VA Senator Admits To Adding Barriers & Hoops For Gun Owners

RICHMOND VA-( 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

John Crump

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uncle dudley

Did anyone really expect the legislature in Virginia to become gun friendly all of a sudden, until the voters vote out a large share of democrat members in both houses gun rights will continue to get worse.
We have too many states that are in the same condition, they won’t do anything about criminals who use guns in crimes but they rush to penalize lawful gun owners at every chance.


You can’t fix stupid. I question whether he actually served, or just lost his marbles! Every Marine is a Rifleman and he should know his weapons. Gunny R Lee Ermey is rolling over in his grave!


It’s crap like this that made me decide to join the VCDL. And I live in Texas!


He needs to be kicked out of office for violating his oath to the Constitution! He needs to read” the rights to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed”!

Get Out

Apparently he was a JAG Officer in the USMC. Doubt he had much contact with machine guns because his comments just proved his lack of knowledge concerning them. These politicians wonder why we scoff at them for not knowing anything gun related.

WI Patriot

He was a conscientious objector…REMF…

Get Out

Do you have a link he was a CO?


Aren’t ALL Marines required to go through Basic Training????? (Including JAG?)

[In 1968, I went through Army Basic at Ft Polk with a (civilian) lawyer who was headed to JAG after graduation.]

Get Out

My guess is if he did fire a MG for familiarization at OCS it was static on a tripod or the bipods. That’s why he remembers it as requiring two people to fire the weapon, gunner and A-gunner laying prone. Doubt they took it off the tri-pod and allowed them to advance while firing from the hip, underarm or shoulder.


It’s VA what do you expect for the MORONS wrapped in STUPID that run the S%&THOLE of a state!

Dave in Fairfax


It’s a gorgeous state that was polluted by being too close to DC. That stuff runs downhill. The majority of the state is against this, a few populous areas control it just like everywhere else. Take a look at our 2A sanctuary map.


Another demonstration showing that the electoral college should be ammended to reflect each county’s results in each states election. Then the total of counties would direct electors in the federal elections. This would express the true values of the voters.


That would go a long was toward fixing the present problem where a large number of voters in a crowded city dictate to the rest of the stat,e often 90 to 95% of the land mass. This is the underlying principle of the EC in the first place…. so New York and Smaug Angeles don’t run the rest of the country. Electors tied to the counties they represent would be a good fix.


Tio – you got the essence of why the EC was established but “Smaug Angeles” wasn’t part of the Republic yet 😉 (I suspect you knew that)
Even in kalypornia ‘might’ swing red under a county by county apportionment. Off hand I can only think of a couple of dead blue states that might NOT be changes with such a plan.


Dave – agree about how beautiful VA is – scenery wise. There is still a LOT of ‘ugly’ there – look at the map you posted. While there is (sorta) a reason for the black globs near the district of corruption and Richmond – how can you explain those other black globs?
Note – I spent nearly 10 years in VA and still have lots of friends there. Sad to see how it is being destroyed.

Dave in Fairfax


I compared a county map to it and these are the black spots.

Colonial Hts
Newport News
Virginia Beach

If you think about who lives in them and who they are, it becomes pretty easy to figure out. My map is too big to upload, you’ll have to get your own, sorry.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax

I’m in Prince William, and it is as blue as Fairfax these days… last election was something like 2 to 1 favor of democrats

Dave in Fairfax


Sorry about overlooking you, sorrier that you’re right. I was working off a map. Jumping back and forth between it and the cheat sheet I was making messed up my count. When i look at the VCDL map it shows as a sanctuary.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax
Heed the Call-up

Chesterfield County voted in support of the 2A, not exactly sanctuary status, but still vowed to protect the RKBA.

Dave in Fairfax


Right.My map is showing a black mark there. Turns out that it’s Richmond (duh). My bad, thanks for catching that.


That’s political “S%&THOLE of a state.” Otherwise it is a beautiful place, with (for the most part) terrific people.


Jim Crow. Only the vilified class has changed. It is back to the same old story. Our Founders warned us about usurpers who would form cabals to scheme against the liberty of those they choose to dislike. Same tactics as the JIm Crow era. Only the players have changed.


nr – I’m not so sure the ‘players’ have changed – after all the party of jim crow and the kkk are the same ones who want to go after their political foes, their targets have changed but they and their tactics haven’t.


No wonder laws regarding guns are so poorly crafted. Have always heard legislators don’t know enough about the topic, but Edwards is apparently too stupid to realize he is stupid. Judging by his voice, appearance, speech pattern, and thoughts he expressed – I suspect he is suffering from age related mental deterioration. I don’t consider myself “ageist” but it is high time we subjected candidates to standard mental acuity tests. Neurologists perform these tests all the time to help inform patients and families to mental states. While we know Feinstein would fail, I suspect Edwards and Biden would perform poorly… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Finnky

A large percentage of voters don’t know much about the topic and much of what they do “know” is wrong. Did you see the segment on Fox News a couple years ago when Greg Jarrett explained (with great authority and total confidence) what a bullet button was? He put on his best “I’m a lawyer, so listen-up voice” and indicated a bullet button turned a semiautomatic rifle into a fully automatic rifle. How many suburban white women heard that and took it as gospel? They never went to another source. A portion of them thought “oh my gosh, we have… Read more »

Country Boy

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
― Adolf Hitler


We’ve been there for awhile, haven’t we.

It’s unfortunate that people/organizations with a voice are doing so little to get an alternate view in the public forum.


That’s exactly how we get things like “the shoulder thing that goes up”, and “thirty magazine clip rounds”, and “easily converted to fully automatic fire”(that one’s from that crook Josh Sugarman). If this clown had been believed that “machine guns” require two operators to function, then I’d hve stood up on the floor during the debate and played that one hard. “Well, since not too many bank robbers work in teams of two we really don’t need this law anyway, so vote against”. Take their Idiot Game and turn it on them. Let their own rules and stupidity shoot themselves… Read more »

Uncle Flatularium

The First Amendment protects the right to use a circa 1776 printing press. A printing press is a machine that requires two people to operate: one to load paper into the press, the other to move the press up and down. A typewriter is a modern form of printing press, which therefore requires two people to operate: one to feed paper into the machine, another to work the keys. Likewise, items such as a pencil, pen, computer, and so forth obviously require two people to operate. Anyone wishing to argue these common-sense definitions is defined as a disruptive wingnut and… Read more »


The guy who is supposed to have been in the Marine Corps must not have gotten to fire machine guns, he would never have forgotten the experience if he had. They started us out with BAR’s, fantastic weapon. My first three rounds knocked me on my butt, so I got back up and showed it how a 145 pound guy could take control of it. The M-60 was a lot of fun, even having a selector on my M-14 was fun after I learned how to control it on full auto. Very little of my Marine Corps/Vietnam experience has been… Read more »