By Jennifer Brown
Chairwoman, Virginia 6th Congressional District GOP Committee
On January 16, 2020, the new Democratic majority in Virginia’s Senate passed three gun control measures that have been sent to the House for consideration. One such measure includes Senate Bill 69, which amends the current law that allows Virginia residents to purchase only one handgun a month, or in a 30-day period.
Democrats have mentioned repeatedly that these measures are because the majority of Virginians spoke on Election Day by sending Democrats to the General Assembly where they now enjoy the majority in both chambers. Democrats also have stated that these new measures do not infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Dick Saslaw, the Democrat Senator representing parts of Alexandria City, Fairfax County, and the city of Falls Church, speaking in favor of the proposed legislation, said that “somebody could have bought 228 handguns in the 19 years the law was in effect,” and, “that if 228 handguns isn’t enough for you, there something gone terribly wrong in your life.”
Saslaw further opined, “If you need more than that, go to Texas. They don’t have any laws.”
Senator Saslaw’s comments remind me of a wise saying: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
This legislation does not take into consideration those who own and operate gun stores as their way of life and main mode of income.
Monte Jesse, who owns High Country Outfitters, Inc., in Lexington, Virginia, reached out with some thoughts about SB 69:
As a firearms retailer and professional instructor it’s concerning on a lot of different levels.
1. Criminals can’t obtain handguns from me to begin with. They can’t pass the background check that is required for me to transfer a firearm.
2. I teach shooting skills and safety to hundreds of people, many of whom are beginning shooters. More often than not, a beginning shooter will show up to my class and realize that a handgun that they have purchased doesn’t really suit them for a number of reasons. So now they would have to wait weeks to be able to purchase a firearm that would suit them better. (Size, function, caliber etc.)
3. Currently in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a person that is 18 years of age can open carry a handgun for their own protection. However, they can’t purchase a handgun or handgun ammunition until they are 21. So if a family decides to arm themselves someone will certainly be left out.
Every time someone purchases more than one handgun in a seven-day period, we are required by law to notify the local chief law enforcement officer as well as the ATF via a “multiple handgun sale” form that we have to fill out. This system works great and nobody has a problem with it.
This proposed law will greatly impact my business while at the same time will have no effect on crime as my clientele are law abiding citizens. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be able to pass a background check.
While safety is always at the forefront of everyone’s minds, infringing upon constitutional rights and penalizing business owners from earning an honest living is not the way to accomplish this goal. This is nothing but government overreach guised as “community safety.” Instead of punishing law-abiding citizens, I suggest that the Virginia Democrats find ways to deal with mental health issues, terrorists, and actual criminals who will ignore these laws.
Terrorists want to terrorize Americans by violently attacking us. That’s what terrorists do and they use guns in furtherance of their acts of violence, so they won’t be abiding by the one gun a month law. Criminals don’t follow laws, hence the moniker “criminal.” Criminals use guns in the commission of crimes against law abiding citizens so they won’t be following this law either. And it strains credibility to think that someone who suffers from such an extreme mental incapacity that causes them to intentionally harm other people, is somehow reasonable enough to abide by this law.
Therefore, if terrorists, criminals and severely mentally ill individuals will not be impacted by the Democrats’ proposed gun legislation, then who would be impacted? Only law abiding Virginians who want to exercise their Second Amendment Constitutional rights and those who
own businesses that will suffer financial harm.
Jennifer M. Brown is Chairwoman of the 6th Congressional District. An attorney who resides in Rockingham County, she also has a MBA in Marketing and Public Relations. She is also the President of Second Amendment Alliance, and has held numerous leadership positions in Virginia, as well as Florida.