Bill that would prohibit Virginia from aiding federal gun control sent to committee

A bill that would prohibit Virginia’s state and local officials from assisting federal authorities in enforcing some federal gun-control measures was sent to a finance committee in the House of Delegates that would examine its potential financial impact.

But its sponsor, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), angrily denounced the maneuver as an attempt to kill the bill softly in the House appropriations committee.

“Virginians’ Second Amendment rights are being sold for 30 pieces of silver,” Marshall said afterwards, Bible in hand as he referred to the passage in the book of Matthew when Judas betrays Jesus for money.

The vote to send the bill to the House appropriations committee followed an unsuccessful attempt by House Minority Leader David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) to kill the measure outright. That motion failed 63 to 32 in the Republican-led House.

The bill, HB2340, would prevent state and local officials in Virginia from assisting the federal government in enforcing any federal statute, executive order or regulation issued after Dec. 31, 2012 that infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms by imposing restrictions on magazine size or imposing new restrictions on private ownership or transfer of firearms.

The bill was adopted by the Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety by a vote of 15 to 7. Among the opponents were four Northern Virginia Democrats.

Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said the money committee needed to examine the measure because it could cause the state to forfeit federal funds and grants.

“This is not a smoke screen,” Cox said. The motion carried by a show of hands.

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