On Friday, the Democrats in the Virginia legislature took the first step toward a sweeping gun ban and confiscation scheme that they plan to put into effect on July 1st. (Just in time for the 4th of July. How patriotic.) The House Public Safety Committee approved a ban on AK-47s and AR-15 style rifles, as well as all suppressors and magazines holding 12 rounds or more. There was a last-minute concession made to allow rifle owners to grandfather their weapons legally purchased before the ban goes into effect. There is no such grandfather clause for magazines or suppressors.
Everyone saw this coming once the last election ended and these moves have produced a predictable effect. Gun sales are skyrocketing in Virginia and are anticipated to continue at a brisk pace until the ban hits. (Free Beacon)
The number of gun sales in Virginia nearly doubled last month as the Democrat-controlled state government advanced several new gun-control bills.
There were 67,699 gun purchase-related background checks in the state during January, an 84.6 percent increase over January 2019, according to an analysis of FBI data. The number of background checks continued a three-month upward trend, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The surge in sales has coincided with a push from a newly empowered Democratic majority to pass new gun-control laws supported by Governor Ralph Northam (D).
“It’s clear that Virginians are purchasing the firearms they want while they can,” NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva told the Washington Free Beacon.
This is largely the same thing you see happening on a national level every time a Democrat wins the White House and liberals take control of one or both chambers of Congress. It’s often been wryly noted that Barack Obama was probably the greatest gun salesman of the 21st century. Now Ralph Northam is vying to capture that title in his home state.
It’s also obvious that Northam and the Democratic legislative leaders are growing nervous about the huge rallies taking place around the state where gun rights advocates have been chanting We Will Not Comply. If they weren’t, I doubt we’d have seen the grandfather clause for rifles sneaking into the legislative package. As in other states passing such laws, the nightmare scenario involves the need to send officers to the home of a gun owner who refuses to turn in their weapons and adopts more of a “come and get ’em” attitude.
But if they’re willing to take that cautionary measure, why not grandfather the magazines and suppressors as well? It seems likely that the same scenario will wind up playing out in at least some locations. Do the Democrats really think that there are many people out there who simply collect magazines and suppressors without owning something to attach them to? If they refuse to turn them in and law enforcement is sent to their residence, it would seem obvious that they’ll be met at the door by someone who also owns a functioning firearm.
It would appear that this legislative standoff is heading for an end involving at least one of a couple of scenarios. First, supporters of the Second Amendment will stock up on rifles while they can and keep them in the family. The vast majority of lawful gun owners will probably turn in their magazines and suppressors unless they find a way to store them out of state, perhaps with friends or relatives.
Why? Because that’s what law-abiding gun owners do. They obey the law. And they are also the least likely people to commit any gun crimes for the same reason, making bans like this one worse than useless. The actual criminals they should be worrying about aren’t going to be turning anything in, nor will they be going through background checks before purchasing their weapons on the black or gray markets. Further, as FBI data has consistently shown, criminals – gang members in particular – almost never use long rifles when committing crimes. They’re too difficult to hide when making your getaway. So the net effect of Virginia’s proposed gun ban on crime in that state will likely be essentially zilch.
There may be a couple of standoffs with owners of larger magazines and suppressors, but hopefully, nothing disastrous will result. And then they will all mobilize and try to take back control of the legislature and the governorship. At that point, the bans will likely be repealed almost immediately and the situation will return to normal.
And what happens if they fail to carry the day at the ballot box? Well… West Virginia’s offer to adopt the southern and eastern counties is still on the table. Failing that, people can just begin moving out of the state and abandon Virginia to the liberals.