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Virginia: Pro-Gun Legislation Passes House; Also House Subcommittee to Hear Firearm-Related Bills

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed two pro-gun bills: House Bill 25 and House Bill 754.  HB 25 passed in the state House by an 81 to 17 vote and HB 754 passed by a 74 to 22 vote.  Both bills will now go to the Virginia Senate for its consideration.

HB 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.

Sponsored by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24), HB 754 would eliminate the optional fingerprinting requirements for initial concealed carry permits.

We thank NRA members who contacted their Delegate and asked them to support these crucial bills.

Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor West Conference Room of the General Assembly building, the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to Virginia gun owners:

Pro-Gun Bills

House Bill 859, introduced by Delegate C. Todd Gilbert (R-15), would provide an exemption from the required criminal history record information check for firearms transfers in the Commonwealth for persons holding a valid Virginia-issued concealed handgun permit.

House Bill 1135, introduced by Delegate R. Lee Ware, Jr. (R-65), would remove certain requirements for an out-of-state concealed handgun permit to be recognized and accepted in Virginia.  Requires an out-of-state permittee to carry and present a valid government-issued photo identification in order for his or her valid out-of-state concealed weapon permit to be recognized and accepted in Virginia.

House Bill 1279, introduced by Delegate Christopher P. Stolle (R-83), would provide that a prisoner may be charged under both the crimes by prisoners code section and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Anti-Gun Bills

House Bill 797, introduced by Delegate Joseph D. Morrissey (D-74), would create a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person carrying a handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and prohibits a person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit for five years following such a conviction.  This prohibition applies regardless of whether the person is carrying the handgun openly or concealed.  Current law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but does not speak to openly carrying a handgun while under the influence.

House Bill 1197, introduced by Delegate Jennifer L. McClellan (D-71), would create a Class 3 misdemeanor for the offense of failing to report to law enforcement that a firearm a person owns or lawfully possesses has been lost or stolen.  Subsequent violations of the law would be a Class 1 misdemeanor.  This bill also creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for the knowingly false reporting of a lost or stolen firearm.

House Bill 1223, introduced by Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-47), reads “Except those lawfully possessing a handgun, no person shall possess a weapon in legislative buildings and all persons, except General Assembly members, staff or any law enforcement officer.”

House Bill 1226, introduced by Delegate Luke E. Torian (D-52), would give the board of visitors or other governing body of an educational institution the power to establish rules and regulations for the possession or transportation of firearms or ammunition on property owned or operated by the institution.

House Bill 1257, introduced by Delegate Mark D. Sickles (D-43), would provide that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.  This bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who carries a loaded firearm on or about his person onto the premises of any restaurant or club licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises.

Please continue to check your e-mail and www.NRAILA.org for more updates on these issues.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.