Virginia: Gov. Northam Signs Gun Control Bills

Gun Rights

On April 10th, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the anti-gun bills passed by the General Assembly. They will take effect on July 1st. Despite concerns that he would make amendments to criminalize gifting or loaning firearms or eliminate the carry permit exemption for handgun rationing, he did not. The bills that received amendments will now go back to the General Assembly for further consideration. 

Thanks to broad opposition from citizens across the state, Gov. Northam was unable to get his comprehensive gun ban passed this year. He stated during his press conference that he will seek it again next year. Make no mistake, the anti-gun majority will be back in 2021 to push their agenda once again. 

Signed into law: 

Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 2 criminalize private sales of firearms without first paying fees. There are no exemptions for sales between friends, neighbors, collectors, or fellow hunters. These proposals would have no impact on crime and are completely unenforceable. 

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Senate Bill 69 and House Bill 812 arbitrarily ration an individual’s right to lawfully purchase a handgun to once within 30 days. 

Senate Bill 240 and House Bill 674 allow the seizure of an individual’s firearms on baseless accusations without a hearing or other opportunity for the person to be heard in court. They permit the government to seize firearms based on weak and nebulous standards of evidence. 

A person subject to a suspension of a Constitutional right should be entitled to high evidentiary standards, an opportunity to be heard, and the right to face his or her accusers. Civil liberties advocates from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns on these “red flag” schemes and how the procedure might lead to abuses of the process because of insufficient due process protections.  

House Bill 9 victimizes gun owners who suffer loss or theft of their property with a fine if they don’t report a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours of discovering them missing.  

House Bill 1083 severely restricts parental decisions about firearms in the home while attaching excessive penalties for violations.

Referred back to the General Assembly with amendments: 

Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421 destroy Virginia’s firearm preemption laws by allowing localities to create new “gun-free zones” in and around government buildings, parks, and permitted events. Criminals will ignore these restrictions, leaving law-abiding citizens unable to defend themselves and their loved ones. 

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on issues affecting our Second Amendment rights in Virginia.

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