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Virginia: General Assembly Overrides Veto of Two Pro-Gun Bills!

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Wednesday, April 8, the General Assembly overrode Governor Tim Kaine’s (D) veto of two pro-gun bills.

Senate Bill 877, sponsored by State Senator Stephen Martin (R-11), will allow retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed handgun in self-defense in a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages. Unlike Senate Bill 1035, this bill applies only to retired law enforcement officers.  The Senate voted to override the Governor by a vote of 30 to 10 with the House voting 76 to 22 to override. 

Senate Bill 1528, sponsored by State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), will allow a safety course required for obtaining a concealed handgun permit, conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor to be completed electronically or online.  The Senate voted 28 to12 to override with the House concurring 73 to 23.  

Please contact Senator Martin and Senator Cuccinelli to thank them for their efforts in the passage of SB 877 and SB 1528, respectively.  You can reach Senator Martin by phone at (804) 674-0242 and by email at district11@senate.virginia.gov.  Senator Cuccinelli can be reached at (703) 766-0635 and by email at district37@senate.virginia.gov.

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to override the veto of Senate Bill 1035, House Bill 1851, and House Bill 2528.

Senate Bill 1035 would have permitted a Right-to-Carry permit holder to carry concealed in a restaurant, provided he or she did not consume alcohol.  The bill failed to pass by a 24 to 16 vote.

House Bill 1851 would have exempted active duty military personnel or Virginia National Guardsmen from Virginia’s “one-gun-a-month” law on handgun purchases.  HB1851, which passed the House in the override session by a vote of 73 to 26, but failed in the Senate by a vote of 26 to 14 (27 votes were needed for an override).

House Bill 2528 would have established that no locality or entity may participate in a gun “buyback” program where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the gun “buyback.”  The legislation also required that any locality holding gun "buybacks" sell the firearms to a federally licensed dealer “or be disposed of in any appropriate manner” if they could not be sold.  HB2528 passed the House 71 to 28 only to be defeated in the Senate by a vote of 24 to 16.

Thank you to all of the NRA members who answered the call to action in support of these bills.  Without you, the passage of SB877 and SB1528 would not have been possible.

Also, please contact Governor Kaine TODAY and respectfully voice your disapproval with his vetoes.  Let the Governor know that you do not appreciate him undermining the rights of Virginia’s law-abiding gun owners.  The Governor can be reached by phone at (804) 786-2211, by fax at (804) 371-6351, or email ima@governor.virginia.gov.

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