A gun-confiscation plan by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) could profoundly affect the state’s two and a half million registered owners.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a group representing gun manufacturers and dealers, said that the vague proposal to ban possession of “assault firearms” would affect “most firearms” currently sold.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski reports:
“The legislative proposals being discussed would put most firearms beyond the reach of law-abiding Virginians who choose the firearms of their choice to protect themselves, hunt, and practice recreational target shooting,” said Lawrence G. Keane, the group’s general counsel. “That could potentially impact the availability of tens of millions of firearms.”
While short on details, Northam’s announcement said part of the proposed gun-control package would ban the “sale, purchase, possession, and transport” of undefined “assault firearms” including “any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than ten rounds of ammunition.” Since the vast majority of semiautomatic handguns and rifles in the state are sold standard with magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds, it appears the proposed ban would affect most firearms on sale in Virginia. Additionally, the announcement of the ban did not include mention of any grandfathering to allow what NSSF estimated would be millions of Virginians who already own such firearms to legally keep them.
The governor’s office did not respond to multiple requests for more details on his proposed ban and confiscation plan or answer questions on how such a plan would be enforced.
Republican leadership of Virginia’s legislature indicated they would oppose Northam’s gun-control push. “The @vahousegop will steadfastly fight to defend the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens from far-left gun control proposals this session,” Kirk Cox, the Republican speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, said on Twitter last week.
Republicans retained their majorities in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates in the midterm elections – but only by two votes in the Senate and one in the House.
Gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association and Virginia Citizens Defense League, have vowed to fight the bill tooth and nail in the legislature.