The 2013 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly adjourned on February 23 with the passage of numerous pro-gun reforms and the defeat of all anti-gun bills. Stay tuned for more details as passed legislation goes before Governor Bob McDonnell (R) for his signature. Thank you to all NRA members who stood up for freedom and contacted their state legislators during this session. Below is a listing of Second Amendment victories for 2013.
Pro-Gun Legislation Awaiting Action by the Governor:
A substitute to Senate Bill 1335, patroned by state Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26), passed by a 32-8 vote in the Senate after its approval in the House of Delegates by 76-23 vote. The substitute to S.B. 1335, amended by the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, protects the confidentiality of all concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders in Virginia.
Senate Bill 1363, patroned by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27), and House Bill 2317, patroned by Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51), are companion bills that provide that residency for members of the armed forces shall include both the member’s permanent duty post and the nearby state in which the military personnel resides for the purposes of firearms purchases. Drafted by the NRA, both S.B. 1363 and H.B. 2317 passed unanimously in the Senate and House of Delegates.
A substitute to House Bill 1582, patroned by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), passed by an 81-18 vote in the House of Delegates and by a 34-6 vote in the Senate. The final version of this bill permits armed security officers licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to carry firearms onto private or religious school property if the officer is hired by the private or religious school to provide protection to students and employees. This bill also prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting any regulations that would prevent a child day center from hiring an armed security officer.
House Bill 1833, patroned by Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31), creates separate sections to address the general criminal prohibition against carrying concealed firearms; the requirements for applying for a concealed handgun permit; the process the circuit court follows in reviewing, issuing, and denying permits; the appeals process procedures for nonresidents to obtain permits; the renewal process disqualifications; and other procedural issues. H.B. 1833 passed unanimously in the House and the Senate.
Senate Bill 1378, patroned by Senator Thomas A. Garrett (R-22), increases penalties for individuals who knowingly assist prohibited persons in illegally obtaining firearms. After being reported by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee with an amendment, S.B. 1378 passed in the House by an 84-11 vote and passed unanimously in the Senate.
Anti-Gun Legislation Defeated:
Senate Bill 785 would have dictated how one must store firearms in their own home and imposed criminal penalties for noncompliance.
House Bill 2207 would have prohibited certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than twenty rounds from being imported, sold, bartered or transferred.
House Bill 2327 would have reenacted the repealed “one gun a month” (gun rationing) statute.
Senate Bill 1228 would have repealed state firearms preemption, thus allowing localities to adopt and enforce ordinances to regulate firearms and ammunition that are stricter than the state level.
House Bill 1662 would have allowed localities to adopt ordinances to prohibit firearms or ammunition in libraries.
House Bill 1326 would have eliminated certain firearms safety courses that currently fulfill the resident and non-resident requirement for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
House Bill 1693 would have removed exceptions for possessing certain unloaded firearms or knives in or upon a motor vehicle located at any elementary, middle or high school from the list of exceptions for possessing a weapon on school property.