UPDATED 2:25 PM PT – Thursday, December 24, 2020
Virginia Democrats are pulling back on their efforts to ban the sale of assault weapons in the state.
According to reports on Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) will be leaving the decision to pursue legislation up to state lawmakers. He said he will support them in whatever they decide.
In April, the Democrat governor signed numerous gun-control bills that expanded background checks, capped handgun sales and placed more restrictions on second amendment rights.
“We put a package together of what I refer to as ‘common-sense gun legislation,’ and they delivered on the great majority of it,” Northam said. “That one bill on assault weapons didn’t move forward, but six other great pieces of ‘common-sense gun legislation’ did.”
However, the Democrat-controlled state Senate rejected the governor’s bill banning assault weapons, which included semiautomatic rifles, in January. State lawmakers originally agreed to take this particular bill up again in January 2021, but legislators now report they plan to dedicate the rest of the session to less controversial matters.
Officials said time was limited in this session due to other legislative duties, such as police reform efforts and the need to conduct business virtually due to the pandemic.
In response to the legislation passed this year, anti-gun control advocates plan to hold a rally at the state capitol on January 18th, which will be similar to the one held last January.
Organizers said they expect turnout for this rally to be high as demonstrators want to get rid of all the gun legislation recently passed in the state.