'Assault Weapon' Ban Passes Virginia House

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Despite evidence to the contrary, most anti-gun folks seem to believe that so-called assault weapons are extremely popular with the criminal element, including mass murderers.


As such, banning those kinds of firearms has been high on the list for Democrats pretty much everywhere.

With a new majority in the Virginia legislature, it’s not a real surprise that such a ban was on the agenda.

Well, they passed it, where it will go to Gov. Glenn Youngkin for either approval or veto.

The new Democratic majority in the House of Delegates on Friday passed a bill to ban semi-automatic rifles and pistols, sending it on its way to a sympathetic Senate.

But it will likely then reach a governor, Glenn Youngkin, who has said such bills are an unnecessary distraction, as Virginia already has what he describes as some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.

While Youngkin has not said directly that he would veto it, legislators and lobbyists are betting that he almost certainly will. In a closely divided legislature, Democrats do not have the votes to override a veto.

Ten states and Washington, D.C., currently ban assault-style firearms.

The vote on House Bill 2 was strictly party-line 51-49, as it was for a second gun control measure, House Bill 173, this on banning plastic firearms, which can get past security checkpoint scanners. The House also split 51-49 in passing House Bill 1, sponsored by Del. Jeion Ward, D-Hampton, to step up the pace of 2020’s phase-in of a higher minimum wage.


This is a troubling bill, in part because the definition of “assault weapon” is ridiculously broad.

HB2 refers to a particular section of state law that defines such weapons as “any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.”

Note the use of “or” there. It can hold a magazine with more than 20 rounds or can accommodate a silencer or a folding stock. That means it only needs one or the other, not multiple “evil features.”

The problem here is that this bill would effectively ban the most common handguns on the market since pretty much any of them can be equipped with a magazine that’ll hold more than 20 rounds.

Sure, a Glock might only come with a 15-round magazine, but 30-round magazines are pretty easy to find, which seems to suggest that all of those models would be banned under this so-called assault weapon law.

I’m sure you can see the big problem with this.

However, as noted, Youngkin is expected to veto this one.


The Republican governor has done an interesting job dancing around the gun issue during his time in office. He’s never firmly come down one one side or the other, but this so-called assault weapon ban is one that will sort of force the issue to some degree.

And, frankly, if Democrats in Virginia hadn’t been so greedy here, if they weren’t trying to basically relegate everyone in the state to revolvers and lever-actions–a “deadly innovation,” we know–rather than just trying to ban the AR-15 style rifles, they might have had a chance.

Youngkin’s lack of definitive support for gun rights suggests he might be open to at least some restrictions, and assault weapon bans are one of the easier sells for some idiotic reason. This, however, goes beyond that.

Which is, ultimately, a good thing.

Just remember, folks in the Old Dominion state, that elections have consequences. Don’t let them get hold of the governor’s mansion or this is likely to become law.

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