Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Skip Pitt, C’ville Photography.
Republicans lost both the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate Tuesday, having previously controlled both chambers. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) failed earlier this year to restrict gun-owners’ Second Amendment rights, but the legislature is now set for an aggressive push to deliver different results. This marks the first time since 1994 that Democrats have held unilateral control of the state government.
Northam convened a special session July 9 to push gun-control measures in the wake of the Virginia Beach tragedy that left over a dozen people dead; including at least one, Kate Nixon, who wanted to bring her self-defense gun to the office where she was killed, but didn’t because it was a so-called “gun-free zone.”
Northam’s proposals included “universal” background checks on firearm sales and transactions, bans on so-called “assault weapons,” a limit of one handgun purchase per month (this would have reinstated a Virginia law that had been repealed in 2012 after being shown to be ineffective in reducing violent crime), the passage of some version of “red-flag laws,” and other unconstitutional measures.
At the time, the Republican-controlled House and Senate referred the proposed legislation to the bipartisan Virginia Crime Commission and adjourned after only 90 minutes. What this did was allow for each proposal to be studied so lawmakers can properly craft effective legislation designed to save lives without punishing law-abiding gun owners.
The special session was “a complete taxpayer-funded distraction,” said Jason Ouimet, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “The discussion before the Virginia Crime Commission should focus on solutions that provide strong due process and put a stop to the continued politicization of law-abiding individual’s constitutional rights.”
Now that Republicans have lost control of both chambers, these gun-control measures are likely to gain traction.
The NRA released the following statement about the 2019 election results:
As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash—and every voter they misled—will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.