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Virginia: Senate’s Special Sub-Committee Kills Pro-Gun Bills

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The special Sub-Committee formed earlier this week by Senator Marsh, Chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, to kill firearm-related bills performed its intended goal by defeating a large number of pro-gun bills designed to protect our Second Amendment rights.  Just a few weeks ago, the House of Delegates passed these bills with many garnering strong bi-partisan support.

Despite killing numerous pro-gun bills, the Special Sub-Committee did pass three bills, HB109, HB1191 and HB1092. In addition, the Sub-Committee also conformed, HB505 (restaurant carry) to SB 334 and HB 885 (storing a firearm in a locked container in a vehicle or boat) to SB 408.

House Bills Passed by the Special Sub-Committee:

House Bill 109, also sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), would repeal the statute which allows the governing body of any county to require the sellers of pistols and revolvers to furnish the Clerk of the Circuit Court with the name and address of the purchaser, date of purchase and the number, make, and caliber of the gun.

House Bill 1092, sponsored by Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-6), would give retired law-enforcement the ability to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

House Bill 1191, introduced by Delegate H. Morgan Griffith (R-8), would allow a circuit court judge to authorize the Clerk of Court to issue concealed handgun permits in instances where the application is complete, the background check does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified, and, after consulting with the local sheriff or police department, there are no other questions or issues surrounding the application.

House Bills conformed to Senate bills which have been passed:  

House Bill 505, sponsored by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15) would allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry his or her firearm into a restaurant, provided he or she does not consume any alcohol.  HB505 was conformed to SB334 by creating a Class 2 misdemeanor for consumption of alcohol while carrying concealed and stripping retired law-enforcement officer of the ability to drink while carrying concealed.

House Bill 885, sponsored by Delegate Cliff Athey (R-18), would allow any person who may lawfully posses a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private vehicle or vessel to keep the firearm secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.  HB885 was conformed to SB408 by changing the word “secured” to “locked”.

Below is the list of bills defeated by the Special Sub-Committee:

House Bill 26, authored by Delegate Thomas Wright (R-61), would have prohibited the Clerk of the Court from requiring an applicant for a concealed handgun permit to provide any documentation or information not authorized by the law or prescribed by Virginia State Police.

House Bill 49, sponsored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), would have repealed the antiquated gun rationing law, commonly referred to as, “one-gun-a-month”.

House Bill 52, sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), would have allowed a court to waive the $25 dollar fine upon presentation of the permit to the court, if a person failed to display his concealed carry permit when requested by a law-enforcement officer.

House Bill 79, sponsored by Delegate R. Lee Ware (R-65), would have prohibited the Clerk of Court from publicly disclosing concealed handgun permit application information, unless the permittee had provided written consent for the release of the application or information. The information would have still been available to law-enforcement acting in the performance of their duties.

House Bill 108, also introduced by Delegate Cole (R-88), would have prohibited agents of localities or localities themselves from participating in “gun buy-backs” unless the governing body of such a locality authorizes such a program. The locality would then have the option of selling the firearms by auction to a federally licensed dealer (FFL) or disposing of the firearm in any other appropriate manner.

House Bill 171, authored by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96), would have prohibited property owners, employers, or a business entity from establishing or enforcing any policy that would prohibit a person who may lawfully possess a firearm, from storing a firearm in a locked motor vehicle in a publicly accessible parking lot.

House Bill 236, sponsored by Delegate Bill Janis (R-56), would have removed the prohibition imposed by localities on hunting within a half-mile of subdivisions.

House Bill 490, sponsored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), would have directed the Department of State Police, in cooperation with the Secretary of Public Safety, to develop a plan to allow the State Police to issue lifetime concealed handgun permits to Virginia residents.

House Bill 870, sponsored by Delegate Benjamin Cline (R-24), would have repealed the language that allows localities to fingerprint applicants for a concealed handgun permit.    

House Bill 1070, sponsored by Delegate Clay Athey (R-18), would have provided that a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit could not be barred from carrying a concealed handgun in any place or facility designated or used by the Governor, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or any other governmental entity as an emergency shelter or for the purpose of sheltering persons.

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