Anti-gun Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam in Virginia has signed five gun control measures, and anti-gunners are cheering. (Screen snip, YouTube)
The anti-gun lobbying group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is supported by billionaire former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, is cheering after Democrat Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed five gun control measures, described by the Moms group as “gun safety” bills, which CNN described as “a priority for Northam.”
But Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) revealed in an email to CNN that his group is preparing to fight some of the new laws in court.
Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms group, sent an email blast in which she boasted, “These new laws—each of which will work to reduce gun violence—are the end product of years of advocacy, and a shining example of what happens when we elect Gun Sense Majorities.
“We are beyond grateful,” she continued, “for the Virginia lawmakers who have made gun safety legislation a reality; but even more so, we’re thankful for you. Major victories like this one are only possible because people like you show up time and time again to demand action.”
She did not mention the fact that some 22,000 angry Virginia gun owners and supporters from neighboring states converged on the capitol in Richmond in January to protest the gun control efforts. The new Democrat majority about which Watts bragged in her message, could be in trouble in 2021 when they run for re-election, as gun owners will not soon forget they were essentially ignored.
Northam indicated he is not finished. According to USA Today, Northam sent a statement, “We can’t stop here. We need to keep working on this issue. It will be year after year.”
That much was reinforced by state House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, who said, “In last year’s legislative elections in Virginia, we made a promise to voters that once in the majority, Democrats would quickly pass gun violence prevention measures.”
But Virginia voters were lethargic in 2019, and apparently Commonwealth gun owners were among the offenders, because only about 40 percent of the voter turned out, and Democrats won the majority for the first time in two decades.
Reaction to the gun control efforts was swift, with more than 100 counties and communities declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” However, that doesn’t substitute for voting, and the only way for Old Dominion gun owners to take back the General Assembly in 2021 will be to actually get out the vote.
Among the bills signed by Northam was an “extreme risk protection order” measure, generically called a “red flag” law.
The other legislation signed by Northam includes a “universal background check” bill requiring checks for every firearm transfer, and a bill restoring the state’s one-handgun-per-month restriction that was repealed several years ago as ineffective in preventing crime.
Northam also inked legislation requiring lost or stolen guns to be reported to the authorities within 48 hours. Violators could be fined up to $250, CNN noted.
Lastly, he signed a bill that punishes adults for leaving loaded, unsecured firearms where they are accessible and a danger to anyone under age 14.