VA House Panel Smacks Down Gun Control Bills

Virginia’s Democratic governor just knew he was going to get gun control passed in his state. That was clear from his comments.

Of course, politicians usually think their measures are going to pass. Otherwise, why bother proposing most of them, right?


Well, Gov. Ralph Northam has got to be disappointed. It seems a GOP-majority subcommittee smacked down each gun control bill brought before it.

A Republican-led subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted down more than a dozen Democratic gun control bills Thursday, including a red-flag proposal endorsed by President Donald Trump’s school safety committee.

In a packed hearing room, Republicans on a House Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee used their 4-2 majority to methodically defeat the gun bills over the course of more than two hours.

For the first time, the panel heard arguments about a bill to create extreme risk protection orders, which would allow authorities to take guns from people whose behavior gives law enforcement reason to believe they may hurt others or themselves.

The idea gained bipartisan support after last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., but Thursday’s vote indicates Virginia won’t join the 13 states that have risk protection laws.

“I had hoped that this bill would show itself as one that could break the partisan logjam that we seem to be stuck in when it comes to gun safety bills,” said Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Fairfax, the bill’s sponsor. “This is a bill that Republicans all across the country support.”

It’s not a gun safety bill. It’s a gun confiscation bill.

As it stands, they’re looking at taking guns from a few people, but when the barriers are so low to get an order issued and no penalties for doing so falsely, only a fool would support such measures, which explains why pretty much all Democrats and only a few Republicans back such laws.


The truth of the matter is that while red flag laws are popular, that doesn’t make them right. I get the desire to take guns from people who might be about to do something either stupid or evil. I don’t want those people having guns to do those things either.

But no one should be comfortable with trampling on civil liberties lightly, and that’s what red flag laws do. They strip citizens of their Second Amendment rights over mere accusations that they might be about to do something or represent some kind of a danger.

This subcommittee was right to lower the hammer on these bills. Virginia, like any other state, deserves better than that. Her citizens deserve to live in a place where they won’t have to worry about someone coming to take their guns because some family member is angry over an internet argument and the fact that they wouldn’t roll over and be good little liberal doormats.

It will happen. Trust me on that.

That alone should be enough reason for every one of us to oppose red flag laws, even if nothing else was wrong with the idea.

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