‘This may be what you think is safety, but it is not…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Virginia Democrats in the state Senate passed three gun control bills that would restrict monthly gun purchases, expand universal background checks and allow localities to prohibit guns in certain designated areas.
Senate Bills 69, 70 and 35 passed the Democratic-controlled chamber on Thursday, despite the fact that more than 100 Virginia counties have declared themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries and vowed to block the laws.
“Ladies and gentleman, this is probably the first assault on the Second Amendment, and we’re going to see many after that,” said Republican state Sen. Bill Stanley, according to WSET, a local ABC News affiliate. “This may be what you think is safety, but it is not.”
Now the legislation will need to pass the General Assembly, which is “hostile to the lawful possession of firearms,” according to Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain.
One bill, SB 16, which was the most controversial, was struck from the record completely. The bill would have banned “assault-style” weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and silencers.
“Regrettably, Virginia lawmakers approved a series of measures today that will make it harder for law-abiding Virginians to protect themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals,” the NRA said in a statement.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has made it clear that the fight over gun control in the state is not over yet. He is still pushing for a package of legislation that would prohibit individuals who had been subject to protective orders from owning firearms, require that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, and allow law enforcement to petition courts to confiscate the firearms of those deemed dangerous to themselves and others.
In response to Northam’s threats, gun sales have skyrocketed throughout the state. One firearms store owner said his sales have gone up 200% since the controversy started, and more of his customers are paying cash.
“The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” said Jerry Rapp, owner of SpecDive Tactical, in Alexandria.
“Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal,” Rapp said. “But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms, and ammunition. We can’t keep it in stock.”