With the fifth full week of Session behind us, we’re now past the halfway point of the 2020 General Assembly. Known as Crossover, this is the point at which the House and Senate exchange legislation and begin to work on the other chamber’s bills. Tuesday was our deadline to pass House legislation, excluding budget bills. On Monday and Tuesday alone we voted on nearly 300 (276) House bills.
You can read up on The Family Foundation’s summary of 'things to keep an eye on' at the half-way point. You can also Click here to track the full list of legislation in the General Assembly. You will find a list of my proposed amendments to Virginia’s budget here.
Here are just some of the bills addressed this week, including a few that I introduced.
GUNS, GUNS, GUNS - HB961 DEFEATED!!!!!
In a deliberate insult to the hundreds of Second Amendment supporters who took time out of their busy schedules to get to Richmond before 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, Bloomberg’s bought and paid for House Public Safety Committee granted them a total of just five minutes to speak out against House Bill 961, the crown jewel of the Northam-Bloomberg gun ban agenda. They quickly rubber stamped this comprehensive gun ban with a vote of 12-9 after limited committee debate, before clearing the public out of the room, so they could continue rubber stamping other gun control bills.
The Committee Substitute for House Bill 961 is a comprehensive ban on many commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, suppressors, and standard capacity magazines. The ban also extends to any part that could be used to change a firearm into a banned configuration. Though the committee amended the bill to allow citizens to keep affected firearms and suppressors they lawfully owned prior to the ban, confiscation is undoubtedly still the end goal. There is no option for citizens to keep their lawfully acquired magazines with capacities greater than twelve rounds, forcing millions of Virginians to dispose of their property, become a felon, or surrender it to the government. If signed into law, a Suffolk gun store owner said 85 percent of his gun stock will have to go.
All in all the House Democrats passed 8 bills endorsed by Governor Northam, including HB421, which would allow any locality to pass its own criminal ordinances covering possession of firearms, and HB961, which forbids purchase or sale of certain firearms. Click here to view the list of all gun-related bills introduced this session.
This morning, House Bill 961 was defeated in a Senate Committee. Your phone calls, emails, and attendance at the Second Amendment Sanctuary and General Assembly committee hearings, and Lobby Day have paid off -many other anti-2nd-Amendment bills are still active though, so keep up the activism!
One of the final moves by the House before the Crossover deadline on Tuesday, was to pass a bill that would allow localities to dismantle monuments for war veterans located in public space. I voted No.
Two amendments were offered in committee. Both would have improved the bill. One would require decisions to be made by referendum; the other would have extended the 30-day time period for finding an alternative location. Both were rejected in a rushed hearing. While debate usually centers on Civil War era monuments, the bill applies to any monument, so we could see other memorials of more recent conflicts dismantled if just a few elected people take exception to some aspect of the memorial.
Instead of removing history, my preference is that local governments add new memorials, not remove those already erected. In a floor speech, Del. Poindexter quoted the well-known words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Even the painful parts of our past are worthy of remembrance - they are the parts that if recollected and taken as lessons can make us wiser and stronger.
PETTY PARTISAN POLITICS... FORCING VIRGINIANS TO TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELABLE