Tomorrow, July 1st, the anti-gun bills passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam will take effect. Though Gov. Northam was unable to get the General Assembly to pass his comprehensive gun ban during the 2020 session, he stated during his press conference at the bill signings that he will seek it again next year. It is critical that Second Amendment supporters remain ready to oppose Gov. Northam’s radical agenda in 2021.
Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421 destroy Virginia’s firearm preemption laws by allowing localities to create new “gun-free zones” in and around government buildings, parks, and permitted events. Criminals will ignore these restrictions, leaving law-abiding citizens unable to defend themselves and their loved ones. The City of Alexandria has already taken advantage of this to pass an ordinance creating new “gun-free zones” to go into effect tomorrow.
Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 2 criminalize private sales of firearms without first paying fees. Private sales have to go through an FFL transfer process, though private sales at gun shows may be conducted with a State Police check. There are no exemptions for sales between friends, neighbors, collectors, or fellow hunters. These restrictions have no impact on crime and are completely unenforceable.
Senate Bill 240 and House Bill 674 allow the seizure of an individual’s firearms on baseless accusations without a hearing or other opportunity for the person to be heard in court. They permit the government to seize firearms based on weak and nebulous standards of evidence.
A person subject to a suspension of a Constitutional right should be entitled to high evidentiary standards, an opportunity to be heard, and the right to face his or her accusers. Civil liberties advocates from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns on these “red flag” schemes and how the procedure might lead to abuses of the process because of insufficient due process protections.
House Bill 9 victimizes gun owners who suffer loss or theft of their property with a fine if they don’t report a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours of discovering them missing.
House Bill 1083 severely restricts parental decisions about firearms in the home while attaching excessive penalties for violations.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on issues affecting our Second Amendment rights in Virginia.