Virginia lawmakers kick off the 2020 session on Wednesday of this week, and gun control is expected to be front and center as the new Democrat-controlled legislature gets to work.
Kerry Picket of the Washington Examiner joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to discuss some of the possibilities as the legislative session gets underway.
While SB 16, a proposed “assault weapons ban” offered by state Senator Dick Saslaw, has drawn a lot of attention due to the sweeping nature of the ban and the fact that existing owners of the banned firearms would not be allowed to continue to legally possess them, Governor Ralph Northam has said he expects that bill will change. The expected revisions, which are likely to include a grandfather clause allowing existing owners to keep their firearms if they register them with the state, aren’t going to make the bill any more palatable for gun owners, but they be enough to get the support of some suburban Republicans.
So far, the line in the sand that we’ve seen drawn by suburban senators like Tommy Norment is that they won’t go along with any gun confiscation plans. While that’s great, it’s also not nearly enough. Every bill that is aimed at restricting the right to keep and bear arms will violate the rights of Virginians, and needs to be treated as such. So what if existing gun owners are “allowed” to keep their guns if they register them with the state. We’ve already seen the language of SB16. We know the intention of these lawmakers is to ban the possession of semi-automatic long guns (and even some pistols). Why would gun owners get the warm fuzzies over an amendment that requires them to register those very guns with the state?
As Picket notes in our conversation, it’s likely that we’ll see some horse-trading and political bargaining during the session. She lays out a scenario where the so-called “assault weapons ban” is watered-down in exchange for GOP support for a “red flag” law, for instance. Picket’s idea is just a hypothetical, but she’s right that many Republicans see their job this session as two-fold: to try and prevent gun control bills from passing if they can, and if they can’t, then try to make the bills that will pass a little less bad (they won’t be good).
Be sure to check out the entire interview above, and stick around after the conversation to hear more Second Amendment news and information, including an armed citizen story out of Indianapolis, a horrific crime committed by a Kentucky man who should not have on the streets, and a police officer in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the right place, at the right time, and willing to do what he could to help a family in need.
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