Washington Free Beacon staff writer Stephen Gutowski on Friday said the Democratic Party has shifted to the left on gun control at a faster rate in recent years.
"I think the Democratic Party has moved much further left on this issue over the last four to six years than they had been over the last several decades going back to the '90s because it had long been viewed as a political loser for them," Gutowski said during an interview on Newsmax TV.
Prior to last month's Richmond gun-rights rally, which drew tens of thousands of gun-rights advocates, Democrats in the Virginia state legislature were proposing AR-15 confiscation. However, due to increased pressure on Democrats from Virginia gun owners, they dropped their AR-15 confiscation proposal as a "compromise" and weighed other gun-control proposals.
"You had mentioned this bill being watered down, which would not require current owners of assault weapons to turn them in or register them with state police, as some earlier proposals required. Democrats have called that a compromise. Would you agree with that?" the Newsmax anchor asked Gutowski.
"Certainly this bill is less radical than what the governor [Ralph Northam] had been pushing for the last year or so, starting back in January 2019, which was essentially confiscation of all AR-15s and similar rifles, which would mean millions of firearms being illegal to possess even if you already legally purchased them," Gutowski said. "I think gun-rights proponents are still clearly unsatisfied."
Gutowski went on to say he believes some form of universal background checks will be passed, noting the state senate version will not apply to transfers, just sales.
"Clearly the backlash has been intense within Virginia. That protest is probably the largest programmed protest in the last several decades and probably the largest protest of any sort in Richmond in decades, so certainly there's a lot of grassroots opposition to this," Gutowski said.