RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two Virginia Republicans, including one of the party’s leaders, broke from the GOP and joined Democrats in the state Senate to pass a proposal to ban the sale of “assault-style” weapons manufactured after July.
Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) and Sen. Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-Henrico) voted with 21 Democrats in the Virginia Senate to approve a bill making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess, sell, manufacture, transport or transfer an assault firearm.
The legislation from state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), which state Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. (D-Accomack) voted against, would also prevent those convicted for violating the ban from having a gun for three years.
The measure, which is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, exempts antique firearms, those deemed permanently inoperable, guns “manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action.” The proposal wouldn’t apply to firearms built before July 1, 2023.
Deeds’ bill would ban the sale of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, including magazines, belts, drums and feed strips manufactured on or after July 2023 with the capacity or ability to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition “but does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept and capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”
The 40-member chamber advanced the legislation on a 23-16 vote. Despite the bipartisan support, any effort to toughen Virginia’s gun laws is expected to be voted down in the House.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.