RICHMOND, Vir -(Ammoland.com)- Why is Virginia’s “pro-gun” Attorney General fighting so hard to protect Universal Background Checks?
In 2019 Democrats took both chambers of the legislature in Virginia. They quickly went to work passing gun control. Although most bills were stopped after tens of thousands of well-armed Virginians showed up at the Capital in Richmond to protest the proposed laws, a few laws slipped through. One of the bills that did make it through was universal background checks (UBC) which made it illegal to transfer a firearm without going through a federal firearms licensee (FFL).
Universal Background Checks (UBC)
Many law-abiding gun owners felt this requirement violated the Virginia Constitution, which has a more robust “right to bear arms” Amendment than the U.S. Constitution. Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), and Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) joined together to sue the Commonwealth over the new law.
When the suit was filed, Mark Herring was Virginia’s Attorney General, and he fought tooth and nail to defend UBCs. The gun rights groups, based in Virginia, won a partial injunction against the law. The court ordered those residents aged 18-20 to be exempt from the law. In Virginia, it is legal for anyone above 18 to own a handgun. Still, federal law makes it illegal to transfer a handgun to anyone under 21 through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Before the law went into effect, people under 21 could buy a handgun through a private sale. The judge ruled that residents between the age of 18 and 20 would still be able to acquire handguns through private sales without going through an FFL. The Constitutionality of the rest of the law would have to be argued in court.
Before the gun rights organizations had their day in court, an election that shook the political landscape took place in Virginia. Campaigning on education and gun rights, Republicans took the Governor’s mansion, the Lieutenant Governorship, and the Attorney General’s office. The Virginia House of Delegates also flipped to red.
Jason Miyares, endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), was the first Hispanic to become Virginia’s, Attorney General. After the historic night, gun owners rejoiced. It would take time and one more election cycle to eliminate the gun control passed by Democrats, but at least UBCs could be killed by Attorney General (AG) Miyares entering into an agreement with the plaintiffs.
Many believed that AG Miyares would agree with gun rights organizations’ demands. After all, Mr. Miyares voted against UBCs when he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and had an A rating with the NRA. But he did dodge questions about UBCs and magazine limitations on the campaign trail, which worried some, but the overall feeling in the gun community was that he would do the right thing.
The Richmond Times wrote: “Miyares dodged a question asking for his position on universal background checks, limits on magazine capacity, and a ban on assault weapons.”
If Miyares honestly voted his conscious as a Delegate, he could end UBCs in the Commonwealth overnight. But that hope was lost when he started fighting hard to save UBCs.
Same as his anti-gun AG predecessor leaving many to wonder if Miyares’ pro-gun rhetoric in the House of Delegates was just a show to get votes. Virginians are left to wonder if he voted against UBCs because he knew they would pass no matter his vote.
Today, Gun Owners of America launched an email campaign to get AG Miyares to fulfill his promises made as a member of the House of Delegates. The gun rights organization is asking Virginians to email the Attorney General’s office and ask him to stand down on UBCs and uphold his oath not only to the U.S. Constitution but also to the Virginia Constitution. GOA added an easy-to-use form on its website. The group also included the AG’s phone number for gun owners to call.
The email reads: “Unfortunately, Attorney General Miyares is NOT WILLING to support our efforts and still insists on enforcing—and defending—the unconstitutional law passed by anti-gun zealots.”
GOA’s Senior Vice President Erich Pratt also was disappointed that the AG is continuing to fight for gun control. He had hoped that Miyares would have back away from the failed actions of Herring.
“It’s disappointing that Jason Miyares plans to enforce legislation that was enacted by anti-gun Democrats—specifically, a law that requires practically every transfer of a firearm to generate a background check and paperwork at a licensed gun dealer,” Pratt told AmmoLand News. “This scheme has contributed to the massive database of gun owners that is being maintained by the ATF—a registry that will only serve as a first step to gun confiscation. Miyares should be doing everything in his power to help the GOA-VCDL case succeed, rather than fighting in favor of gun control.”
Virginia gun owners are a powerful voting bloc leading many to wonder if Miyares is risking his political career by defending the law that many claim violates the Virginia and U.S. Constitution and might run afoul of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision since there are no historical analogs for background checks in 1791.
Virginia AG spokesperson Victoria LaCivita provided this response to AmmoLand News’ request for comment: “While I cannot comment on pending litigation, Attorney General Miyares is dedicated to protecting our GOD-given constitutional rights and ensuring they are not infringed upon.”
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.
The only thing a politician cares about is getting elected and reelected.
you’re right. That unfortunately is the case
Don’t forget the bribes and other perks.
Sad but true. Look at what it costs to run a presidential campaign, over a billion dollars. There’s no justification for it. The minute a candidate is elected the new campaign fundraising begins. We have an asshat state AG, sued DJT 50 times. With each filing came a host of fundraising emails and events. Dims consider elected office top tier employment, where until recently, conservatives considered elected office public service. It’s all gotten messed up with all the dough. The last semi-honest dimocRAT president, Harry S. Truman said, “Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and… Read more »
we see this too often with politicians. when they run for office they tell people one thing, then upon assuming office their actions do not reflect what they said. rino? no. liar and someone who wants to be loved by special interest groups and media? yes. worth voting for again? never.
Politics. Let’s break it down. Poli being Latin for the many. Tics being Blood sucking parasites! Makes sense to me!
He’s pro gun,But, next AG.
Appears to be a Democrat in RINOs clothing.
