Virginia Dems Shoot Down Assault Weapons Bill

I am pleased to announce an affiliation with published by former Virginian-Pilot columnist Kerry Dougherty. Kerry writes on a wide range of topics pertaining to politics and popular culture from a conservative perspective, and she has given us permission to re-post her commentary regarding the follies and foibles of Virginia here on Bacon’s Rebellion. — JAB

by Kerry Dougherty

After I wrote a piece last week revealing where Rep. Elaine Luria hid during the State of the Union address, one reader – we’ll call her Joan – left a comment on my Facebook page.

“Why don’t you ever write anything positive about Democrats?” she lamented.

“Like what, Joan?” I replied.


Well, Joan, this one’s for you. Turns out there are some anti-gun measures that even Virginia Democrats can’t stomach. As a result, I have something very positive to say about Creigh Deeds, John Edwards, Chap Petersen and Scott Surovell, the four Senate Democrats who boldly broke ranks with the anti-gun zealots running their party to vote against the so-called “assault weapons” bill.

This quartet joined Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee in voting to send HB961 to the State Crime Commission for further study, killing it for this session. Deeds reportedly said he was not satisfied with the definition of an assault weapon contained in the bill.

Neither are a lot of us.

This is a blow to Gov. Ralph Northam and the politicians bankrolled by Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun PACs who gained a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Apparently Bloomberg doesn’t own every Democrat in Virginia.


The Senate version of this bill actually called for the confiscation of AR-15s and similar weapons from lawful owners. That would set up a potentially dangerous situation in the commonwealth, especially with 110 cities, counties and towns passing Second Amendment resolutions and law enforcement in some of these jurisdictions vowing not to cooperate with draconian gun laws.

That bill was withdrawn. In its current form the proposed law bans the sale or transfer of these popular weapons, but grandfathers in current owners.

HB961 would also make it a crime to own large-capacity magazines – more than 12 rounds – suppressors or trigger activators. Those who legally own these items now would be required to surrender them, destroy them or get them out of the state within a year.

In other words, the bill would turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals.

Earlier in the session Democrats showed that they were not serious about reducing the cause of gun violence. When presented with a number of measures that would have increased mandatory prison sentences for criminals who use firearms, they killed those bills. Instead, they focused on limiting the rights of law-abiding Virginians.

At least one of those measures is dead – for now – thanks to four independent Democrats.

This column was published originally at