While Virginia Democrats are merrily approving gun control laws aimed at the state’s legal gun owners, they apparently aren’t interested in focusing on violent criminals who use firearms in the commission of a crime.
HB 1175 would have increased the penalty for using or brandishing a firearm while committing certain felonies, which seems like a pretty common sense bill to me. Instead, members of the House Public Safety Committee rejected the measure on Tuesday, while approving a number of gun bills that are meant to restrict the rights of legal gun owners in the name of public safety.
“We will not be deterred in our mission to save lives.” Thank you @ChrisHurstVA for standing on the floor for the majority of Virginians who think #EnoughIsEnough . This is the year we pass reasonable gun laws in Virginia. #HD40 #VaLeg
— Del. Dan Helmer (@DelDanHelmer) January 21, 2020
Of course, Del. Helmer also says closing the National Rifle Association range is going to save lives instead of making it harder for northern Virginia gun owners to find a range and train with their firearms, so I don’t exactly consider him an expert on “reasonable” gun laws. I see him as more of an anti-gun zealot intent on stripping people of their constitutionally protected rights, to be honest.
The Virginia Shooting Sports Association noted that several gun control advocates lobbied against the bill as well.
Both Lori Haas and Andrew Goddard as well the Northam representative spoke against the bill.
— Virginia Shooting Sports Association (@VSSA) January 21, 2020
So they’re okay with making it a felony to continue to possess your 15-round magazine or to transfer a firearm without a background check, but the status quo is fine when it comes to punishing those who use guns in the commission of a crime. Think about that for a second. Ralph Northam, who believes himself to be a champion of criminal justice reform, would turn the vast majority of Virginia gun owners into felons with HB 961 while maintaining the current penalties for actually using a gun in a violent crime. The reform that Northam wants to enact would simply replace the war on drugs with a war on legal gun owners.