AP Photo/Steve Helber
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam addressed the state’s legislators in the annual State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday evening, using his remarks to defend his gun control agenda and to swipe at Second Amendment Sanctuary supporters.
This issue generates great emotion. But the facts are the facts, and I want Virginians to know the facts. Gun violence takes the lives of more than one thousand Virginians every year. Three people every day. At that rate, everyone on the floor of this Chamber would be gone by March.
These are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and little children. Virginians have had enough of the vigils and the funerals, enough of the mourning. They made that clear at the ballot box.
And unfortunately, Governor, when other states have implemented your proposals, they’ve seen their crime rates skyrocket and suicide rates have increased. Virginians may have had enough of the violence, but the laws you proposing have resulted in more funerals, vigils, and mourning. Instead of doing something that works, you’re just “doing something.”
So we are back, with eight common-sense measures to keep dangerous persons away from firearms. If you have demonstrated extreme risk of violence, or there’s a protective order against you, you shouldn’t have a firearm. This means universal background checks. If there’s nothing in your record, you have nothing to worry about.
Other than the establishment of a backdoor registry, added fees that will fall disproportionately on lower-income Virginians, rules that would turn lawful transfers into felonies, and the fact that criminals who acquire their guns on the black market won’t pay any attention to this law, sure, Virginians have nothing to worry about with “universal background check” laws.
Let’s be clear. This is all fully consistent with the Second Amendment. Every one of these proposals has passed constitutional muster. Other states have passed them into law. They were drafted by your own attorneys at Legislative Services, and teams of lawyers have reviewed them.
Let’s be really clear: the Supreme Court hasn’t given the green light to any of Northam’s proposals. Other states may have passed some of his measures into law, and they’re also facing court fights. California and New Jersey’s versions of Northam’s magazine ban, for example, are currently being litigated in the 9th and 3rd Circuit Courts of Appeal, for instance.
As this discussion begins, let’s have an honest conversation based on fact, not fear. We will engage in civil dialogue. I ask all Virginians to refrain from promoting fear and intimidation.
I want to reiterate: This common-sense legislation does not violate the Second Amendment. No one is calling out the National Guard. No one is cutting off your electricity, or turning off the Internet. No one is going door-to-door to confiscate guns. These laws are intended to keep Virginians safe. Period. It’s time to act.
Here are the facts. Ralph Northam is proposing legislation that would turn Virginians into felons for continuing to possess legally acquired ammunition magazines and suppressors. He’s backing bills that would force Virginia gun owners to register themselves and their so-called “assault firearms” with the State, or else become a felon. He supports legislation that would deprive Virginians of their constitutional rights without due process. His focus is on restricting the rights of legal gun owners in the state, not on the violent criminals driving homicides and violence in Richmond, Petersburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.
I too believe we need an honest and civil conversation about the governor’s proposed gun laws. That’s why I’m asking him to join me for a special Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to discuss his proposals, how they would be enforced, and the staggering grassroots opposition that we’ve seen spring up across Virginia in reaction to his plans.
Are you ready to have a real conversation with a Virginia gun owner, Governor Northam? Then let’s talk; unedited, uncensored, and unfiltered.