Gun Control Tops New Virginia Governor's Agenda

Democrats are thrilled over getting another Democrat into the Virginia Governor’s Mansion. They’re outright ecstatic over it.

More importantly, they already know what they want to do with their electoral wins in the state. They want to step in and, unsurprisingly, restrict Virginians’ right to keep and bear arms. What else?

This week, Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam outlined their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session, and highlighted expanded background checks for all firearm sales and other transfers (so-called “universal” background checks) as a key measure the new governor will be pursuing upon taking office.

This is no surprise. Gov.-elect Northam has “proudly voted” to restrict Virginians’ gun rights for years. As a state senator, he pushed for expanded background checks, and laws that would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines. As lieutenant governor, he notably opposed permitless carry, casting a tie-breaking vote to block legislation that would have allowed residents, otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit, to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere in the state where a handgun may be carried openly. In addition to his pledge to expand background check laws, the incoming governor campaigned on promises to further restrict gun show sales, reinstate a one-a-month limit on the number of handguns residents may lawfully purchase (a gun-rationing law that was repealed in 2012), and impose a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and “large” capacity magazines. All of this attracted the support of billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown group, which reportedly donated almost $1.5M towards Northam’s gubernatorial bid.

Indeed, Gov.-elect Northam describes his legislative priorities as “common sense,” echoing the terminology consistently used by Everytown and the like to justify expanded background checks, gun bans, purchase limits and other gun control measures touted as the key to ending gun crime in America. None of these proposals, though, have proven to be effective in stopping gun crimes. 

The kind of expanded background check law likely to be proposed (herehere and here) would make it a crime for any person to participate in a sale, rental, trade, or other “transfer” of a firearm without first having the transaction brokered through a licensed gun dealer, unless the sale or transfer falls within a narrow exemption. Because such laws are written to include temporary transfers, changes in the possession of a gun, regardless of whether ownership changes, come within the kind of transaction that must be processed through a licensed dealer. 

If you’re shocked by this, you shouldn’t be. This is exactly what Democrats want with every win. They desperately want to restrict your right to keep and bear arms. Their reasons vary from person to person, but they all ultimately mean restricting law-abiding citizens’ ability to defend themselves from predators.

This time they were very, very obvious about their hopes and dreams with this election. Ralph Northam is very open about his anti-gun views and there’s a reason why Mike Bloomberg and company backed him so vehemently. They saw what he wanted to do and couldn’t write the seven-figure check fast enough.

But this is also what most Democrats want, even if they’re smart enough to not talk about it. Gun control is a key part of the Democratic Party platform, one they refuse to budge from despite the countless times it’s been a loser for them. I suspect what will happen in Virginia will, ultimately, be another loser for them. After all, time and time again, we see that gun control doesn’t work.

However, we also see Democrats, time and time again, pressing for it despite its many failures. Even those who campaign as supposedly supportive of gun rights seem to cave when the Democrats want to push through gun control. While there may be exceptions, they are few enough that you should understand one thing: Never trust a Democrat with your gun rights.