Earlier today, Monday, February 11, the Virginia Senate delayed taking action on Senate Bill 476, sponsored by State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24). SB476 would permit restaurant owners to decide for themselves whether or not concealed carry permit holders can carry a concealed firearm in a restaurant, provided the permit holder does not consume alcohol. Unfortunately, tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12 is the last day that the Senate can take action on this critically important measure! It is possible that an effort is underway to have SB476 "re-referred" to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. However, as tomorrow is "crossover" day for the General Assembly, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee can no longer consider bills that originated in the Senate -- thus such a re-referral would effectively kill SB476. Bear in mind that the full Courts of Justice Committee passed SB476 by a bipartisan vote of 9-4 last week. Please call your State Senator and strongly encourage him or her to vote for SB476, and remind him or her that a vote to re-refer this bill will be viewed as a vote against Virginia's nearly 150,000 law-abiding concealed carry permit holders! You can find contact information for your Senator by clicking here.
Also today, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 31-9, the Virginia Senate passed Senate Bill 436, sponsored by State Senator Jill Vogel (R-27). SB436 provides that people without a concealed carry permit may store a handgun in a locked container or compartment in their vehicle or boat. To find out how your State Senator voted, click here. Please call and thank your Senator if he or she voted in support of SB436. Contact information can be found here.
During its meeting earlier this morning, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1175, sponsored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31). HB1175, also know as the "apprentice hunting license" bill, is part of the "Families Afield Initiative," which is a collaborative effort among NRA, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the National Sport Shooting Foundation. HB1175 creates increased opportunity and access for novice hunters by allowing them to accompany experienced, licensed hunters into the field to learn first hand of Virginia’s proud hunting heritage. As this bill will likely be considered by the full Senate this week, please call your State Senator and urge him or her to support HB1175. You can find contact information for your State Senator by clicking here.
Finally, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 80-19, the Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 710, sponsored by Delegate Bill Janis (R-56). HB710 provides civil immunity for crime victims who are justified in using lethal force to defend themselves and their loved ones from violent criminal attack. A roll call of the final vote can be found at here. Please call your Delegate and thank him or her for voting for HB710. Please click here to find contact information for your Delegate.