Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his Democratic allies in the legislature are fuming after Republicans killed a gun control bill before it ever reached a final vote, and second amendment advocates say the contents of the bill would have instantly turned many law-abiding gun owners into criminals.
“I wish Ralph Northam had run on the issue of gun control. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be the governor now if he had said, ‘Oh, incidentally, I’m going to take away all your guns,'” said Gun Owners of America Legislative Counsel Michael Hammond.
Among the initiatives pursued by Northam and other Democrats are a ban on “assault weapons,” a ban on any firearm that can hold a magazine containing more than ten rounds, and strengthening of so-called “red flag laws,” which allow a court to take away guns from someone deemed to be an imminent threat to themselves or others.
Hammond says Northam essentially wants to ban semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15. He says there are roughly 50 million semi-automatic rifles in the U.S. But he says that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“He goes on with universal background checks, which sets the stage for a national gun registry and would outlaw private gun transactions between you and your neighbor. And he goes on to these insidious gun confiscation orders, which he calls red flag laws,” said Hammond.
Hammond calls them insidious because judges can order gun confiscation based only on a complaint and no due process for the person accused of being a threat. He says any attempt to take someone’s gun away should be treated like a criminal charge, meaning the accused should have full rights to paid counsel.
According to Hammond, the confiscation orders are carried out in the middle of the night and can often lead to deadly consequences when a groggy gun owner fears what’s on the other side of the door.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Hammond explain why most mass shooters – from Parkland to Newtown and many places – could have been arrested for felonies or had their firearms taken away on clear legal grounds. He also explains why gun owners in many states need to brace for fierce efforts to limit their second amendment rights in the weeks and months ahead.