Yesterday, the Virginia House of Delegates voted on two important self-defense measures what would affect law-abiding citizens in the Commonwealth. House Bill 14 passed the state House by a 75 to 22 vote and House Bill 48 passed by a 70 to 28 vote. Both bills will go to the state Senate for its consideration.
House Bill 14, sponsored by Delegate Greg Habeeb (R-8), would provide civil immunity to an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force to defend the dwelling or another person in the dwelling.
House Bill 48, sponsored by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20), seeks to codify the "Castle Doctrine" by providing both criminal and civil liability immunity to someone who uses any degree of physical force against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act.
The House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 held a hearing yesterday when multiple gun-related bills were on its agenda. They decided that House Bill 859 and House Bill 1135 would be carried over to next year’s legislative session. House Bill 1197, House Bill 1223, and House Bill 1257 were laid on the table for the year. Lastly, anti-gun House Bill 1226 was struck from the docket by a voice vote.
House Bill 859, introduced by Delegate 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 Lee Ware (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 1197, introduced by Delegate Jennifer 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 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 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 Sickles (D-43), would make it 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.
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