With the 2020 legislative session underway, the American Suppressor Association has been hard at work, fighting to ensure that law-abiding citizens in Virginia do not lose the right to own and use suppressors. We arrived in Richmond on Sunday, January 5th, and have spent the past 12 days breaking down misconceptions and educating legislators on the realities of suppressors.
Our primary mission is to ensure that Delegate Mark Levine’s (D-45) House Bill 961 does not succeed. The bill seeks to ban the sale of suppressors, standard capacity magazines, and “assault firearms” in Virginia. If enacted as currently drafted, Virginians in lawful possession of suppressors will be required to destroy them, transfer them out of state, or surrender them to state or local law enforcement by January 1st, 2021. Any civilian caught importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting a suppressor after that date would be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Our primary mission is to ensure that Delegate Mark Levine’s (D-45) House Bill 961 does not succeed.
Thus far, we have had in-person meetings with every legislator in both the House Public Safety Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, or one of their staffers. These are the two that have jurisdiction over firearms.
We also participated in the NRA’s lobby day on Monday, January 13th, where thousands of gun owners from all across Virginia showed up to peacefully voice their displeasure with the tyrannical anti-gun measures being considered by the legislature. Throughout the day we handed out hundreds of ASA stickers, “Cans Not Bans” pins, and educational leaflets on suppressors. We encouraged everyone that we spoke with to find their legislators office, ask to meet with the member or legislative assistant, and let them know that they oppose any ban or further restrictions on suppressors in the Commonwealth.
Our meetings at the Virginia Capitol have made one thing abundantly clear: most of the legislators that we met with did not understand the basics of suppressors. There were exceptions, including one member of the House Public Safety Committee, who personally owns several suppressors. We offered every member and staffer that we met with the opportunity to join us at the range for an educational live-fire demonstration of suppressors. We sincerely hope that they will take us up on the offer.
Next week ASA will travel to Las Vegas for SHOT Show, the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. We plan on returning to Richmond the week of January 27th and will remain through the end of the legislative session if necessary.
Holding the line in Virginia is ASA’s top priority for 2020. Virginia is the cradle of the American Republic. If we lose ground in Virginia, we will certainly lose ground elsewhere. Failure is simply not an option.