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Bill regulating sale of assault weapons passes Virginia house

A controversial bill that would ban the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms has passed Virginia's House of Delegates.
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Posted at 5:11 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 18:38:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A controversial bill that would regulate the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms including AR-15 rifles has passed Virginia's House of Delegates, making it one step closer to potentially becoming law.

With a vote of 51-48, HB-961 passed through the House along partisan lines.

It's the most ambitious measure proposed by Northam and one that's met the most pushback, including from members of his own party.

The bill would regulate the sale of assault weapons, defined as "a semi-automatic center-fire rifle that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 12 rounds," as well as possession of high capacity magazines, defined as magazines that hold more than 7 rounds.

"This is a compromise that takes into account folk's concerns and is still a good bill that will help reduce mass murders in the commonwealth," said Del. Mark Levine (D) who sponsored the bill.

The NRA released the following statement after the Virginia House of Delegates passed the bill.

“HB961 will turn law-abiding Virginians into criminals overnight. Under this bill, anyone who owns a standard capacity magazine must submit to mandatory confiscation or face one year in jail for each magazine they own. No law-abiding Virginian will be able to buy an AR-15 - America’s most popular all-purpose sporting rifle. After receiving money from Michael Bloomberg, House leaders have their hands out for more and clearly have no regard for the will of their constituents.”