Incoming Virginia Gov: Banning Private Gun Sales a Priority for 2018

A US made AR-15 magazine-fed Armalite Rifle in a Helsinki weapons store Armalite Rifle on
Rex Features via AP

Incoming Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) indicates that banning private gun sales in the state will be a priority for 2018.

In other words, he will continue to pursue the gun controls that outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) pursued but failed to secure.

NBC Washington reports that Northam will be pushing “universal background checks for gun buyers.” This means private gun sales will be treated like retail sales, with a point-of-sale background checks required at time of purchase. Such a framework will require a law-abiding gun owner to seek out a government representative, a federal firearms license holder, and have a background check performed before he sells a gun to his neighbor, co-worker, lifelong friend, or acquaintance.

Other states that have outlawed private gun sales charge a fee for the required background checks. That fee effectively serves as a new tax on the gun sale or transfer, thereby driving the price of firearms up.

Northam referred to the legislative package banning private gun sales as “nonpartisan” and “commonsense,” but he did not explain why punishing law-abiding, private gun sellers and average Americans is sensible in any way. After all, private gun sales have been the law of the land since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. Why would banning such sales suddenly be evidence of commonsense?

The ugly truth that Democrats and their gun control surrogates in the media ignore is that background checks have proven to be the favorite way for mass public attackers to acquire their guns. From the Texas church shooting (November 5, 2017) to Las Vegas (October 1, 2017) to Orlando Pulse (June 12, 2016) to the attack on the Aurora movie theater (July 20, 2012) and  Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007), mass public attackers are acquiring their guns via background checks, not private sales.

Moreover, even the government has demonstrated that large swaths of the left’s private gun sale “loophole” are actually non-existent. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report shows that federal agents spent two and a half years impersonating prohibited buyers who were trying to skirt the system and buy guns privately online. They made 72 attempts to buy guns and failed 72 times.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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