In the last few weeks several laws have been proposed, voted on, and passed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which concern the gun-toting, law-abiding citizens. Several of the laws that have already passed with a majority vote include:
Concealed handgun permit applicants may have access to the information and or records of the court which concern them. Law enforcement certification of certain firearms, which requires that when a chief law enforcement officer is required by law to sign off on the transfer of a firearm, it must be provided within 15 days if not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. Also, a new law allows carrying a concealed handgun in a secured container or compartment in a vehicle, and clarifies that the loaded handgun can be stored in a closed, but not necessarily locked, container or compartment, without a concealed handgun permit. A new law that has passed and is waiting to be signed, would require Virginia to honor concealed handgun permits from all other states if the permit holder is at least 21 years of age. This in turn would allow Virginia to be honored in more states, including Georgia, New Hampshire, and Colorado.
On the other hand, here are some laws that are still up for a vote, so if any of these resonate with you, be sure to let your representatives know. Another law would exempt concealed handgun permit holders from undergoing background checks for the purchase of firearms, since they have already undergone one for the permit itself.
As far as firearms and school property go, there are also a few laws being proposed. One would eliminate the crime of possession on the property of private or religious schools, school buses, or property for school sponsored functions. Another law would require every school board in Virginia to designate at least one qualified person per school to carry a concealed handgun on school property. Still another would provide that no school board employee shall be dismissed or placed on probation on the grounds that he possessed an unloaded firearm in an enclosed container or in his vehicle, a knife with a metal blade in or on his motor vehicle, or an unloaded long gun in a firearms rack or on his motor vehicle, or if the employee who has a concealed handgun permit, possessed a concealed handgun while in his motor vehicle while in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.
Some other miscellaneous laws have also been proposed. One would provide a person with a concealed handgun permit to lawfully possess or transport a concealed handgun into an air carrier airport terminal. Another, very popular one would stipulate that agencies and political subdivisions of the Commonwealth and its employees shall not knowingly aid any employee or entity of the federal government in the enforcement of federal firearms laws that take effect as of December 1, 2013, or in the enforcement of a criminal background check related to intrastate sale, loan, gift, or other transfer of a firearm between citizens of the Commonwealth.
One law that is being proposed, I have not decided on yet: it would require proof of competence for concealed handgun permits, therefore removing online firearms courses as an option for satisfying the requisites to obtain the permit. One part of me thinks that there should be no requirement for carrying a gun and defending yourself, and in actuality there isn’t in Virginia since this would only apply to concealed carry. However, on the other hand, I believe that a slightly more demanding handgun proficiency competence might make for a safer Commonwealth.
Please don’t take that to mean anything other than the simple fact that no one can be good at anything without practice, and unfortunately it is in our nature as humans to be complacent. So if we are not required to practice (which we should do whether required to or not since our life may one day depend on it), most people probably will not. If you are already safe with a firearm, and practice, and train in order to be proficient, it won’t affect you that it is required.