If you’ve been following the drama in Virginia since the recent election, you know that multiple anti-Second Amendment bills have been introduced, such as SB16 and SB64. You may also know that most of Virginia isn’t really happy about these bills and they’ve been fighting back hard. Thanks to a grassroots effort and the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, dozens of counties and cities have declared that they won’t enforce gun laws passed next year. And these efforts are getting noticed. The attorney general is blustering that “gun laws will be followed” (no idea how he’s going to do that), and the original author of the bill has decided to add a grandfather clause when he introduces it next year.
While this looks like a win, it really isn’t anything more than a regrouping and attempt to divide. They didn’t expect this level of pushback, but overall, the Democrats that were elected last year represent some fairly die-hard party people (not the fun kind). That means that they’ll still aggressively push anti-Second Amendment bills, they’ll just try different tricks to get them through. In this instance, they think that confiscation was the breaking point, so they’ll pull it out. But they still intend to make everyone register them. I know anti-2A guys scoff that registration is a precursor to seizure, but honestly, if I own it legally, why do you need to know I have it? They’re hoping that since their bill prevents transfers, once you die, your gun does too. Essentially, they won’t confiscate it from you (to try to buy your vote), but they’ll confiscate it from your family since you can’t transfer it. So confiscation is still the goal, they just hope that by delaying it, they can sneak it past. I think they’re also hoping that they can divide the people who maybe aren’t big fans of ARs but adamantly oppose gun confiscation from those that oppose the bill as a whole.
I’ve been incredibly happy watching Virginians respond to this threat. As a whole, Second Amendment advocates have been very unorganized in past instances. Bloomberg’s various groups, on the other hand, are very well-organized and funded. Even if this bill fails completely (and I hope it does), they may have done us a huge favor by finally forcing us to come together and organize. Now it’s up to advocates to keep that momentum going through the next session.