We’re a little more than a week away from the crossover deadline in the Virginia legislature, and lawmakers are still hard at work in Richmond trying to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of residents. But as Dave Adams, legislative affairs director for Virginia Shooting Sports Association tells me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co., several anti-gun bills were actually set aside or defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, and Governor Northam’s proposed gun, magazine, and suppressor ban appears to be in some serious trouble as well.
Adams was in the Senate Judiciary committee this morning as a number of gun bills were brought up. Surprisingly, a number of bills were set aside by the committee, which basically means they will see no more action this year.
Bills to be carried over for year SB13, SB15, SB353 and SB490 11-0. Bell's range bill, Ebbin's firearms on Capitol grounds, as well as his bill carrying firearms in building owned or leased by state,
— Virginia Shooting Sports Association (@VSSA) February 3, 2020
Another gun control bill was suffered an outright defeat in the committee today. SB 851 would have made it a misdemeanor to allow a child under the age of 18 to have access to a firearm, and during questioning Sen. Chap Petersen, a northern Virginia state senator who’s successfully amended several gun control bills this session to make them slightly less awful, talked about how this bill could impact gun owners like him who take their kids to the range to teach them responsible gun use. The bill ultimately died on a 7-8 vote, which is great news for gun owners and a sign that a similar House bill will face trouble in the state Senate, especially since the House version makes it a felony to allow a minor under the age of 18 to have unsupervised access to a gun, even for hunting or self-defense.
Beyond the bills heard in the Senate Judiciary committee today, there are a lot of folks wondering what’s going on with Northam’s proposed gun ban. The crossover deadline for legislation is February 11th, and HB 961 hasn’t even had its first committee hearing yet. The gun, magazine, and suppressor ban has the backing of the governor, but four Democrat state senators say they won’t vote for the current language, and the bill appears to be having some difficulties in the House as well. I have no doubt that Democratic leadership wants to get the bill to the governor in some form, but they’re going to have to move quickly to do so.
The House Public Safety committee meets on Friday, and that may be one of the last opportunities for anti-gun lawmakers to try to send the bill to the House for a floor vote. Unfortunately, we likely won’t know until Wednesday or Thursday if Democrats plan on bringing the bill up in committee on Friday, but gun owners in the state should still be contacting their lawmakers and urging them to oppose the measure. We are still certain to see some bad bills become bad laws, but as Adams made clear in today’s interview, gun owners are making a difference with their engagement with legislators.
Make sure you check out the entire interview with Dave Adams above for more info on some of the bills that did make it out of committee, as well as more background on the gun bills that are done for the year.
Also on today’s show we have an armed citizen story and a Recidivist Report, both from Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the story of a school resource officer in Florida who saved a life on his way to work the other day.
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