The General Assembly continues to work at a feverish pace in terms of firearms-related legislation. Today in the state Senate passed four pro-gun bills and one anti-gun bill, all of which will now be sent to the House of Delegates for its consideration. While not all of the legislation that passed in the Senate was positive for gun owners, a number of solid improvements did.
The following bills were passed in the state Senate today:
Senate Bill 4, sponsored by state Senator Richard Stuart (R-28), would codify a version of the "Castle Doctrine" allowing the use of physical force, including deadly force, by a person in his dwelling against an intruder in the dwelling who has committed an overt act against him or another person in the dwelling, without civil liability. SB 4 passed by a 23 to 17 vote.
Senate Bill 67, sponsored by state Senator Bill Stanley (R-20), would remove the option for a locality to require an applicant for a concealed handgun permit to submit fingerprints with the application. SB 67 passed by a 26 to 14 vote.
Senate Bill 429, sponsored by state Senator Frank Ruff (R-15), would provide that the form provided by the State Police to be completed upon the sale of a firearm shall contain only the questions specific to Virginia law. The bill also provides that a copy of the consent form required under federal law for the purposes of running a criminal history record information check upon the purchase of a firearm shall be sent to the State Police by the dealer. SB 429 passed by a 36 to 4 vote.
Anti-gun Senate Bill 554, sponsored by state Senator Barbara Favola (D-31), would create a Class 1 misdemeanor for the transportation or possession of firearms within the residence of the alleged victim by persons subject to emergency protective orders issued as a result of an assault and battery against a family or household member. SB 554 was passed by a 29 to 11 vote.
Senate Bill 563, sponsored by state Senator Frank Ruff (R-15), would alter certain application procedures to obtain a concealed handgun permit, including allowing for the submission of an initial application via U.S. mail. This bill would also restrict the clerk and the circuit court from requesting or requiring any information from an applicant other than that which is allowed on the concealed handgun permit application. SB 563 passed by a 32 to 8 vote.
In the House of Delegates today, an important pro-gun vote happened as House Bill 375 passed by a 75 to 25 margin. This legislation, sponsored by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96), would prohibit localities from adopting any workplace rule that prevents an employee from storing a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in his locked motor vehicle. The firearm must be in a secured container or compartment in the vehicle.
As reported previously, the House Militia Subcommittee #1 heard a number of bills of interest for gun owners, three of which will now be heard by the full committee in the near future. Please contact members of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee listed below and urge them to support HB 25 and HB 754.
The House Militia Subcommittee #1 unanimously passed the following bills:
House Bill 25, sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), seeks to prohibit the clerk of the court from disclosing information contained on a concealed handgun permit application or on an order issuing a concealed handgun permit.
House Bill 754, sponsored by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24), would remove the option for a locality to require that an applicant for a concealed handgun permit submit fingerprints as part of the application.
House Bill 929, sponsored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), would provide an exemption for former attorneys for the Commonwealth and former assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth from the requirement to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Legislation that failed to be reported by this subcommittee:
House Bill 952, sponsored by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58), would allow a Department of Corrections correctional officer to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun permit. HB 952 was tabled.
House Bill 592, sponsored by Delegate Don Merricks (R-16), would provide an exemption from Virginia-specific criminal history record information checks upon the purchase of firearms from licensed dealers when the purchaser is a Virginia resident holding a valid Virginia-issued concealed handgun permit. HB 592 was carried over for the year.
Please continue to check your e-mail and www.NRAILA.org for updates on this and future developments regard firearm related legislation in Richmond.
House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee:
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), Chairman
Phone: (804) 698-1031
Delegate Thomas Wright, Jr. (R-61), Vice Chairman
Phone: (804) 698-1061
Delegate Beverly J. Sherwood (R-29)
Phone: (804) 698-1029
Delegate Benjamin Cline (R-24)
Phone: (804) 698-1024
Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15)
Phone: (804) 698-1015
Delegate Don Merricks (R-16)
Phone: (804) 698-1016
Delegate Will Morefield (R-3)
Phone: (804) 698-1003
Delegate James Edmunds, II (R-60)
Phone: (804) 698-1060
Delegate Tony Wilt (R-26)
Phone: (804) 698-1026
Delegate Michael J. Webert (R-18)
Phone: (804) 698-1018
Delegate Rick Morris (R-64)
Phone: (804) 698-1064
Delegate Matthew Fariss (R-59)
Phone: (804) 698-1059
Delegate Israel O'Quinn (R-5)
Phone: (804) 698-1005
Delegate Chris Head (R-17)
Phone: (804) 698-1017
Delegate Nick Rush (R-7)
Phone: (804) 698-1007
Delegate Lynwood Lewis (D-100)
Phone: (804) 698-1000
Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-75)
Phone: (804) 698-1075
Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41)
Phone: (804) 698-1041
Delegate Patrick Hope (D-47)
Phone: (804) 698-1047
Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44)
Phone: (804) 698-1044
Delegate Kaye Kory (D-38)
Phone: (804) 698-1038
Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-49)
Phone: (804) 698-1049