Gun owners say legislation doesn’t have any teeth

Steve Watson
Jan 28, 2013

The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill Friday that would see state agencies and employees forbidden from helping to enforce Federal gun control measures in the state.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee of the House approved House Bill 2340, which will now proceed to a vote on the House floor.

The measure’s official summary states that the bill would “Prevent any agency, political subdivision, or employee of Virginia from assisting the Federal government of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, detention, arrest, search, or seizure, under the authority of any federal statute enacted, or Executive Order or regulation issued, after December 31, 2012, infringing the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms by imposing new restrictions on private ownership or private transfer of firearms, firearm magazines, ammunition, or components thereof.”

Republican state delegate Todd Gilbert told the Pilot that the bill will ensure that “no employee of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions should help the federal government tread upon our long-held belief that Second Amendment rights are highly individualized and very important.”

The legislation was introduced by Del. Bob Marshall, R-Prince William County, and was approved by the Republican-controlled Delegates’ Committee by 15-7 votes, following a short debate.

“This is really an assault on second amendment rights and it has nothing to do with gun safety,” Marshall said in regards to the federal legislation.

Another measure introduced by Marshall, now under review, would also allow teachers or others to be trained and carry a concealed weapon in public schools. Under current law schools in the state are currently designated gun free zones.

Though gun owners see these moves as positive, some have warned that the legislation is merely posturing and does not constitute any real opposition to the federal gun control proposals.

“If we don’t put some teeth into it, it’ll be useless,” Mike McHugh of the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition told the committee. “I think we’re coming to a point in this country where the states are going to have to finally decide – and I hope it doesn’t end up like years ago – that we’re going to have to face down Barack Obama’s federal plantation.”

The bill also does not include any mention of what punishments would be handed out to any state or local employees who did enforce federal measures.

Obama is pushing for universal background checks for all private gun sales, as well as the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. However, the measures are expected to be defeated in the U.S. Senate.

The president outlined 23 gun control executive orders earlier this month.

Virginia is one of the states that has seen an exponential surge in gun sales following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the resulting Obama push for draconian gun control laws.

In the days immediately following the Newtown shooting, gun dealers requested nearly 5,150 background checks on purchasers in Virginia. That figure amounted to the largest number ever in a single day, according to Virginia State Police.

Since that time, the number of background checks requested per day has frequently been double 2012 figures.

Virginia law allows anyone who is 18+ to carry a firearm openly. Anyone over 21 can apply for a concealed carry permit.

Several other states including Wyoming, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee have already introduced legislation to make it illegal for local and state police to enforce federal gun control measures.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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