We’re less than a month away from the start of a special legislative session in Virginia, and rumors of a renewed push to ban so-called assault weapons, large capacity magazines, and suppressors are continuing to swirl around the Commonwealth. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Delegate Nick Freitas joins me to talk about the odds that Democrats in control of the General Assembly will try to revive HB961, Governor Northam’s gun grab bill.

According to the delegate, Democrats in the legislature are likely to introduce several gun control bills, but he wouldn’t be surprised if House leadership and Gov. Ralph Northam delay any attempt to pass HB961 during the special session for purely political reasons. Virginia gun owners are already wide awake and eager to vote out anti-gun candidates this November, but the adoption of a gun, magazine, and suppressor ban just months before the 2020 elections would ensure that the Second Amendment is first in the minds of many voters when they head to the polls.

Instead, Freitas thinks that Democrats will aim their fire at police during the special session. While there are several criminal justice and policing reform measures that he believes will garner bipartisan support, like de-certifying officers who are fired with cause so they can’t be hired in another jurisdiction, the delegate is certain that Democrats will go even further, and mentioned one bill that would reduce the penalty for assaulting a law enforcement officer from a felony to a misdemeanor offense.

Freitas is also the GOP candidate for Virginia’s 7th congressional district, where he’ll square off against first-term Democrat Abigail Spanberger in November. The seat has been a fairly reliable GOP stronghold until the 2018 blue wave election, when Spanberger narrowly upset Rep. Dave Brat by less than 7,000 votes to become the first Democrat to represent the district since the early 1970s.

Spanberger’s done her best to present herself as a moderate, but Freitas has hammered the fact that even Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has voted in line with President Trump more often than Abigail Spanberger has. When it comes to Second Amendment issues, Spanberger is “all in” for gun control, according to a 2019 story from the Washington Post:

Her father, a local cop turned federal officer, was always armed. As a child, she revered — but never touched — the cherry wood cabinet where her uncle kept hunting rifles. And as a onetime federal agent herself, she carried a 9mm Beretta handgun, able to drop and reload magazines in an instant.

But the freshman congresswoman is backing a raft of gun-control measures, and not only those with bipartisan support, such as universal background checks and “red flag” laws that would temporarily take guns from people deemed to be dangerous. She also wants to ban military-style weapons.
Spanberger’s 2018 victory was aided in part by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, whose Everytown for Gun Safety spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to flip the seat. Since 2018, however, Virginia Democrats have passed their own gun control laws in the face of massive public opposition, and the state has seen record high gun sales in recent months, many of them first-time gun buyers in the Richmond suburbs. Suburban soccer moms may have voted for “common sense gun safety measures” in 2018, but at least some of them have started exercising their Second Amendment rights in the months since, and Spanberger’s backing bills that would turn them into felons simply for keeping the guns and magazines they already own.
I expect that the Freitas/Spanberger race will be one to watch this November, and could be one of the best opportunities for Republicans to take back one of the seats that they lost in the 2018 midterms. Be sure to check out the entire interview with Del. Nick Freitas above, and stick around afterwards for more news, including a defensive gun use in New Orleans and a Massachusetts police officer who went above and beyond the call of duty to help a woman in need.