VA Governor Signs Universal Background Checks, Gun Rationing Bill

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Governor Ralph Northam (D) signed legislation Friday creating universal background checks in Virginia and limiting law-abiding Virginians to one handgun purchase per month.

Northam’s office announced his signature on Senate Bill 70 / House Bill 2, creating the universal checks and thereby outlawing private gun sales.

He signed Senate Bill 69 / House Bill 812 resurrecting Virginia’s “one-handgun-a-month rule to help curtail stockpiling of firearms and trafficking.”

Northam used a tweet to refer to these gun controls as “commonsense gun safety measures,” but he did not mention that they would not have prevented the May 31, 2019 Virginia Beach shooting that he used as an impetus for gun control.

He also signed other controls into law, including requirements that gun owners report stolen firearms within 48 hours of the theft or face “civil penalty.” This puts the onus for a gun theft on the gun owner, rather than the individual who stole the firearm.

Democrats won control of Virginia’s legislature in November 2019 and, just days after their victory, Northam made clear there would be a war on guns. That war originally included all-out bans on certain categories of firearms, on ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds, and on firearm suppressors. However, Democrats reformulated their push after facing widespread public backlash over their gun control agenda.

Well over 100 local governments in Virginia declared Second Amendment Sanctuary status in response to the gun control push, and some law enforcement officials were vocal in their opposition to new controls as well.

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 at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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