How is it politicians always seem to support laws that are not feasibly enforceable? I do not live in Virginia however if I did and wanted to sell a gun to a friend or relative I would not do a background check on them because I would know them well or not sell the gun. Consequently the law as far as the universal part goes is useless at best. Who actually thinks anyone with a record is going to adhere to a universal background check. So the law is useless. Just like all the other restrictive gun laws on the books they have no effect… Read more »
So why does the other side think the way they do? That is the magic question. It may be a combination of things. The leaders who seem relatively cognizant may just be evil – in other words, they like to hurt other people. The 51% that vote for them may just be followers who have no dog in the race other than the fellowship of like beings. They have no dog in the race because they are not carrying a weapon every day with the full intent of using it when needed. Then there are the ones with a fuming… Read more »
And Americans have the best politicians that money can buy !
Think about this for a minute. Term limits feels good, right?
If you limit the elected officials without limiting staff what will you get?
”I’ll take how to make an omnipotent swamp even more powerful for $500.00, Alex!”
Term limits without limiting staff all the way down to the janitor and you’ll get a shadow government full of Merrick Garland’s and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s. Sweet thought, right?
Surprised? Why? I’m not. Won’t go deep into the reason why cause some may find it….troubling…offensive…(though right on the $, a.k.a. True). Probably want to cry ‘racist’ also….to an American Indian (or whatever wokesters are calling us this week, or today). Va, the people we voted for and put into state offices, they are not who they’ve claimed to be, any of them. The only choice we had at the ballot piece of paper, run through an electronic machine was R and D. As I’ve said to many, I could have gotten my dog elected in VA had I run… Read more »
Another scumbag Pol Lie tician:
More of the same as usual.
We, in Virginia have a Lobby Day , sponsored by the VCDL ( Virginia Civil Defense League) that’s held every January to speak to/ confront our elected Virginia politicians. Rest assured that the AG will have some ‘Splaining to do, if he doesn’t run for the boarder like Northam did when confronted by 50,000 gun toting citizens on Lobby Day ( entirely peaceful, I might add ).
It was more than peaceful.
The streets were left cleaner then when the 1st protesters arrived.
I remember that day well.
Just shows you what liars the politicians and the left are.
I was one of those 50,000. Caught a bus in Chantilly.
Just a contrarian thought, but is it possible he sees how weak his case is and wants to get court on record stating that bill is unconstitutional?
If he is, he’s playing with fire – if he is not then I agree with the other posters here.
Keith Herring = RINO = chameleon = fruad ! Actions speak louder than words and Keith is a complete fraud when it comes to the second amendment he claims to support.
Did you read the article? Keith Herring is no longer VA AG!
But his worthless policies live on.
Yep and the current clown Jason did not institute those draconian policies the clown before him did . And that would be Mr. Herring .
I read Jason Miyares is fatherless and his mother came here in 1980 from Cuba on the Mariel Boat Lift when Castro emptied out the mental asylums and jails in an attack on the U.S. (when you unleash dangerous people on and into another country that is a physical attack on that country). So he is not just a lying politician who can’t be trusted and should be thrown out next election, he was raised without the guidance of a father by a woman who may have been a criminal in a Cuban Jail or mentally disturbed in one of… Read more »
Hey Jason, you backstabbing RINO, thanks for nothing!
Another A rated NRA stooge who isn’t pro-2A.
Obviously, he’s not as Pro-Gun as he claimed to be. Vote his lying arse out Virginia.
He isn’t much “pro-gun” is he?
In 2019, I retired from a 45-year career in broadcasting. I never had to take an “oath” to have any job. Not, was I ever compelled to carry a firearm, I had a greater incentive. To do my job as required. With integrity. Because I was always one day away from being fired. And, my employers always knew that I was always one day away from going to a competitor. Anyone who takes an “oath” for a job is a liar. Proven by politicians, police, and military. Instead of “term limits”, politicians should always be subject to recall at any… Read more »
Politician = flip , flop depending on which direction the wind is blowing the campaign funding money .
So, after the Northam administration, Youngin, Earle-Sears and Miyares looked pretty good but after settling in, our AG is looking like swamp material. Virginia politics is a $h17 show anyway. I am going to hate moving but I may have to soon.
“…conscious…” should probably actually be “…conscience…”
No big deal here folks, one and done. Next…
If our lazy and treacherous Republic former President Donald J. Trump, and our lazy wishy-washy Republican senators and house members would have done their damn job when Republicans held the White House and both chambers of congress back during Trump’s Presidency, they would have gotten off their lazy asses and actually done something productive. One thing I would have like to have seen was a law mandatorily linking funding appropriation, required Federal funding requirement for payment of the FFL universal background check fee/transer fee and universal background checks on private and commercial firearms transfers and sales. The burden of paying… Read more »
Lets get this straight. You people are mad about this because you can’t legally sell to your criminal friends? Sounds like a good law to me and by the way I am a liberal and probably own more guns than some of you supposed patriots. Difference is I have no problem following a few rules so freaks like you people are stopped from selling to criminals.
Who hurt your feelings on here?
Hahahaha. Liar troll.
I have never sold anything to a criminal.
So why are there capacity limits on normal capacity magazines?
Why do I need to pay a bribe to the ATF to register my SBR (now cheek braces) and suppressors and why are they checking my background? I have never been arrested or even had a speeding ticket (that’s a lie. Exhibition of speed for front wheels leaving payment in my 800HP Camero when I was 22).
Butters and Fudds are cancer.