VA Democrat’s Bill Would Make Owning Legally Bought Suppressors a Felony

Silencers are on display at the Sig Sauer booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade
AP Photo/John Locher

A bill put forward by Delegate Mark Levine (D) would make it a felony to own legally purchased firearm suppressors in Virginia.

Suppressors fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934, which means the sale of the devices is overseen by various federal agencies.

For example, to acquire a suppressor, one has to undergo an in-depth background check from the FBI, pay the federal government a $200 tax, register the firearm with the ATF, be fingerprinted, photographed, etc. The process takes about nine months.

Under Levine’s bill, H.B.961, Virginians who have undergone the legal process to acquire a suppressor would be labeled felons after the passage of a six-month grace period in which suppressors can be transferred to persons out-of-state who are allowed to own them, destroyed or rendered inoperable, or surrendered to a “state or local law enforcement agency.”

On January 9, 2020, Breitbart News reported that Levine’s bill also makes it a felony for Virginians to possess legally purchased AR-15s and “high-capacity” magazines. Virginians who own AR-15s — and other rifles that Democrats describe as “assault weapons” — would be able to apply to the state police for an ownership license, which would allow them to keep their guns and avoid the felony charge.

Levine’s bill stipulates that the state police would put together a database of all “assault weapon” owners in the state, based on license issuance.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a 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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