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Old December 29, 2019, 12:12 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,145
Virginia -- Donations -- the Kings Shilling -- Consequences

Forwarded w/ permission, from someone w/ my own deep background & experience.
I ask the Moderators' indulgence on what might otherwise be considered a Drive-By...
but anything I could add would be superfluous.


I have taken a keen interest in the latest changes that have taken place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, particularly in the last election. In case you were asleep at the switch, you may not have noticed that Virginia officially and fully turned blue as of this last election. It was Barack Obama that reminded us that "elections have consequences."

So what does this mean for the commonwealth? It is a reasonable guess that the next session of the Virginia General Assembly probably plans to propose all manner of leftist legislation, including LGBTQ+ rights, abortion rights, sanctuary state status, among other leftist progressive agenda items. I will not cover any of those and focus on one topic only - gun rights.

Gun rights are enshrined in the US Constitution under the Second Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It is also not my intention to debate the prefatory clause of the second Amendment (A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State) since that matter had been fully adjudicated in the SCOTUS decision DC vs. Heller. It held that The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Given the recent 2nd Amendment cases of DC vs. Heller and McDonald vs. City of Chicago, one would expect that most states would head in the direction of easing gun restrictions to comply with the law. As a general rule, that has been the case across the US with nearly every state having enacted “shall issue” concealed carry laws and nearly 15 states having enacted “constitutional carry” laws. That has all changed in the Commonwealth of Virginia with this most recent election.

Numerous articles have documented how out of state donors, such as Michael Bloomberg, essentially bought the Virginia election. Bloomberg’s money was apparently well spent since for the first time, the left now controls all three pillars of government in the commonwealth: Governor, Senate, and House of Delegates. Here is just one representative article of many: [link1]

Why should this be concerning? There is an old expression that goes, “if you take the king’s coin, you play the king’s song.” Michael Bloomberg is a virulent anti-gun rights individual and he expects a return on his investment in Virginia. What exactly does he expect? Suffice it to say that legislation that is currently proposed would make Virginia’s gun laws the strictest in the nation, stricter than Bloomberg’s home state of New York, California, Connecticut, or Illinois. What might make these proposals so strict? If you like reading legalese, you can read the entire bills here: [link 2]

If you find reading legalese just as painful as I do, let me break it all down into simple bite sized pieces (h/t NRA-ILA):

It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm. Otherwise law-abiding gun owners found in possession of an “assault firearm,” even one they purchased prior to the ban, could be convicted of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

The legislation lays out several criteria by which a firearm would be defined as an “assault firearm.” This includes,

• A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.

• A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:

(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a thumbhole stock; (iv) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (v) a bayonet mount; (vi) a grenade launcher; (vii) a flare launcher; (viii) a silencer; (ix) a flash suppressor; (x) a muzzle brake; (xi) a muzzle compensator; (xii) a threaded barrel… or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii)

• A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a fixed magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds.

• A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel… or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);

• A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

• A semi-automatic shotgun with one of the following characteristics:

(i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a thumbhole stock, (iii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iv) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (v) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v).

With this definition, SB 16 would outlaw America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Virginians use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. More importantly, upon passage of this law, there are zero grandfathering provisions. While the constitutionality of this law is questionable at best, you can expect the Virginia General Assembly to make it a high priority piece of legislation. Once the governor signs it into law, nearly every gun owner in the commonwealth will become an “insta-felon,” since the law as proposed has no grandfathering provisions for current owners of these banned weapons. So you might ask, how will this all play out?

I have been monitoring multiple news feeds and the rhetoric on this issue is heating up exponentially. Nearly 90 percent of all Virginia’s counties have passed some form of 2nd Amendment sanctuary provisions. The Attorney General has responded by stating that 2nd Amendment sanctuary policies have no effect under Virginia law and if necessary, the Virginia National Guard (VANG) will be used to confiscate weapons. Clearly, the Guard remembers very well how that played out at the 1970 Kent State riots and would prefer not to have it play out again. Nevertheless, all members of the National Guard take an oath to obey their chain of command, which includes the governor who is the commander in chief of the VANG (when not federalized). Would Governor Northam actually order the VANG to arrest Virginia residents who do not surrender their weapons? Time will tell how that plays out, but a larger question to be answered is, how will they know? Specifically, how will the state of Virginia know that a specific VA resident possesses a banned weapon? This is where I focused most of my research.

In 1989, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that is now codified as Section 18.2-308.2:2, of the Code of Virginia. In case you might have been wondering, yes it was passed by a leftist governor and a leftist legislature. The law had many provisions that are codified here: [link 3]

These are the procedures for a firearms transfer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a lengthy read and I will not bore you with all of the details, but a couple of significant points stand out and I will cover those.

First, any firearms transfer in Virginia mandates the Seller and Purchaser complete both SP-65 (State Police Form 65) and ATF-4473 (Federal Firearms Transaction Record). The SP-65 form is titled, “Virginia Firearms Transaction Record.” Unlike the ATF-4473 (Federal Firearms Transaction Record), the SP-65 is kept on file at the dealer who sold the weapon for a period of two years. The ATF-4473 is kept on file only at the dealer for a period of 20 years. Why the difference? This is because on page XIII–1 of the VA State Police Procedures Manual for Firearm Dealers (see link 3 above), it states very clearly: “Copy 1 [of SP-65] shall be mailed or delivered to State Police by the last day of the same week following the CHRI request.” In case you were unclear, the VA State Police answers directly to the governor.

So you might be asking yourself at this point, what exactly is on the SP-65 and why should I care? The answer to that can be found by examining the form itself. Since this form is tightly controlled and not downloadable from the VA Police website, only a 2013 version of this form is available online. It is here(registration for this site may be required):

Items on this form that are of interest:

Section A1. Buyers full name
Section A4: Full Social Security Number
Section B13E: Assault Weapons Purchase identification used 
Section B14: Number of firearms by category: Pistol, Revolver, Rifle, Shotgun

Since the Virginia State Police have direct access to the driver’s license records of all Virginia residents, it would take less than a second to query all gun owners in the entire state who owned assault weapons. In case it was not readily apparent, VA has all the tools currently in their possession to operate a gun registration database. While the federal government is prohibited from doing so IAW the Gun Control Act of 1968, VA is bound by no such restrictions.

So what are my conclusions from my research? If you are a gun owner in Virginia and you own nearly any modern sporting rifle or any semi-automatic handgun that holds more than 10 rounds in the magazine, you are at risk for becoming an insta-felon if/when Governor Northam signs SB16 into law in January. Since Virginia already has the tools to identify all gun owners and “assault weapon” owners, they can start gun confiscations immediately upon passage of this law. Unless some intervening body (NRA-ILA, GOA) steps in and requests an immediate injunction pending appeal, this could touch off a lot of unintended consequences which are partially covered here:

Last edited by mehavey; December 29, 2019 at 12:46 PM.
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