U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Governor Northam today signed gun control bills that passed during the 2020 Session of the General Assembly. He had already signed a bill that removed the option to take the required training to apply for a concealed handgun permit through online classes. Today he signed all but four (companion bills) of the remaining bills. He had until 11:59 PM tomorrow to do so. Most of the bills will become effective on July 1, 2020, but a few will become effective on January 1, 2021. While we don’t like these bills, the bills signed today are not as bad as they could be. The combined efforts of VSSA, the NRA, and others, helped make these bills less restrictive than they were introduced. Handgun rationing includes an exemption for individuals that have a concealed handgun permit. The so-called “universal” background check bill only applies to sales. Firearms given as gifts do not require a background check on the person receiving a gift.
ABC News reported that during a conference call with gun ban advocates today, Governor Northam said, “This is an exciting day for me.”
USA Today reported that “Missing from the package that Northam had proposed, was a ban on the sale of ‘assault’ firearms and guns with high capacity magazines. On Friday, Northam vowed to reintroduce the measure in the next legislative session.
“We can’t stop here. We need to keep working on this issue. It will be year after year,” Northam said on a press call.”
ABC News also reported that gun-ban advocates are planning to replicate their success in Virginia in other states. John Feinblatt, president of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, told ABC News that his group plans to spend heavily in key battleground states this year like Arizona, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania to elect lawmakers who support new gun ban laws.
Feinblatt further told ABC News that their polling indicates that a gun-ban agenda is popular in those states and that Virginia is a “bellwether” of what’s to come.
Bills signed by the Governor are:
- Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 2, which establish universal background checks in Virginia
- Senate Bill 240 and House Bill 674, which establish an Extreme Risk Protective Order, allowing authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others This bill was also amended thanks to the combined efforts of the pro-rights groups like VSSA by adding some additional due-process protections
- Senate Bill 69 and House Bill 812, which reinstate Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law but individuals with a concealed handgun permit are exempted from the limit on purchase.
- House Bill 9, which requires gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours or face a civil penalty. This too was amended from the original 24 hours.
- House Bill 1083, which toughens the penalty for leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in a reckless manner that endangers a child under the age of 14. This bill was amended from the original felony penalty as well as keeping the age at 14 instead of the under 18 years old as introduced.
Four bills (they are companion bills) were amended but the text is not yet available on the Legislative Information System. The changes will have to be approved by both the House and Senate during this month’s Reconvened Session. Those bills are:
- Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421, which give local governments more authority to ban guns in public spaces, like public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events— The governor requested amendments clarifying the exemption included in the bill for institutions of higher education
- Senate Bill 479 and House Bill 1004, which bar people with protective orders against them from possessing firearms and require them to turn over their guns within 24 hours
About Virginia Shooting Sports Association:
The Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) was originally founded as the Virginia State Rifle and Revolver Association in 1938. VSSA is the official state association of the National Rifle Association. VSSA is also closely affiliated with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), Virginia Outdoor Sports Information Network (VOSIN), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Virginia Gun Collectors Association, and the Virginia Wildlife Federation (VWF). Visit: www.myvssa.org