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Virginia: Busy Day in Richmond Brings a Number of Updates for Second Amendment Related Legislation!

Friday, February 4, 2011

As Virginia’s fast paced session continues, a large number of Second Amendment related bills are continuing to progress, while others saw defeat including some pro-gun bills.  On Friday, February 4, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee approved the following pro-gun bills by a unanimous vote: House Bill 1411, House Bill 1552, House Bill 1856, and House Bill 1857. These bills now will head to the House floor and could be considered as early as next week.

House Bill 1411, sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-26), would correct an error in state law in which an individual who is convicted of recklessly handling a firearm while engaged in hunting may lose his hunting or trapping license for a period of one year to life. If an individual whose license has been revoked hunts or traps while in possession of a firearm, the judge may revoke the license for a period of one to five years. HB 1411 will fix this error by changing the penalty for a first offense to loss of hunting or trapping license for a period not to exceed five years and any subsequent offense will allow a judge to revoke the license for one year to life.

House Bill 1552, sponsored by Delegate John Cox (R-55), would help provide clarification for the Clerk of Court, staff and concealed carry applicants in regards to the proper issuance of the copy of the temporary certified application.  Concealed carry applicants in certain jurisdictions have been experiencing delays past the 45-day period and are being instructed to pick up the copy of the certified application from the court. The new language will instruct the court to mail the temporary application to the applicant within five business days of the 45-day period. Also, a friendly amendment was included into HB 1552 that would also include delivery of the certified temporary application by electronic mail.

House Bill 1856, sponsored by Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51), would allow concealed handgun permit holder to obtain a replacement permit in the event that the original permit is lost or destroyed. The permit holder would be required to submit a notarized statement to the clerk of the court that the permit was lost or destroyed and pay a $5 fee.  The clerk would be required to issue a replacement permit within ten business days. The replacement permit will have the same expiration date as the original permit.

House Bill 1857, sponsored by Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51), would clarify a problem caused by the federal government where some military personnel who are attempting to purchase a firearm in the Commonwealth are being turned away because their permanent duty orders have assigned them to the Pentagon, which lists its official address in Washington, D.C., despite being located in Virginia.  Delegate Anderson’s bill would clarify existing law and include the permanent orders to the Pentagon as criteria for required documentation of residence.

The NRA will continue to keep you informed on the status of these bills but, in the meantime, it is important you contact your Delegate and urge him or her to SUPPORT HB 1411, HB 1552, HB 1856, and HB 1857. State Delegate contact information can be found here.

Also today, the House of Delegates unanimously passed House Bill 1422 by a 98 to 0 vote. After crossover on February 8, this legislation will be sent to the Senate for committee assignment.

HB 1422, sponsored by Delegate Dave Albo (R-42), would add one family firearm, not to exceed $3,000 in value, to the list of items that every householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Currently, ten states allow firearm owners to exempt their firearm from the liquidation process.  The NRA helped draft this legislation. 

The NRA will update you with the status of this bill when the information becomes available. Please continue to check your email and www.NRAILA.org for updates.

This week the Virginia General Assembly also defeated one pro-gun and a number of anti-gun bills.  Three pro-gun bills were also struck by their respective sponsors, removing them from any further consideration for this legislative session:

Also today, the Senate Rules Committee struck down pro-gun Senate Bill 1250 by a 12 to 2 vote.

Senate Bill 1250, sponsored by state Senator Jill Vogel (R-27), would have prohibited any department, agency, or other entity of the Commonwealth from adopting or enforcing any rule, regulation, or policy regarding firearms or ammunition except for those rules, regulations, or policies expressly authorized by statute. Any rule, regulation, or policy adopted prior to July 1, 2011, without express statutory authority would be invalid. The prohibition would not have applied to local, state, or regional correctional facilities or facilities operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. 

Yesterday, February 3, the House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 defeated anti-gun legislation, House Bill 1669, House Bill 2343, and House Bill 2524. This subcommittee also by request of their respective patrons struck pro-gun legislation House Bill 1732, House Bill 2062, and House Bill 2069.

Anti-Gun:

House Bill 1669, sponsored by Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71), was an attempt to regulate the private sale of the firearms at Virginia’s gun shows. HB 1669 if passed would have prohibited the private sales of firearms at gun shows by requiring that all sales conducted at a gun show go through a federally-licensed dealer of the gun show promoters choosing. 

House Bill 2343, sponsored by Delegate Joe Morrissey (D-74), would have prohibited open carrying in public while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. We have seen no evidence that this is an activity taking place within the Commonwealth as gun owners are among the most law-abiding citizens in the state.

House Bill 2524, sponsored by Delegate Betsy Carr (D-69), seeked to ban the sale, barter or transfer of any firearms magazine designed to hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition. 

Struck by their respective sponsor:

House Bill 1732, sponsored by Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5), would have allowed any person who is at least 21 years of age with a valid concealed handgun or concealed weapons permit issued by another state to carry a concealed handgun within the Commonwealth, so long as he or she also carries a valid government-issued photo identification.

House Bill 2062, sponsored by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58), would have allowed a correctional officer to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun permit.

House Bill 2069, sponsored by Delegate Clay Athey (R-18), if passed would have allowed an individual to carry a concealed handgun without a permit as long as the individual informs a law enforcement officer of his possession.

 

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