Gov. Northam’s Gun Ban Delayed For Year; Gun Rights Advocates Declare Temporary Victory

Despite a hard legislative push, lots of gerrymandering, and even an emergency declaration, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam‘s far-reaching gun ban bill failed to pass committee today.

According to numerous reports, enough Senate Democrats in committee balked at the proposal to shelve the bill for one year in order to seek input from the state’s crime commission. The vote was 10-5, evoking cheers from pro-Second Amendment advocates in the room during the Presidents Day meeting.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday’s committee vote, rejecting legislation that aims to prohibit the sale of most semiautomatic firearms, including AR-15 style rifles, and to ban the possession of magazines that hold 12 or more rounds of ammunition.

The bill had been amended many times, including the removal of language mandating the confiscation of legally-acquired firearm suppressors. That text was replaced with a ban on future sales, transfers, and manufacture of the accessories.

The tabling of the bill does not mean gun rights advocates can sleep easy for the next 365 days, though. According to Kris Brown, President of Brady United Against Gun Violence, the Judiciary Committee still has “seven, common-sense gun violence prevention laws before them. We need the action that voters demanded in November.”

See our previous coverage here.

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