If you'll recall, In January 2020, a new Virginia Legislature was seated, with both Houses of the legislature and the governorship firmly in Democrat control. One of their first legislative actions was to introduce a massive anti-gun agenda. Just in the transition period after election day, because those Democrats were so loud in their anti-gun campaigns, eighty-six out of 95 counties in Virginia (90%) along with over one hundred municipalities declared themselves as "Second Amendment Sanctuaries." Thousands of protesters showed up (armed) to the state capitol on January 20th to protest these laws. In February, the Legislature passed most of them and on April 10th Governor Northam signed these points of that agenda into law:
- Requiring background checks on all gun sales in Virginia
- Re-instituting a limit on handgun sales to one a month
- Increasing penalties for recklessly leaving firearms near children or failing to report a lost or stolen firearm within two days
- Allowing localities to set their own rules on the presence of firearms in public
- Prohibiting those subject to a protective order from possessing firearms
- Creating a "red flag" law that allows law enforcement to temporarily seize a gun from a person deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others
Now let's break these out:
Background checks. Federal law requires Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders, which are gun stores, pawn shops, gunsmiths and individuals who buy and sell 20+ weapons a month, to perform a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) using the information a buyer/seller writes on a BATF Form 4473. Private sales did not require any kind of state or federal involvement in the firearm transfer. Now, private sales must also be done at a gun store, et.al., because citizens do not have access to NICS, only entities like law enforcement and FFL holders.
One-a-month: One of the ways I illustrate how stupid or hypocritical something is is to switch gender roles or the item in question. So if you replace "handgun" with "roll of toilet paper," it sounds beyond ludicrous, right? There you go.
Penalties for being reckless. I have to ask, who would define "reckless"? The government. If I left an (unloaded) firearm near an infant, or near a teenager who is mature about the handling of firearms, I could fall under that "reckless" definition if the prosecutor wanted me in prison. This is also one of those "after the fact" kind of penalties, like where a drunk driver who mows down a group of people is given a speeding ticket, on top of the DUI and counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Reporting stolen firearms. Let's say I'm out of town for a month and my residence is unoccupied during that time. During the second week, someone breaks in, steals my firearms and the next day kills someone with at least one of them. I'm not going to report my guns as stolen until I return in a couple of weeks because I don't know they're gone until I get home. I would be guilty of that "crime" because I didn't report it fast enough. Frankly, if I did report it in their (arbitrary) time frame, that wouldn't have stopped any of the crimes committed with my firearms, so what's the sense of this?
Local control of laws. The state government controls the issuance of things like concealed carry permits, even if they are done on the county level. This is a very stupid idea because if I have a STATE carry permit and I travel from Town A to Town B through Town C and the Town C police arrest me because they have more restrictive laws than A, B or the state, that's just not right.
Protective orders and red-flag laws. This is a total abandonment of due process of law and the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," and the level of abuse will be (and has been) epic. Swatting is similar. If I didn't like someone I knew that owned a firearm, I could take out a restraining order on them, or just called the police and say "Bob is standing outside in his front lawn, naked, with a beer in one hand and a rifle in the other, screaming at the moon." Under this law, the police would come and confiscate Bob's firearms and hold onto them until Bob proves a negative (he wasn't doing what I claimed).
And what's coming will be even worse. This, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is exactly what an overbearing government looks like and the exact reason why the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to prevent government from doing garbage like this. And now because of COVID-19 and the heightened potential for a general breakdown of civilized society when the supply chain is disrupted or runs dry, the need for citizens to have the ability to defend themselves has never been greater. The best possible tool a person can have in a situation like this is a firearm and the will to use it.
A firearm (and the mental will to use it) is the only effective way a person can defend themselves in SHTF situations. Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee might be able to take on three gang-bangers armed with 2x4's, but I promise without a firearm you can't, especially if you're protecting children or other innocents.
Please, if you have, or intend on acquiring a firearm with the intent of self-defense, please get the training necessary to quickly and accurately operate that weapon, and you know in the deepest parts of your soul that you could kill another person. If you know you can't "drop the hammer," to defend yourself or others, don't buy it. You will not shoot at that critical second, you'll end up dead and the bad guys will have another weapon.