Members of Virginia’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to table the Senate version of HB 961 for the year, a bill that would ban the sale of most semi-automatic firearms and possession of standard capacity magazines in the Commonwealth.
Ten members of the fifteen Senator committee voted to halt the bill, with four Democrats, Senators Deeds, Edwards, Petersen, and Surrovell, crossing party lines to oppose sending the bill to the Senate floor.
Republican Senators Chafin, McDougle, Norment, Obenshain, Stanley, and Stuart also voted in opposition, while Democrats Boysko, Lucas, McClellan, Morrissey, and Saslaw all supported advancing the gun control measure.
Answering a call from the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the organizers of last month’s massive Lobby Day demonstration, hundreds of 2nd Amendment activists packed the committee room and areas outside.
Law enforcement officials from across Virginia also turned out, a growing number of which have vowed not to enforce any unconstitutional gun control and confiscation bills should they become law.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins, who has previously vowed to deputize law-abiding citizens to protect their 2nd Amendment rights, addressed the committee, telling them that he is “strongly against” the bill.
“We owe it to our constituents. If you vote in favor of this bill you should explain why and what good it will do.” Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan also spoke in opposition to the bill, as did a number of private citizens, and VCDL President Philip Van Cleave.
Following the committee meeting, the VCDL released a statement via Facebook lauding the vote and telling supporters “we dare not get complacent again.”
House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a Northern Virginia Democrat who has voiced support for Michael Bloomberg’s Presidential campaign and was endorsed by his Moms Demand Action pressure group, took to Twitter to voice her dismay with the vote.
Filler-Corn’s post was then retweeted by HB 961’s sponsor, Delegate Mark Levine, who promised: “we will be back.”
We will be back. https://t.co/6ZMAn3wDM9
— Mark Levine (@DelegateMark) February 17, 2020