After Virginia Democrats waved the white flag in January over a very strict “assault weapons” ban, Virginia House Democrats have moved to a softer version of the bill forward.
On Tuesday, Democrat delegates in the Virginia House passed a ban that would prohibit certain semi-automatic firearms including AR-15 sportsman rifles.
Here is a summary of HB 961:
Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators; penalties. Expands the definition of “assault firearm” and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting an assault firearm. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory an assault firearm to any person. The bill also prohibits a person from carrying a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities. The bill makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport large-capacity firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators, all defined in the bill. Any person who legally owns an assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator on July 1, 2020, may retain possession until January 1, 2021. During that time, such person shall (i) render the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator inoperable; (ii) remove the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator from the Commonwealth; (iii) transfer the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a person outside the Commonwealth who is not prohibited from possessing it; or (iv) surrender the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a state or local law-enforcement agency.
The bill further states that any person who legally owns an assault firearm on July 1, 2020, may retain possession of such assault firearm after January 1, 2021, if such person has obtained a permit from the Department of State Police to possess an assault firearm in accordance with procedures established in the bill. A person issued such permit may possess an assault firearm only under the following conditions: (a) while in his home or on his property or while on the property of another who has provided prior permission, provided that the person has the landowner’s written permission on his person while on such property; (b) while at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designated for the purpose of target shooting or the target range of a public or private club or organization whose members have organized for the purpose of practicing shooting targets or competing in target shooting matches; (c) while engaged in lawful hunting.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said he will sign the bill if passed in the state’s Senate however, there is no guarantee the bill will pass because Democrats only have a two-seat majority in the Virginia Senate. You can read the entire text of the bill here.