Today, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 took action on three bills of importance to gun owners in the Commonwealth. During their meeting this committee took a positive step towards advancing Second Amendment protections during a declared state of emergency and to streamline the concealed carry process by unanimously passing both Senate Bill 245 and Senate Bill 563. Both SB 245 and SB 563 will now be considered by the full House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee tomorrow morning.
Sponsored by state Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26), SB 245 would update Virginia’s Emergency Powers statute by adding lawful carrying and transportation of firearms to the list of actions that cannot be prohibited during a declaration of emergency.
SB 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.
In another act supported by pro-gun advocates, this subcommittee also decided to “carry over” until next year anti-gun Senate Bill 554 by a 4 to 1 vote. Sponsored by state Senator Barbara Favola (D-31), SB 554 would have created 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.
Please contact members of the full House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee and urge them to support SB 245 and SB 563 when considered tomorrow morning. With the number of bills currently being considered in both chambers, it is important that you continue to urge your legislators to act quickly and help protect our Second Amendment rights. Contact information for committee members can be found here.