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On Monday, Virginians continued to take a stand against the Left’s anti-Second Amendment agenda as the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee advanced several anti-gun bills. The Washington Free Beacon reports thousands of people descended on the Capitol to express their opposition to the anti-gun legislation.
More than a dozen gun-control bills have been pre-filed in the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, including an assault weapons ban, a red flag law, and a limit on the number of legal gun purchases that can be made per person in a single month. Democrats have also floated the idea of bringing in the National Guard to confiscate legally obtained firearms.
On Monday, gun owners across the Commonwealth appeared at the State Capitol in support of the National Rifle Association’s legislative day of action as the first hearings on the gun legislation began in the Senate.
“The 13th is the first meeting of the Senate Courts of Justice committee. That’s the first committee of jurisdiction on all the Northam gun control,” Catherine Mortensen, NRA spokesperson, told The Daily Wire in statement ahead of Monday’s hearing. “We want to make sure that our members and supporters are in Richmond at that committee hearing on that day so that their voices are heard. It’s critical that our members are there early in the session to make the biggest impact in order to stop these gun bills from moving forward.”
The Washington Post reports lines “stretched for blocks” on Monday as visitors waited to enter the building. The pro-gun crowd was so large that some had to be turned away to make room for gun-control proponents, the Washington Examiner reported. The Senate Judiciary committee adopted new rules requiring equal representation of activists in the committee room.
“An absolutely incredible turnout by @NRA members in Richmond today,” the NRA tweeted. “In contrast, abysmal showing by Moms Demand and anti-gun groups. Bloomberg has billions to buy politicians BUT @NRA members have the will to fight harder.”
Still, despite the show of support for Second Amendment rights, virtually every gun-control bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, except the highly unpopular Senate Bill 16, which prohibits the sale of AR-15 style rifles, dubbed “assault rifles.” Senate Bill 16 was formally withdrawn, a small victory for gun rights advocates, and is expected to be replaced by House Bill 961, which would allow Virginians to keep their assault rifles if they register the ownership with the State Police.
The gun-control bills will now go before the full Senate, where they are expected to easily pass under the Democratic majority.
Governor Ralph Northam, who freely admitted to supporting gun confiscation, attempted to quell concerns over the anti-gun legislation. “The pieces of legislation that we’re offering is to keep guns out of prohibitive hands,” Northam told WHSV. “It’s very simple. They’re constitutional, and they support the Second Amendment.”
But the citizens of Virginia fear the slippery slope of well-intentioned legislation.
Christina Baker, a traveling emergency nurse who came to the hearing to show her opposition to the gun bills before working a 13-hour shift, told the Free Beacon she understood the motivation behind the bills, but the proposed legislation had the dangerous potential to make a law-abiding citizen into a criminal. “I’m a single female that travels the country by myself in completely new areas,” she told the Free Beacon. “I never know where I’m going to end up, and to protect myself with whatever firearm I choose is so important to me. With the bills that are written and how they’re written, 90 percent of my firearms, including my carry firearms, would be made illegal, and I would be made a felon overnight.”
According to Reco Ford, a business owner who traveled for several hours to attend the hearing, the Democrats’ actions are in total violation of the constitutional freedoms of Virginia’s citizens. “They all bother me, but the one that’s the most heinous is the red flag law because it violates multiple constitutional amendments. Second, Fourth, Fifth,” he said. “‘Shall not be infringed’ is pretty clear. It’s written in the United States Constitution as well as the Virginia Constitution.”
More than 100 cities, towns, and counties in Virginia have declared themselves “sanctuaries” wherein anti-gun laws will not be enforced. Democrats claim the sanctuary status is unenforceable, but county sheriffs have promised to defend the sanctuary protections all the way to the Supreme Court, Fox News reports.
The New American’s Luis Miguel reported last month that a county sheriff has even vowed to deputize citizens if Democrats continue to infringe on Second Amendment rights. “Every Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia will see the consequences if our General Assembly passes further unnecessary gun restrictions,” Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. “I plan to properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms.”
According to the Examiner, “tens of thousands” of Second Amendment advocates are expected to rally outside the State Capitol on January 20 for the Virginia Citizens Defense League gun rally.
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