Virginia Budget Bill Reserves $250,000 for Enforcing Gun Laws

By Victor Westerkamp

The Virginia 2020 Budget Bill has appropriated $250,000 for covering the costs of enforcement of gun-restricting regulations, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legal Action reported.

The Democratic Party, aided by Michael Bloomberg’s group, Everytown for Gun Safety, secured a majority in the state’s House and Senate on Nov. 25.

Since then, Governor Ralph Northam and his allies have wasted little time in implementing their anti-gun law agenda by rolling out a number of state bills that seek to restrict gun sales and ownership.

Activists Rally As Supreme Court Hears Arguments NYC Gun Control Case
Gun safety advocates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court before during oral arguments in the Second Amendment case NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York, NY, in Washington on Dec. 2, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

According to the bill, (HB-30), Virginia lawmakers expect to implement and enforce the new gun restrictions with the following costs:

“Included in the appropriation for this Item is $250,000 the first year from the general fund for the estimated net increase in the operating cost of adult correctional facilities resulting from the enactment of sentencing legislation as listed below.”

  1. Allow the removal of firearms from persons who pose substantial risk to themselves or others—$50,000
  2. Prohibit the sale, possession, and transport of assault firearms, trigger activators, and silencers—$50,000
  3. Increase the penalty for allowing a child to access unsecured firearms—$50,000
  4. Prohibit possession of firearms for persons subject to final orders of protection—$50,000
  5. Require background checks for all firearms sales—$50,000.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Dec. 21 issued an advisory opinion (pdf) concluding that the resolutions passed by local governments declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” have “no legal effect.”

second amendment
A supporter of the Second Amendment of the US Bill of Rights (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 100 cities, towns, and counties have passed such resolutions since Democrats won majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates in November. They have vowed to oppose any new gun laws they believe violate the Second Amendment.

As the majority of Virginia’s 95 counties have declared themselves sanctuary jurisdictions, Herring said in his advisory opinion that localities “cannot nullify state laws” and must follow gun violence prevention measures passed by the General Assembly.

“These resolutions have no legal force, and they’re just part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear,” Herring said in a statement Friday, December 20.

Bills backed by Democrat Virginia Governor Ralph Northam would require current owners to register their weapons with the government and the sale of a number of semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 would be prohibited.

The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.