A highly-contested bill that would make it a crime to own an assault weapon in Virginia passed the House of Delegates on Tuesday by a slim margin.
House Bill 961 made it past the House with a vote of 51-48.
The bill expands the definition of an assault weapon and bans anyone from purchasing or selling certain semi-automatic firearms, including AR-15 style rifles. Large-capacity firearm magazines, silencers, and trigger activators would also be prohibited.
It also forbids anyone in certain Virginia localities from carrying a shotgun with a certain magazine capacity.
A House committee advanced the bill last week.
If this measure becomes a law, it would be a Class 6 felony starting July 1. However, anyone in possession of a large-capacity firearm magazine, silencer or trigger activator has until January 1, 2021 to render them inoperable, surrender them to police, or just get them out of Virginia altogether.
The legislation now moves to the Senate, where moderate Democrats have indicated they are unlikely to support the measure.
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