Today, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee passed four pro-gun bills, sending them to the House of Delegates for consideration next week. During its meeting this morning, the committee passed legislation to strengthen your Second Amendment rights during a declared state of emergency as well as two bills that would streamline the concealed carry permit process. The fourth bill passed in committee was the Senate companion of House Bill 940, one-gun-a-month repeal, which was recently passed in the Senate and sent to Governor Bob McDonnell. However, one NRA-supported bill, Senate Bill 429, was carried over until next year.
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. This legislation passed by a 15 to 5 vote in committee.
Senate Bill 245, sponsored by state Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26), 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. This legislation was passed unanimously in committee.
Drafted by the NRA and sponsored by state Senator Bill Carrico (R-40), Senate Bill 323 would repeal the prohibition on law-abiding citizens buying more than one handgun within a thirty-day period. Anti-gun opponents have long claimed that gun rationing keeps handguns out of the hands of criminals, but history has shown this law to be ineffective, and to only affect and penalize law-abiding citizens. This legislation passed by a 15 to 6 vote in committee.
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. This legislation was passed by 15 to 4 vote in committee.
As mentioned above, Senate Bill 429 was “carried” over for the year and will have to be reconsidered during the 2013 legislative session. Sponsored by state Senator Frank Ruff (R-15), SB 429 would have provided 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 provided 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.
Please contact your Delegate and urge him or her to vote in favor of SB 67, SB 245, SB 323 and SB 563. As session continues to progress, it is important that we keep this positive momentum going. To locate your Delegate and his or her contact information, please click here.