During Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s State of the Commonwealth speech on Wednesday evening, he gave a talked about the need for fact-based, civil discussions about his proposed gun control laws.

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co., I take the governor up on his request for civil dialogue and extend and invite for him to appear on the show in the very near future for a frank and honest discussion about his gun control proposals and why so many Virginians stand opposed. I highly doubt that Governor Northam will take me up on the offer, because I don’t really think the governor is interested in a real give-and-take with someone who opposes his efforts on both constitutional and common sense grounds.

Still, I would love to be proven wrong, and I think the governor owes it to the people of Virginia to face some real questions about his proposals and how they’d be enforced. Northam’s ban on so-called “assault firearms,” for example, is supposed to be enforced with the help of 18 new positions within the Virginia State Police. On Wednesday, the governor’s spokeswoman gave a few details about what those positions would entail in an interview with the Virginia Mercury, but her statement raises a few questions of its own.

According to the governor’s office, the funding is for administrative workers who would oversee the registration/permitting process Democrats are proposing to allow gun owners to keep firearms they already have. The 18 jobs mentioned in the budget are not trooper positions, said Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky.

“These 18 positions are for administrative staff to process applications and background checks for Virginians who apply for a permit to retain assault firearms they currently own,” Yarmosky said. “Funding will also support the development of an IT system to manage applications and permits.”

I’m a little confused. Under Northam’s proposed gun ban, after July 1st, 2020, it would be illegal to purchase any so-called “assault firearm,” but existing owners would have until January 1st, 2021 to register themselves and their firearms with the State Police. After January 1st, 2021 the registry is closed and no new permits will be issued. However, the governor’s public safety budget doesn’t just fund these 18 positions in FY2021, but in FY2022 as well (page 23).

An Invitation For Governor Ralph Northam

Why does the state need 18 people to maintain a registry that won’t be accepting any new permit applications after an initial six-month window? It doesn’t make sense to me, though frankly that’s the case with the entirety of Governor Northam’s gun control package. Believe me, we have lots to talk about.

I am, however, willing to listen to what the governor has to say if he’s willing to hear my questions.

Speaking of questions, we also get to a few of yours on today’s program, as well as an on-the-ground report from Hampton, Virginia where Wednesday night the original sponsor of a resolution ended up pulling it after hours of testimony by supportive gun owners. From WTKR-TV:

Supporters of proposed new gun laws cheered the move, while gun rights advocates walked out of the meeting after the decision.

Hampton City Councilwoman Eleanor Weston Brown withdrew the resolution after hearing from people on both sides.

She told News 3, “Regrettably, many misinterpreted the fact that our resolution said that we supported the Second Amendment… that it meant we supported creating a Second Amendment sanctuary. We don’t support that.”

In other words, it sounds like she wanted to pay lip service to supporting the Second Amendment, but wasn’t willing to go so far as to say the city would push back against unconstitutional gun laws using every legal tool available to them. That’s a good thing to know the next time she’s up for reelection.

Finally, we have today’s armed citizen story, our Recidivist Report, and our Good Deed of the Day. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Townhall.com’s podcast page, as well as Townhall Media on YouTube. On tomorrow’s show Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League will join me, and I’ll be responding to more of your emails as well. Thanks as always for watching, listening, and spreading the word!