VA-ALERT: Legislative Update - gun bills filed so far

Look at this year's lopsided set of gun bills and you'll see why Lobby Day is critical this year. 

One reason that it is so lopsided toward gun control is the Republican leadership is squishy. Not a spine to be found in any of them. 

We should be pushing forward even harder on pro-gun bills than normal. We know what will make our schools safer, but there are no real leaders in the Republican Party. Someone running around in circles and wrenching their hands every time the going gets tough is hardly a leader. A leader knows what he stands for and moves decidedly in the right direction. Delegate Bob Marshall is an example of what that kind of person looks like. 

It's pretty pitiful, actually. I'm not sure who the Republicans think they are pleasing, but gun-grabbers will NEVER vote for them. Meanwhile, the Republicans seem to be wanting to drive their base away by looking more and more like the other party. 

I have approached a few Republican Senators and we will see if they step up to the plate and put in some bills for VCDL. 

And the Democrat leadership is despicable. They are a bunch of opportunists who are pushing their gun-control agenda full-bore using the emotions generated by a massacre of helpless little children. Shame on all of them. 



Here is the current set of gun bills. I will update it as more show up: 

***BREAKING: The 2013 VCDL Legislative Tracking Tool is now up on VCDL's web site! Hit refresh on your browser if you don't see it on the main page. *** 

Bills That VCDL Strongly Supports 

HB 1391, Delegate Hope, adds lawful gun owners who are openly carring a firearm to the list of people who can carry a firearm in the General Assembly buildings. Codifies current security proceedures. VCDL strongly supports this bill **in its introduced form.** 

HB 1557, Delegate R Marshall, allows for teachers and administrators at a school to carry a gun if trained, worked at school for 3 years and with school board authorization. It also allows both volunteers with concealed handgun permits who volunteered for the last 3 years and are still a volunteer, and retired law-enforcement officers who have lived in the school district for 3 years to be able to carry if the school board authorizes them to. The school board must appoint at least on person to be able to carry. Mass shootings with high body counts happen in “gun-free zones.” This bill allows schools to be significantly better protected than they are currently and with little or no cost to the state. 

HB 1604, Delegate Ferrell, allows employees for a locksmith or electronic security services business to carry a concealed handgun on the job if they have a concealed handgun permit. 


Bills That VCDL Supports 

HB 1582, Delegate Cole, allows for armed security guards at a school. Delegate Marshall’s bill, HB 1557, is superior to this bill. 

HB 1833, Delegate Lingamfelter, reorganizes 18.2-308 so that it can be more easily read and modified. 


Bills That VCDL Strongly Opposes 

SB 785, Senator Marsden, makes a person civilly liable if a gun is stolen from them, used in a crime, and it is determined that the gun wasn’t “properly” stored to avoid theft or unauthorized use. So the victim who had his gun stolen would then be violated again – this time by the Commonwealth for the subjective determination of whether the gun had been stored “properly” or not! 

SB 786, Senator Marsden, provides a civil penalty of $250 for someone who does not report a stolen gun within 48 hours from the time he knew, or shown have known, of the theft. The victim of a theft is violated yet again by the Commonwealth if he didn’t report a theft “quickly enough!” 

SB 864, Senator Favola, provides that a person subject to an emergency protective order cannot physically possess a gun in the home of the alleged victim nor transport a gun. A person may not even know that an emergency order has been sworn out and could be charged for inadvertently transporting a gun or physically possessing a gun in his own home (if he shares it with the alleged victim). The order could also be based upon false information, as nothing has been adjudicated. A person’s right to self-defense should not so easily be negated and not done behind his back with no ability to provide his side of the situation. 

SB 911, Senator Howell, requires any private sales at gun shows go through a background check. The Virginia State Crime Commission did not recommend this bill when asked five years ago. A gun show may not even be able to find a willing dealer to do such background checks due to the paperwork and the 20-year retention of that paperwork. The private sale background check requirement is just the first step in ultimately setting up a total private-sale registration-scheme and it will unnecessarily raise the price of privately sold guns. It will also make it much harder to hold a gun show in Virginia, which bring a lot of revenue to the Commonwealth. Finally, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, few guns used in crimes are purchased at gun shows, so this bill will have no noticeable affect on crime. 

SB 965, Senator Ebbin, provides a criminal penalty for someone who does not report a stolen gun within 48 hours from the time he knew, or shown have known, of the theft. The victim of a theft is violated yet again by the Commonwealth if he didn’t report a theft “quickly enough!” 

SB 1001, Senator Marsh, requires any private sales at gun shows go through a background check. The Virginia State Crime Commission did not recommend this bill when asked five years ago. A gun show may not even be able to find a willing dealer to do such background checks due to the paperwork and the 20-year retention of that paperwork. The private sale background check requirement is just the first step in ultimately setting up a total private-sale registration-scheme and it will unnecessarily raise the price of privately sold guns. It will also make it much harder to hold a gun show in Virginia, which bring a lot of revenue to the Commonwealth. Finally, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, few guns used in crimes are purchased at gun shows, so this bill will have no noticeable affect on crime. 

SB 1012, Senator Ebbin, bans possession of firearms in the General Assembly, except for police and (wink, wink) members of the General Assembly. 

SB 1136, Senator McEachin, requires that all private sales of firearms have a background check. This creates a defacto registration scheme, where the government knows who has guns and what guns they have. Currently the government doesn’t know what guns a person has, if any. That protects the citizens of the Commonwealth from eventual confiscation. Dealers are also not going to be inclined to participate in running the background checks, due to the extra paperwork (which must be kept for 20 years) and interference with their own business. 

SB 1148, Senator McEachin, prevents magazines that hold more than 10 rounds from being imported, sold, bartered, or transferred. It also makes it illegal for those who are not police or don’t have a concealed handgun permit to have a magazine in a firearm if that magazine holds more than 10 rounds. Ten is a totally arbitrary number pulled out of thin air. These kind of magazines were banned federally from 1994 through 2004. After the ban sunset, the violent crime in the United states fell and continues to fall. All this bill does is to strip away more rights from the law-abiding, while doing nothing to combat crime. 

SB 1228, Senator Saslaw, effectively repeals firearms preemption, allowing localities to create a nightmare of conflicting and confusing local gun ordinances. Virginia used to have such a scheme and it made it almost impossible to carry a gun in the state for fear of running afoul of some bizarre local ordinance or another. 

SB 1232, Senator Ebbin, requires that all private sales of firearms have a background check. This creates a defacto registration scheme, where the government knows who has guns and what guns they have. Currently the government doesn’t know what guns a person has, if any. That protects the citizens of the Commonwealth from eventual confiscation. Dealers are also not going to be inclined to participate in running the background checks, due to the extra paperwork (which must be kept for 20 years) and interference with their own business. 

HB 1326, Deletate Torian, reduces the courses that satisfy the requirement for training when getting a concealed handgun permit. A solution in search of a problem. The Commonwealth is not having any training issues with its 300,000 concealed handgun permit holders. 

HB 1410, Delegate JM Scott, provides that certain misdemeanors can disqualify someone from owning a gun for a period of time. The purpose of misdemeanors was to provide punishment for minor crimes without taking away a person’s constitutional rights. The bill is another bills that provides “special” punishment for gun owners. 

HB 1662, Delegate BaCote, allows localities to ban firearms and/or ammunition in libraries by ordinance. This bill would destroy preemption and would create a web of complicated gun laws that would do nothing to deter criminals, but would make it much harder for a law-abiding citizen to be able to carry a handgun for self-defense. Crimes are committed in and around libraries and people need to be able to protect themselves wherever they may be. 

HB 1693, Delegate Kory, removes the exemption for someone leaving an unloaded, encased firearm in their vehicle on school grounds. So a person would have to leave their lawfully possessed gun at home if they had to make a trip to a school for any reason. Even a concealed handgun permit holder would have to leave their gun at home if they plan to exit their vehicle on school property. That is simply untenable and unreasonable. We need to get rid of “gun-free zones,” not make them even worse. 

HB 2025, Delegate Hope, requires that all private sales of firearms have a background check. This creates a defacto registration scheme, where the government knows who has guns and what guns they have. Currently the government doesn’t know what guns a person has, if any. That protects the citizens of the Commonwealth from eventual confiscation. Dealers are also not going to be inclined to participate in running the background checks, due to the extra paperwork (which must be kept for 20 years) and interference with their own business. 

HB 2207, Delegate Morrissey, prevents “assault weapons” and magazines that hold more than 20 rounds from being imported, sold, bartered, or transferred. The United States had such an “assault weapon” and magazine ban from 1994 through 2004. When the ban sunset in 2004, violent crime dropped and has been dropping ever since. “Assault weapons” and magazines that can hold more than 20 rounds are exactly what both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions protect. They provide excellent protection, especially in case of there are multiple assailants or in the case of riots or violent civil unrest. 


Bills That VCDL Opposes 

SB 1214, Senator Stuart, makes someone who is not in the country legally a violent felon if they in possession of an “assault weapon.” Possession of an object should not be a violent felony unless that object was actually used, or is threatened to be used, in a violent act. The violent felony category should not be a catch-all. 

HB 1746, Delegate Gilbert, makes someone who is not in the country legally a violent felon if they in possession of an “assault weapon.” Possession of an object should not be a violent felony unless that object was actually used, or is threatened to be used, in a violent act. The violent felony category should not be a catch-all. 


Bills On Which VCDL is Neutral 

HB 1415, Delegate Crockett-Stark, defense of person in a home. Takes away any civil liability for a person who has to defend himself from a person who has made illegal entry into a dwelling, made an overt act causing the person in the dwelling to fear bodily harm. 

HB 1762, Delegate Ramadan, allows Sunday hunting in certain localities. 

HB 1866, Delegate Robinson, changes the definition of “firearm” in 22.1-277.07 

HB 2112, Delegate Lingamfelter, allows hunting on Sunday on state lands or federal military bases, installations, or facilities, with the approval of the commanding officer of such military base, installation, or facility. 

HB 2225, Delegate Morefield, allows Sunday hunting on private lands with the owner’s permission.