Tomorrow, the House Committee on Privileges and Elections will hear House Bill 2081 to mandate all polling places be gun-free zones. Please contact committee members and ask them to OPPOSE HB 2081.
House Bill 2081 prohibits firearms within 40 feet of a polling place. It dictates to private property owners what they must do with their property. While many polling locations in the Commonwealth are located in schools, which are already gun-free zones by law, others are located in venues that are private property.
Proponents of this gun ban have previously claimed that it is necessary to prevent voter intimidation, supposedly by those open carrying. However, the bill contains no exemption for lawful concealed carry by license holders. At the same time, it does not mandate that polling places have security measures to actively keep criminals away, such as metal detectors and armed security. It is reasonable to assume that this is yet another bill meant to prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves, and to inconvenience them rather than address any voter rights or public safety concerns.
Again, please contact committee members and ask them to OPPOSE HB 2081.