Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed several pieces of gun control legislation into law on Friday.
One new measure will restrict purchases of handguns to one per month.
Another establishes a “red flag” law, or Extreme Risk Protective Order, to permit law enforcement to confiscate weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Other bills require background checks on all gun sales in Virginia, require gun owners to report missing or stolen guns within 48 hours, and increase penalties for leaving guns where children might be able to access them.
Northam suggested amendments to two bills, one of which allows local jurisdictions to regulate guns in public areas. The other outlaws the possession of guns by people subject to protective orders.
On a press call with gun safety activists, Northam pledged to continue to fight for gun legislation.
“I will not stop and that piece of legislation will be introduced again to ban assault weapons [from] our streets,” said Northam.
Activists, including Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt, indicated they would try to repeat their success in Virgina in other states, including Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Northam also recalled the political battle following the Virginia Beach shooting, which happened on May 31, 2019.
Later that summer, Northam called a special session on gun violence, but it lasted under an hour and a half and yielded no legislation. “And then on the election, on Nov. 5,” said Northam, “Virginians spoke and they said enough is enough.” The bills passed Friday were taken up in the next legislative session.
In reaction, Virginia House of Delegates Republican Leader Todd Gilbert said in a statement: “To take a victory lap on such a controversial issue at a time when Virginians are buying firearms at a record pace to protect themselves and their families is counterintuitive. To do so at a time when we need all Virginians unified in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic is counterproductive.”
The new laws will go into effect July 1.
Go to Church. We got your license plate
A state judge denied a Virginia man’s legal attempt to open churches ahead of Easter Sunday, ruling in favor of Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home ordinance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Plaintiff Larry Hughes, who describes himself in court proceedings as a “professing Christian,” had sued Mr. Northam in Russell County circuit court in southwestern Virginia, claiming the governor’s temporary stay-at-home order issued last month that did not exempt religious activities as an essential reason for leaving home violated the state constitution, including the provision on religious freedom.
“Whether a church should shut their doors under the current circumstances,” wrote Mr. Hughes’ attorney, is a matter that state law “requires be left to the leadership and congregation of the church, not executive fiat.”
However, on Thursday, Russell County Circuit Judge Michael Moore denied Mr. Hughes’ request for a preliminary injunction to pave the way for legal church attendance on Sunday.
“The equities do not weigh in [petitioner’s] favor based on this pandemic,” said Judge Moore, in the telephone hearing. “And to say that this injunction to be granted would be in the public interest is not defensible.”
Mr. Northam’s executive order limits gatherings to 10 or fewer people until June. Mr. Hughes argued the order violated his state constitutional guarantee of the enjoyment of life and liberty.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued a statement following Thursday’s court victory, saying, “We are all having to sacrifice right now to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe.”
To start these gardens NOW we are looking for:
Land to grow on
This is subject to adjustment. But we want to find land that owners would allow us to grow on their land.
Land owners: I’ve come up with 3 compensation models
5% of the harvest
10% of the harvest to charity
$100/yr and all fencing will be left after 2 years if you don’t want to have us there anymore.
We need 100×100 plots.
Each plot will be divided up into 4 sections.
A person or a family can manage one section.
I’d estimate that we can do the fencing for $100-$400 depending on the materials.
This is not a commune but a co-op.
Anyone managing a section must agree to work it as needed but plan for at least 1-2 hrs a week.