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, Breitbart reports.
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.”
HB 961 Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, silencers.
Introduced by: Mark H. Levine | all patrons … notes | add to my profiles
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators; penalties. Expands the definition of “assault firearm” and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting an assault firearm. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory an assault firearm to any person. The bill also prohibits a person from carrying a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities.
The bill makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport large-capacity firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators, all defined in the bill. Any person who legally owns an assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator on July 1, 2020, may retain possession until January 1, 2021. During that time, such person shall (i) render the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator inoperable; (ii) remove the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator from the Commonwealth; (iii) transfer the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a person outside the Commonwealth who is not prohibited from possessing it; or (iv) surrender the assault firearm, large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer, or trigger activator to a state or local law-enforcement agency.
The bill further states that any person who legally owns an assault firearm on July 1, 2020, may retain possession of such assault firearm after January 1, 2021, if such person has obtained a permit from the Department of State Police to possess an assault firearm in accordance with procedures established in the bill.
A person issued such permit may possess an assault firearm only under the following conditions: (a) while in his home or on his property or while on the property of another who has provided prior permission, provided that the person has the landowner’s written permission on his person while on such property; (b) while at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designated for the purpose of target shooting or the target range of a public or private club or organization whose members have organized for the purpose of practicing shooting targets or competing in target shooting matches; (c) while engaged in lawful hunting; or (d) while surrendering the assault firearm to a state or local law-enforcement agency.
A person issued such permit may also transport an assault firearm between any of those locations, provided that such assault firearm is unloaded and secured within a closed container while being transported. The bill also provides that failure to display the permit and a photo identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer shall be punishable by a $25 civil penalty, which shall be paid into the state treasury.
The bill also requires the Department of State Police to enter the name and description of a person issued a permit in the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) so that the permit’s existence and current status will be made known to the law-enforcement personnel accessing VCIN for investigative purposes.
Levine’s legislation, HB 961, applies to AR-15s and all guns which Democrats refer to as “assault firearms.” He also notes certain cosmetic traits that place a certain gun under the “assault firearm” classification:
An “assault firearm” means a semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and 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 capable of accepting (a) a silencer, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a muzzle brake, or (d) a muzzle compensator; or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii).
If Levine’s bill passes the state legislature and is signed into law, current AR-15 owners–and owners of other so-called “assault firearms”–will have a grace period in which to acquire license from the state. Those who do not acquire a license yet remain in possession of AR-15s will be labeled felons.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune