RICHMOND VA –-(Ammoland.com)- SB 1430 failed in the Virginia Senate Judiciary. The bill’s point was to eliminate a double background check that the Commonwealth requires when someone sells an NFA item privately.
Senator Bill DeSteph introduced the bill because of a poorly written Virginia law. Right now, if someone buys an NFA item from a private seller, the law requires them to go through a background check at the time of sale and an identical background check at the time of the transfer of the item. The checks are redundant and just serve to add obstacles for those seeking to buy NFA items.
During the hearing of SB 1430, Senator DeSteph explained the bill’s purpose to a room full of Democrat Senators. His explanation fell on deaf ears. The Democrats seemed to have had already decided to kill the bill. The anti-gun politicians admitted to keeping the flawed law in place and add barriers and hoops for gun owners to jump through.
Senator Scott Surovell was transparent in his reasoning for rejecting the bill. He did not attempt to hide that he already decided he wanted to kill the bill to discourage gun owners from purchasing NFA items.
“I feel uncomfortable about reducing the number of hoops someone has to jump through to get a machine gun,” Surovell told DeSteph.
DeSteph tried to explain to Surovell that the bill just removes the first check because it doesn’t serve a purpose. After all, the second check is the same thing as the first. Surovell looked disinterested and disregarded the Republican Senator’s explanation of the intention of the bill. He said he likes it the way it is. The other anti-gun Senator’s looked like they didn’t even want to be in the hearing.
Surovell then said, “I know a lot of people in my district would be very concerned that we’d be reducing barriers to obtaining a machine gun.”
Democratic Senator and Chairman John Edwards jumped in to try to define a machine gun for the hearing. Unfortunately, Edwards didn’t seem to know what a machine gun is. The aging statesman stated that a machine gun is a firearm that takes two people to fire.
DeSteph tried to correct him, Edwards cut him off and insisted it takes two people to fire a machine gun. When DeSteph tried to correct him once more, Edwards insisted that the Marine Corps taught him that you need two people to fire a machine gun. One person to fire the weapon, and “one guy is guiding” the ammunition.
The Marine Corps has never taught that a machine gun was a firearm requiring two people to shoot. AmmoLand News reached out to a USMC recruiting office to ask about the Marines’ assertion taught Edwards’s definition of a machine gun. The recruiter laughed and immediately hung up.
Another Senator spoke up and said he was thinking of a belt-fed machine gun. Edwards laughed at him and said, “Well, no. It can’t feed itself.”
After the exchange, DeSteph and others in the room looked dumbfounded. Edwards then called for a vote on the bill. The bill failed in the Senate Judiciary by a count of 8-6.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.