Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's proposed ban on "assault firearms" could potentially be applied to a majority of guns that are currently legal, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said Northam's proposal was so broad that it could lead to the confiscation of millions of guns from previously-legal owners.
"The legislative proposals being discussed would put most firearms beyond the reach of law-abiding Virginians who choose the firearms of their choice to protect themselves, hunt, and practice recreational target shooting," said NSSF general counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "That could potentially impact the availability of tens of millions of firearms."
About the proposal
The legislative proposal in question would "ban the sale, purchase, possession, and transport of assault firearms in the Commonwealth" and redefine "assault firearm" to mean "any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition."
As the Free Beacon points out, most of the semiautomatic guns sold in Virginia come standard with magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. And while the press release for the proposal doesn't explicitly state this, it appears that current gun owners would be required to surrender any violating firearms, since there has been no mention of existing gun owners being grandfathered in to the policy.
The NRA criticized the proposals.
"Virginians want elected officials to address the root causes of violent crime and find solutions that will save lives instead of pursuing gun-control policies that criminals will not follow and will make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves," said NRA Institute of Legislative Action spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen. "This latest gun-control agenda is being pushed by politicians who would rather score political points than tackle the tough issues related to violent crime."