they want national firearms registration and licensing

By Larry Keane, originally written for NSSF

Last Monday night’s Iowa Democratic Caucus has gone off about as smoothly as a sheet of 24-grit sandpaper. Only 71 percent of results were initially reported nearly two days after the caucuses were held and there are still very few concrete answers, mostly questions remain.

South Bend’s former Mayor Pete Buttigieg appears to be holding the lead, just ahead of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren rounding out the top three.  Former Vice President Joe Biden trailed a distant fourth.

Glimpse of Gun Bureaucracy

American voters concerned about Second Amendment rights are watching, and the fiasco is demonstrating the party of gun control that wants to run national firearms registry and licensing schemes can’t even run their own election process.

When it comes to firearms and the law-abiding Americans who own them, the Democratic party’s leaders are offering just more varying shades of the same gun control and rights restricting message.

The Hawkeye State results are telling and show a stark choice for gun voters. None of the candidates placing in the top three have any respect for law-abiding guns owners. Each has made it their stated goal to enact onerous restrictions on Second Amendment rights and will attack the firearms industry.

Where They Stand

Buttigieg stated the president is partially responsible for criminal misuse of firearms, and among other goals supports universal background checks, a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and standard capacity magazines, and instituting “red-flag” laws that deny due process to citizens.

Each of these solutions has been called dubious as none have shown how they’ll reduce crime. They will only infringe on the rights of those who follow the law.

Sen. Sanders is running as far and as fast as he can from the views he once espoused. He voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Just two weeks ago, though, the self-described democratic socialist said, “I certainly have changed” when it comes to guns.

Sen. Sanders also favors a ban on modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines and wants a national universal background check system, which would only work if it included a national registry, which is forbidden by law.

Sen. Warren, along with her general “plans” for every other issue offered the same on guns, stating numerous proposals, specifically looking to punish the firearms and ammunition industry by raising taxes on gun manufacturers, from 10 to 30 percent on firearms and ammunition from 11 to 50 percent.

Warren also wants a national firearms licensing scheme, federal waiting period to purchase firearms, a ban on modern sporting rifles, suppressors and magazines, repealing PLCAA and hold exposing firearms company executives to jail time through her expanded definitions of negligence.

Even fourth-place former Vice President Biden’s proposed gun control plan “would make the biggest changes to U.S. gun laws in decades,” including expanded universal background checks, a ban on modern sporting rifles and a requirement for “James Bond-style DNA and fingerprint match” in order to pull the trigger.

Sliding under the radar was the anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, funder of Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. The former New York City mayor declined to play in Iowa caucuses and because of that, he’s able to stay above the fray, point to mess and separate himself from debacle.

His campaign announced they were doubling their $300 million advertising buy, pushing the spend to over a half-billion to spread his gun control message.

Get Out and #GUNVOTE

Second Amendment voters across the country, supporters of the firearms industry, and the manufacturers, suppliers, and those working every day within the industry need to keep a watchful eye on the full results from Iowa, as well as what’s in store for the candidates as they compete in New Hampshire next week.

That’s why NSSF offers the #GUNVOTE voter education initiative, so voters can know where the candidates stand, where to get registered to vote and where to find polling places.

Iowa showed what’s at stake. These “top tier” candidates are collectively dismissive about lawful firearms ownership, the hard-working men and women producing the firearms Americans purchase and are advocating stripping law-abiding citizens of their God-given rights.

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In the meantime, during the New Hampshire Democrat debate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) again hopped on the ban “assault weapons” bandwagon, all while admitting that such a ban is just the beginning of intensifying gun control.

“There are more than 5 million assault weapons out on the streets of America, which is more than the U.S. military has. That is insane. We must ban the sale, distribution and transfer of assault weapons in the United States,” he tweeted a few months ago.


In the debate, he said he will “make certain that we end the sale and distribution of ‘assault weapons’ in this country.’”

And as the audience applauded, he added:

“And we go further, we go further, but the bottom line is that I will not be intimidated by the NRA.”

This is a sentiment he has been echoing for years. Here are a few more tweets from the 2020 presidential candidate.


“After every tragedy the Senate, intimidated by the NRA’s power, does nothing. This must change. We need a president and congress that listen to Americans, not the ideology of a right-wing extremist organization. We must pass common sense gun safety legislation.”


But he hasn’t always held this stance.

In a 2013 interview, Sander said: 

“I don’t think assault weapons—” Sanders began, cutting himself off. “Let me just say this about guns: You’ve got 300 million guns in this country. You’ve got 5 million assault weapons. If you passed the strongest gun-control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen, which are really tragedy.”

