Testimony before Virginia State Senate on Universal Background Checks

Jan 16, 2018 | Featured

On Monday, Dr. John Lott testified before the Virginia state Senate Courts of Justice Committee.  He had been invited to testify by one of the committee members, state Senator Mark Peake.  Dr. Lott was the first and primary witness to testify against SB 5, a bill pushing “universal” background checks, checks on the private transfers of guns.  As the video above shows, Lott discussed the myths regarding the supposed “3 million dangerous or prohibited people who were stopped from buying guns because of background checks” and the claim that 80% or 90% of Americans support these types of rules.

The bill was defeated in committee by a 9 to 6 vote, and the committee chairman, Mark D. Obenshain, lauded Dr. Lott for coming to testify and pointed out how Lott is an important voice in bringing needed facts into the discussion.  From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A Democratic bill to require universal background checks for gun purchases — a key component of Northam’s gun agenda — was defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

The video of the entire testimony and the final vote by the committee on the bill.

After his testimony, Lott addressed several hundred members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

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  1. Mike Prieur

    The video was unavailable.

    I sincerely appreciate all of your hard work and diligence in defending our rights, Dr. Lott.

  2. bill

    Murdoch v. Pennsylvania states that:


    4. A State may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution. P. 319 U. S. 113.

    5. The flat license tax here involved restrains in advance the Constitutional liberties of press and religion, and inevitably tends to suppress their exercise. P. 319 U. S. 114.

    6. That the ordinance is “nondiscriminatory,” in that it applies also to peddlers of wares and merchandise, is immaterial. The liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment are in a preferred position. P. 319 U. S. 115.

    7. Since the privilege in question is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution, and exists independently of state authority, the inquiry as to whether the State has given something for which it can ask a return is irrelevant. P. 319 U. S. 115.

    8. A community may not suppress, or the State tax, the dissemination of views because they are unpopular, annoying, or distasteful. P. 319 U. S. 116.


    Page 319 U. S. 108

    The First Amendment, which the Fourteenth makes applicable to the states, declares that

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .”

    It could hardly be denied that a tax laid specifically on the exercise of those freedoms would be unconstitutional. Yet the license tax imposed by this ordinance is, in substance, just that.

    So……if this is already Constitutional law…any fee to purchase a gun, even with a background check, is a Charge against exercising a Right, right?