ALERT: Virginia Gun Ban UpdateFebruary 12, 2020
What's in the Current Bill
HB 961, if passed, not only would ban the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms, including popular AR-15-style rifles, but would add a legal definition to the amorphous political attack term “assault rifle.” Under the definition, an assault firearm would be defined as “a semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 12 rounds.”
The bill also bans standard capacity magazines, and other accessories that could be used to turn a firearm into a banned configuration.
According to an update posted by the American Suppressor Association, HR 961 was modified in committee last Friday to remove the language mandating confiscation of legally-acquired firearm suppressors. That text was replaced with a ban on future sales, transfers, and manufacture of the accessories.
The Battle Continues
The specter of a far-reaching, outright ban on semi-automatic weapons has the gun rights community on watch.
Thanks to organizing efforts from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), around 22,000 people descended upon the Virginia Capitol to protest anti-gun proposals in January. Citing concerns over violence, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on the capitol grounds. Ultimately, one non-violent arrest was made, but no violence was reported.
Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran said in a statement that mass shootings such as the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 (where pistols were used) are justification for a ban. The statement further read, “assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are weapons of war.”
ASA: Get Involved!
Andy Hogue is a longtime veteran of legislative politics and journalism. He makes frequent appearances on television and radio shows in the Austin area, his writing has appeared in numerous national and international media outlets. He has served as speechwriter for two state officials, publicity director for several projects at The Alamo, and was constituent services director for one of the last conservative Austin City Councilmen. For fun he likes to unload 13 rounds from his Browning Hi-Power.