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  • CHAOS: Angry crowd evicted from Virginia House chamber as HB 961 passes out of committee

    CHAOS: Angry crowd evicted from Virginia House chamber as HB 961 passes out of committee

    HB 961 passed advanced out of a state House committee on Friday, but not before the packed chamber erupted in protest, forcing state police to order the rowdy crowd to clear the assembly under threat of arrest for trespassing.

    "House Democrats seem to have learned nothing from the public outcry caused by their proposals. A similar Senate version of House Bill 961 is exactly what prompted the 'Second Amendment sanctuary cities' movement across Virginia," House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert said in a statement.

    According to the bill, “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.”

    Read the full text of “HB 961 Assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, etc.; prohibiting sale, transport, etc., penalties” here.

    "This egregious gun ban is designed to make millions of law-abiding Virginians felons overnight. Lawmakers have delayed bringing up this gun ban because voters from across the Commonwealth oppose it. With their billionaire benefactor coming to Richmond next week to headline a Democratic Party fundraiser, however, it is clear that House leaders would rather bow to out-of-state interests than listen to their constituents and fellow lawmakers," NRA Spokesperson Catherine Mortensen said in a statement.

    Watch a discussion below on HB 961 after the House committee vote by Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    There's some debate as to whether the Virginia State Police formed a line in front of lawmakers during the crowd eruption, ostensibly to protect them from their own constituents. This account of events was documented by an Instragram post from VCHL's official account. See below for some pictures of the incident in question along with a screenshot of the post.

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