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Virginia: Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Die in Subcommittee

Friday, January 26, 2018

Virginia: Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Die in Subcommittee

As previously reported, a large number of bills were considered in the House Militia, Policing and Public Safety Subcommittee, and subsequently died.  Those bills that will not proceed include:

House Bill 41 - Makes it a crime to knowingly possess a “trigger activator” that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm.  The broad and overreaching provisions in HB 41 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability. 

House Bill 91/House Bill 602 - Removes the option for concealed handgun permit applicants to demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing an electronic, video, or online course conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor. 

House Bill 140 /House Bill 721 /House Bill 977 /House Bill 1373 - Removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary. 

House Bill 273 – Provides that a person is civilly liable for injuries to person or property or wrongful death of another caused by a third party if it can be shown that the civil defendant sold or transferred a firearm to the person who committed the crime resulting in injury or death without obtaining a background check and verification that the transferee was not prohibited from possessing a firearm.

House Bill 281 - Requires any minor who possesses certain firearms in the home or on the property of his parent, grandparent, or legal guardian to have prior permission from such parent, grandparent, or legal guardian to possess such firearms.

House Bill 353 /House Bill 650 - Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Law-abiding individuals who can legally purchase a firearm should not be arbitrarily banned from exercising their Second Amendment rights for any amount of time.

House Bill 498 - Eliminates the recent expansion of the recognition of concealed handgun permits issued by other states and reinstates the prior law that provides that Virginia will recognize concealed handgun permits issued by other states.

House Bill 596 /House Bill 1145 - Provides that any person, corporation, or other entity that manufactures, imports, possesses, purchases, sells, or transfers any large capacity magazine shall be subject to a $500 fine. The bill provides exceptions to the prohibition. The bill provides that a registrant is limited to three large capacity magazines and must otherwise dispose of all magazines in excess of the limit. The bill requires the Department of State Police to provide a means to register a large capacity magazine and, at the time of registration, to permanently mark such magazine for the purpose of identification and maintain records regarding such identification information. Finally, the bill provides that any large capacity magazine that is possessed in violation of law is subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth.

House Bill 717 - Requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before a vendor, defined in the bill, may transfer firearms at a gun show. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show post notice of the requirement for a criminal history record information check and provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check. The bill repeals a provision added by the 2016 Session of the General Assembly that requires the Department of State Police to be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at firearms shows if requested by a party involved in a transaction.

House Bill 927 - Prohibits any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a person from carrying semi-automatic center-fire firearms with more than 10 rounds of ammunition in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities and only to such firearms if the firearm holds more than 20 rounds of ammunition. The bill also increases from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony the penalty for carrying a semi-automatic center-fire firearm and a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place. The bill redefines "assault firearm" by reducing from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" and prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory such an assault firearm to any person. The bill also reduces from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" for purposes of possession or transportation by a person younger than 18 years of age.  In addition, the bill increases the penalty from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony for a person younger than 18 years of age to possess or transport a handgun, an assault firearm, or a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered, with some exceptions.

House Bill 1143 - Requires the Department of State Police to establish procedures for issuing handgun transfer permits and provides that a person who willfully and intentionally transfers a firearm to a person without a permit is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

*****

Also this week, Senate Bill 372 was passed by the Senate and will now head to the House where it will await a committee referral.

Senate Bill 372 - Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.

Thank you to those NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their lawmakers about the above firearm-related legislation.  Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as the legislative session progresses.

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