Yesterday, House Bill 1223 was passed in the House of Delegates by a 139-2 vote. HB 1223 seeks to create an “apprentice hunting license” that will allow a new hunter to hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter for up to three consecutive days. The apprentice hunter would be required to watch a short online safety video before obtaining the license. Lengthy hunter education requirements often discourage potential hunters from going afield because they are unwilling to dedicate the necessary time to complete the course in order to pursue an activity that they are simply trying out. Eventually, the goal is for these apprentices to complete a hunter education course so they can hunt on their own, which has largely been the case in the states with similar programs.
House Bill 184 received a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. HB 184 would repeal the redundant requirement that a copy of a Handgun Qualification License be included with an application to purchase a handgun. HB 184 will streamline the process by not only reducing the paperwork involved, but also allow for the development of an electronic application process.
House Bill 312 and Senate Bill 208 received favorable reports from the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee respectively. These bills would repeal the requirement that the applicant for a renewed wear and carry permit submit fingerprints again, reducing cost and time needed to renew a wear and carry permit.
House Bill 1263 received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. HB 1263 would have imposed a 5 year prison sentence for handgun wear and carry violations. This bill would have unfairly punished law-abiding citizens with wear and carry permits who unknowingly violate the complex and confusing restrictions without malicious intent.
House Bill 301 received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. HB 301 would have reduced the fee for a Handgun Qualification License from $50 to $25. Other bills that seek to reduce this fee are still moving through the legislative process.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available on the above legislation.