Ban on assault weapon sales advances in Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7 & AP) - A proposed ban on the sale of assault style weapons and the possession of high capacity magazines has passed the House of Delegates.

Colt AR-15 A3 Tactical Carbine | Photo: Stag1500 / Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers were facing a mountain of legislation Tuesday and a deadline for each chamber to complete work on its own legislation.

And they made quick work of hundreds of bills.

But controversial legislation, including the ban on the sale of assault style weapons and the possession of high capacity magazines prompted more debate.

Delegate Nick Rush (R-Christiansburg) said the bill would outlaw common guns and accessories.

"If you've ever said to one of your constituents, 'I'm not for taking your guns,' this bill will do that," Rush said. "If you've ever said 'I'm for the Second Amendment,' this bill will infringe on that."

"This bill will affect millions of Virginians, that's true," said Delegate Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax)." It's going to make sure that millions of Virginians in schools and their streets are safe from mass murder."

The assault weapons ban narrowly passed.

Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton said the new Democratic majority is having a major impact on policy.

"Certainly in the House of Delegates a tremendous left turn," Denton said. "Certainly very progressive. We see the legislation that not only went into committee, out of committee and also the vote. What's going to be interesting to see is how progressive these bills will become as it relates to what the Senate will do and what the Governor will sign."

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Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are advancing legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons and the possession of high-capacity magazines.

The House of Delegates voted 51-48 Tuesday to pass the legislation to prohibit the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and ban the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

The legislation now moves to the Senate, where moderate Democrats have indicated they are unlikely to support the measure.

Heated debates over guns have dominated this year's legislative session, as Virginia has become ground zero in the nation's raging debate over gun control and mass shootings.