Virginia Senate Shuts Down Democrats' Bill to Ban 'Assault Weapons'
Moderate Dems break with party to reject anti-Second Amendment gun control bill
Virginia’s state Senate has shut down an anti-Second Amendment effort from Democrats by voting against a bill to institute an “assault weapons” ban across the Commonwealth.
The legislation would have prohibited the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms, including AR-15s, while also banning the ownership of magazines that can hold more than 12 rounds.
Despite a narrow Democratic majority in Virginia’s Senate, four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in opposition to the controversial gun bill, according to the Associated Press.
Last week, lawmakers in the Virginia House of Delegates voted in favor of the bill before passing it on to the state Senate.
Senators voted Monday to put off the issue for 2020, instead choosing to defer to the matter for further study.
Monday's vote reportedly drew cheers from gun rights activists who packed a Senate committee room to watch the vote.
In a blow to Democrats, four moderate lawmakers broke party lines to join Republicans in voting against the legislation.
The rejection comes as a loss to Gov. Ralph Northam, who had championed the bill and has made reducing gun violence in the state a top priority.
As part of a broad package of gun control measures, Senate Democrats passed three gun control bills.
The package of bills would restrict monthly gun purchases, expand background checks on firearms, and allow localities to ban guns in designated areas in January.
Virginia has thus become a heated epicenter of the nation's debate over guns.
While Northam's calls have received support from those looking to end gun violence, gun rights activists have accused him of trying to infringe upon their Second Amendment rights.
Tens of thousands marched in Richmond last month to protest the bevy of legislation.
More than 80 Virginia counties have also declared themselves "Second Amendment sanctuaries."
Last month, President Donald Trump sent a clear message to lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled state of Virginia.
The presdient warned that he will not allow Virginia Dems to undermine the Second Amendment rights of American citizens while he's in office.
Speaking during an interview with Fox News Wednesday, President Trump warned Democrats that a gun grab "will never happen as long as I’m here."