Virginia lawmakers reject AR-style rifle ban championed by Gov. Northam

by Bryan Brammer · Feb 17th, 2020 11:48 am

Last Updated Feb 17th, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Virginia lawmakers on Monday dismissed a semiautomatic weapons ban known as an "assault weapon ban" that would have prohibited the sale of certain firearms, including the AR-15 style rifle, which is the most popular rifle in America.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to defer the House bill championed by Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam that sought to ban the sales of certain semiautomatic weapons as well as banning magazines able to hold more than 12 rounds.

Four Democrats crossed over to join Republicans in the committee vote on Monday which has asked the state crime commission to take a longer look at the issue before voting again in 2021.

Although Northam and fellow Democrats believe gun control measures will make Virginians safer, Republicans and pro-gun groups felt the proposed legislation was an attack on the Second Amendment.

The Virginia Citizen's Defense League (VCDL), which helped organize the Richmond gun rally last month, saw the Judiciary Committee's decision as a victory.

"Next year, the battle will continue, but if we fight like we did this year, vote in every election and support pro-gun candidates, we will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. We dare not get complacent again," a VCDL wrote in an email.


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