Assault weapons ban bill fails in Virginia Senate

Assault Weapons Ban Bill Fails in Senate, Pushed to Next Legislative Session

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A major piece of gun control legislation backed by Governor Ralph Northam has fallen short in the state Senate.

The bill, H.B. 961, would redefine assault weapons to ban AR-15-style assault rifles, bump stocks, high capacity magazines, and more. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10 to 5 to refer the bill to the State Crime Commission for more study.

Four Democrats broke ranks to vote with Republicans against the legislation, including 25th District State Senator Creigh Deeds.

“The way the process works down here you don’t have a lot of time for change," Deeds said. "I did what I thought was reasonable thing to do and that’s carried over for a year so we can try to figure out how to tighten it up and get a bill passed.”

Seven other pieces of gun control legislation are moving forward, including universal background checks, red flag laws, and a mandatory limit on handgun purchases.

The assault weapons ban could be resubmitted for the 2021 legislative session.

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