Gun rights supporters celebrate, restriction advocates frustrated after bill fails in Virginia legislature

Bill on assault weapons restrictions, magazine size limits tabled until next year

Gun-rights supporters scored a major win Monday.

A bill aimed at regulating assault weapons in Virginia was shot down in the state legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to kill House Bill 961. Considered the most controversial gun bill of the session, it would have restricted certain rifles, including the popular AR-15, and banned certain magazines, including ones that hold more than 12 rounds.

Four Democrats joined Republicans in a vote to shelve discussion until next year. In the meantime, the State Crime Commission has been asked to study the issue.

The decision came less than a week after the House of Delegates passed the bill 51-48.

The topic is personal for Roanoke County resident Bryan Thornhill.

“I’m thrilled. We’re probably going to have a party this weekend,” he said.

The local business owner considers himself a gun enthusiast. He feared the assault weapons restrictions, even making plans to move out of state.