Democrat Ralph Northam did not even take office as governor of Virginia when he announced last week that gun control was a top legislative priority in 2018, even though Republicans control the Virginia Senate, while the House of Delegates will either be a tie or Republican-controlled, depending on the recount of the race involving Republican Senator David E. Yancey.
Northam and McAuliffe announced a joint legislative effort that listed Medicaid Expansion as the top priority, followed by “universal background checks.”
The problem is that “universal background checks” are already law of the land, and the so-called “gun-show loophole” doesn’t actually exist. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently did a study which found that federal agents who spent two and a half years impersonating prohibited buyers who were trying to skirt the system and buy guns privately online failed 100 percent of the time in 72 attempts.
Before Governor Northam’s first General Assembly address on Monday, the Republican-controlled Senate committee immediately defeated legislation that would require universal background checks for firearms purchases.
“The Senate Courts of Justice committee rejected this legislation this morning on partisan lines, along with several other bills aimed at preventing gun crimes,” Governor Northam said at the speech. “That is disappointing – but this issue is not going away.”