Virginia bill takes aim at gun ranges

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Virginia state lawmaker proposed a gun control bill that critics say will create a firearms registry at gun ranges in the commonwealth.

Virginia Democratic Del. Dan Helmer filed a bill Thursday that would prohibit indoor shooting ranges in the state not owned by the commonwealth or the federal government, and it would require those privately owned to maintain the personal information of customers who wish to use the ranges.

Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam previously announced that an assault weapons ban that may be passed in the state could include a grandfather clause of previously owned assault weapons that could be possessed but must be registered with the state, thereby creating a registry.

The National Shooting and Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry, was alarmed at Helmer’s bill, telling the Washington Examiner the legislation would be “an absolute threat” to small businesses across the commonwealth.