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Archive for January 24th, 2023

In yesterday’s Senate Judiciary meeting, Senator Creigh Deeds’ SB1382 was reported out of committee and rereferred to Senate Finance and Appropriations. This is the new version of a so-called “assault weapons” ban. It has absolutely no chance of getting out of the House of Delegates, which currently has a slight pro-rights majority, but it gives us a glance of what is in store for gun owners if the Democrats regain complete control of Virginia government after the 2025 statewide elections. What do they consider an “assault weapon”? The below is from the bill:

“Assault firearm” means any:

  1. A semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds;
  2. A semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding, telescoping, or collapsible stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) a grenade launcher; (v) a flare launcher; (vi) a sound suppressor; (vii) a flash suppressor; (viii) a muzzle brake; (ix) a muzzle compensator; (x) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a sound suppressor, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a muzzle brake, or (d) a muzzle compensator; or (xi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (x);
  3. A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding, telescoping, or collapsible stock; (ii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iii) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (iv) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (v) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a sound suppressor, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a barrel extender, or (d) a forward handgrip; or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v);
  4. A semi-automatic shotgun that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding, telescoping, or collapsible stock, (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iii) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (iv) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (v) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (iv); or
  5. A shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the shortest ammunition for which it is chambered. An “assault firearm” does not include any firearm that is an antique firearm, has been rendered permanently inoperable, is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action, or was manufactured before July 1, 2023.

This bill bans the most popular firearms, both pistols and rifles, that are currently made in America. While you would be able to keep the firearms you currently own, you would not be able to purchase one manufactured after July 1, 2023. As I said, this bill is going nowhere beyond the Senate. But if gun owners don’t vote their rights in future elections, this is our future in Virginia, and we can’t guarantee that the Supreme Court will bail us out of the mess we create.

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