Youngkin Still Keeping Cards Close to His Vest as Gun Control Bills Head to His Desk – Bearing Arms

Youngkin Still Keeping Cards Close to His Vest as Gun Control Bills Head to His Desk – Bearing Arms

I’ve been lucky to live in states that mostly respect my right to keep and bear arms, at least until now. Yeah, I was born in Massachusetts but I was never subjected to the state’s draconian restrictions since my family moved to Oklahoma when I was just a kid, and when I moved my own family to Virginia in 2004 I didn’t worry too much about the gun laws in the Old Dominion, which, if anything, improved over the past 20 years… at least until Democrats took complete control of state government in 2020. 

Even then, the gun control measures that they managed to enshrine into law were fairly modest in their scope, with the exception of the state’s “red flag” law. This year, however, Democrats in Richmond are channeling their inner Bloombergs and Gavin Newsom and passing a huge number of gun control bills along party lines, and the first wave of the new infringements to clear both the House and Senate will soon be landing on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk. 

Senate Bill 99 passed is one of the bills that passed. It prohibits carrying certain semi-automatic center-fire rifles and shotguns anywhere that is open to the public, with certain exceptions.

Senator Aneglia Williams Graves says the bill is common sense.

“There’s no reason for folks to be, you know, having those kinds of high-powered weapons.” Senator Williams Graves said. 

SB 368 would have owners store firearms and the ammunition for such firearms in a locked container, compartment, or cabinet that is inaccessible to such minor or prohibited person

House Bill 498 would have school districts inform parents of enrolled students of their legal responsibility to safely store guns within the household.

The gun storage bill would require all firearms to be unloaded while locked up unless they were in a biometric safe; an absurd requirement given that we’ve just seen a massive recall of more than 120,000 biometric gun safes this week. Even if that technology was proven to be effective, the Supreme Court said in Heller that requiring firearms to be kept locked up and inoperable is unconstitutional, and this bill tramples on the ability of gun owners to use their firearms in self-defense if needed. 

In addition to the anti-2A bills above, Democrats have also given final approval to legislation empowering junk lawsuits against the firearms industry, imposing fines on gun owners who leave their firearm visible in their locked car, prohibiting adults younger than 21 from purchasing handguns or so-called assault weapons, and establishing a five-day waiting period on all gun sales. 

There are also a number of truly terrible bills that could see final approval as early as next week, including HB 2, which would create a misdemeanor offense for “any person who imports, sells, manufactures, purchases, or transfers an assault firearm” manufactured after July 1, 2024. The bill also makes it a misdemeanor to sell a “large capacity” magazine (defined as more than ten rounds) after July 1, and prohibits any adult under the age of 21 from simply possessing an “assault firearm” regardless of its date of manufacture. 

I have no doubt that HB 2 will clear the Senate on a party line vote, as we saw when the House approved the bill earlier this month. The real question is what will Gov. Glenn Youngkin do with all of these gun control measures now that they’re starting to land on his desk. 

Governor Youngkin’s spokesman says “Virginia’s gun laws are already among the toughest in the nation and Governor Youngkin continues to pursue policies to hold criminals that commit crimes with guns accountable by strengthening penalties to effectively keep criminals off the streets and Virginians safe. The Governor will review any legislation that comes to his desk.”

That’s been the standard response from Youngkin’s office throughout the legislative session, but the time is rapidly approaching when the governor will actually have to conduct those reviews, and Virginia gun owners shouldn’t take it as a foregone conclusion that he’ll veto each and every bill approved by the Democrats in the House and Senate. Now’s the time to contact the governor’s office and remind him that without the support of gun owners he wouldn’t be resting his head in the governor’s mansion at night. I’d like to believe that Youngkin will do the right thing regardless, but it’s been a long time since I’ve relied on blind faith in politicians to uphold our Second Amendment rights and I’m not about to just kick back and hope for the best when Democrats are intent on turning my state into New New York or East California. A little positive encouragement doesn’t hurt, and that’s what Youngkin needs to hear from a lot of Second Amendment supporters across the Commonwealth right now. 

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