Virginia Democrats’ spingere per il divieto di armi d'assalto perde slancio

Virginia Democrats' push for assault weapon ban loses momentum

Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and other state Democratic lawmakers have appeared to slow their efforts to ban assault weapons in the state.

Virginia’s Democrat-controlled Senate last January respinto Northam’s bill to ban assault weapons and voted to take up the matter again in a year.

Nearly one year later, Northam, whose term expires in 2022, told WRIC on Monday that he’ll leave the decision to revisit a gun banup to the discretion of the legislature.

Whatever they do, I’ll be supportive of,” Northam said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter's question during a press conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va., Nov. 10, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter’s question during a press conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va., Nov. 10, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Northam called the proposed assault weapons bana campaign promise” quella “a lotof Democrats ran on.

I think it was a large reason why the House switched from Republican control to Democratic control,” Egli ha detto. “That one bill on assault weapons didn’t move forward, but six other pieces of legislation did and I think because of that Virginia is a safer state.

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The Virginia governor signed a serie of new gun laws in April targeting background check expansions, a cap on handgun sales, “bandiera rossa” laws, penalties for adults who allow children to handle firearms and rules for residents reporting stolen guns.

Starting on Capodanno, Virginia will also require in-person training for concealed carry permits.

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State Del. Mark Levine also told WRIC that he and other Virginia Democrats likely will not reintroduce an assault weapons ban in 2021, blaming a shortened legislative season that will be mostly virtual.

Most of the session will be devoted to things that are less controversial. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up fighting for this cause,” Levine told WRIC in a Tuesday interview. “The goal is to stop making it really easy to commit mass murder.

Second Amendment supporters gather on Bank Street outside the Virginia state capitol on Monday. (AP/The Virginian-Pilot)

Second Amendment supporters gather on Bank Street outside the Virginia state capitol on Monday. (AP/The Virginian-Pilot)

Two trends that have occurred in Virginia this year do not appear to correlate with the new gun laws: an uptick in gun violence in the state’s biggest cities and record-high, legal gun sales.

Many U.S. cities dealt with surges in violent crime over the summer, despite lockdowns keeping people inside. Some Virginia police departments have also taken notice of the trend in their own cities.

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Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman described anuptickin gun violence in a Dec. 11 interview with WDBJ as not only a local problem but also a national one. Più di 60% of gun violence is coming from gangs, l'outlet segnalato, citing the Roanoke-based Study Committee to Reduce Gun Violence.

Petersberg police Chief Travis Christian also described un “uptick ingun violence and gunplayin the city south of Richmond in a Dec. 18 interview with WWBT.

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It’s been a busy time for us,” Christian said. “If you’ve noticed one too many shootings in Petersburg lately, police have to. We’re focused right now on what we’re seeing, the uptick in some of our gun violence and gunplay that’s occurring in our city.

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith expressed similar concerns, raccontare WRIC in October that homicides rose 60% in the third quarter of 2020, and he previously told the outlet that many shooters are under 21 Anni.

The afternoon sun illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Ave in Richmond, Va., Lunedi, Ott. 19, 2020. A Richmond judge heard arguments in a lawsuit over the Governors' order to remove the statue. (AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The afternoon sun illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Ave in Richmond, Va., Lunedi, Ott. 19, 2020. A Richmond judge heard arguments in a lawsuit over the Governorsorder to remove the statue. (AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Smaller cities like Danville, tuttavia, have reported a decrease in violent crime, secondo WSLS.

Legal gun sales have also surged this year. The Virginia Firearms Transaction Center conducted 716,563 background checks in 2020 as of Dec. 18 compared to its previous record of 505,722 background checks in 2016, WRIC reported.

I’ve been in the gun industry 40 years and I’ve never seen this before,” Mark Tosh, president of Town Gun Shop Inc., told WRIC. “Nothing comes close.

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This trend also appears to be a national one; the FBI’s background check database Spettacoli più di 35.7 million background checks in 2020 rispetto a 28.3 milioni in 2019, 26.1 milioni in 2018, 25.2 milioni in 2017 e 27.5 milioni in 2016, which is when the country saw its last largest surge in background checks.

Mark Olivia, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told WRIC thatpeople are concerned for their safety, so they are purchasing firearms.

We know that by what types of firearms they buy,” Egli ha detto. “They are buying handguns. Those are not the kind of guns for hunting. It’s for personal defense.

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