But now it seems as though he’s on the full-blown confiscation train.

Sanders continued his call for universal background checks.

According reported by Breitbart, such checks criminalize private gun sales, turning a neighbor into a criminal for selling a gun to a lifelong neighbor and turning a company employee into a criminal for selling a gun to a decades-old co-worker. But they do nothing to alleviate crime or the mass shootings Sanders referenced in a bid to justify his gun controls.

California has had universal background checks since the early 1990s, yet Americans have been glued to their television multiple times in recent years to watch news reports of mass shootings in the Golden State.

Sanders also called for ending the so-called “gun show loophole.” This has been a Democrat Party mantra for decades, as they see a ban on private gun sales at gun shows as a way to ban private gun sales in every situation.

On January 15, 2019, Breitbart News reported the Department of Justice figures drawn from interviews with 300,000 prisoners. Those figures showed only 0.8 percent of prisoners acquired their guns at a gun show.

Sanders stopped short of calling for complete elimination of firearms.

Just a few months ago, Sanders managed to do the unthinkable: he went against the grain of the far-left, modern democrat ideals.

This week, he managed to standout and show that he’s not a “yes man” for some of the party’s newly adopted clichés just to appease classic, moderate, and far-left constituents. Sanders did this by saying he does not believe in mandatory gun buyback programs.


Two of the candidates trying to snag that democratic nomination have been gung-ho with regard to forcefully taking guns from law-abiding citizens, namely Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Of course, there was Robert “Beto” O’Rourke who sang that same tune as well as some other numbers, but it seems those tunes he sang was on par with most American Idol auditions: worth a laugh, and ushered out of the contest.

Sanders managed to have the likes of Pat Gray shocked when he heard the Q&A portion at a green jobs town hall in Charles City, Iowa.

Instead of the curmudgeon tone we’re used to, Sanders spoke quite softly and rationally when asked about if he’d support a mandatory gun buyback program. He kept it pretty forward and factual in the response, noting that mandatory gun buybacks are unconstitutional and could give the federal government broad power to impose their will on law-abiding citizens.

These types of events and gatherings are common when election cycle is in full swing. What could’ve been just another cycle of going to a town-hall styled meeting, hyping your base with buzz words, and answering questions with the status quo answers; it instead became a little more interesting when Sanders dropped his opinion on the hot-topic of AR15s and AK47s.

Campaigning for Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez attacks law enforcement: 'Time to break them up.'
Campaigning for Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez attacks law enforcement: ‘Time to break them up.’


Sanders had replied to the gun buyback question with the following:

“I don’t support — a mandatory buyback is essentially confiscation, which I think is unconstitutional. It means that I am going to walk into your house and take something whether you like it or not. I don’t think that stands up to constitutional scrutiny.”

Instead of going the route of “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15”, Bernie Sanders said we’re going to go with what the Constitution says is right.

Now it doesn’t mean that he’s crazy about firearms either. Sanders shared his gun control plan, which included taking an adversarial stance against the National Rifle Association, increasing background checks and banning the sale of assault weapons.

Sanders added to the initial answer provided, saying:

“We cannot allow the NRA to dictate policy because they’ve intimidated [President] Trump and they’ve intimidated the Republican party. I’m not going to be intimidated by them.”

Now, while Sanders said he’s against the forced buyback idea, what this could also be is a tactic used to win the long game as well.

As mentioned before, former fellow 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke was an outspoken advocate of mandatory gun buybacks for assault-style weapons and made it a centerpiece of his campaign; and just like Dick Dastardly on an episode of Wacky Races, he obviously didn’t win any race. 

Prior to O’Rourke seeing the proverbial writing on the wall, back in September at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention, O’Rourke called for mandatory buybacks, red flag laws, and a national registry, all in the same speech. He stated at the convention:

“A gun registry in this country, licensing for every American who owns a firearm, and every single one of those AR-15s and AK-47s will be bought back so they’re not on our streets, not in our homes, [and] do not take the lives of our fellow Americans.”

This isn’t the first time the matter of gun buybacks has been brought into the spotlight and criticized by the Democratic presidential field.

In October, South Bend Mayor and 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg agreed with Sanders that buybacks are akin to confiscation. Of course, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris clamored at the thought that one of their own wasn’t on board with what they deemed the democratic party should be all about.

It’s great to see that not every democratic candidate is on board with what they “should” support according to party-radicals and are looking toward our constitution for guidance and answers.


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