Its that time of year, again!

The Virginia General Assembly is back in session again as of January 11th and right on queue there are some anti-gun bills being submitted.

It’s the usual suspects Barbara A. Favola (Arlington/Fairfax/Loudoun), Janet D. Howell (Fairfax/Arlington), and Johnny Come lately Marcus B. Simon (Fairfax) with solutions in search of problems. Each having at least 2 bills submitted, with Mr. Simon submitting 3 bills.

Of course, they want to limit who and where you may carry your firearm for your personal protection, mandatory background checks on all gun sales, firearm registration, limiting how many you may purchase in a month. Check out the VCDL’s legislation tracker CLICK HERE. Gun control will not come in sweeping legislation, but instead it will be death by a thousand cuts. Incrementally pushing the bar further and further down the road, until they make it so hard to own or carry a gun that no one can or will.

I urge everyone to call/write/email your Senators and Delegates and let them know where you stand on these gun control bills. The way to get strong pro-gun laws in Virginia is by action. The next couple months will be critical in making sure our rights of gun ownership, personal protection, etc. continue in perpetuity. If you want to get a little more up close and personal join the VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League on Lobby Day Jan 16th at the General Assembly Building in Richmond, and go meet them in person and tell them what you think.

Bill Summary:

HB 1683 Marcus B. Simon Prohibited public carrying of certain firearms; penalty. Prohibits the carrying of a loaded shotgun or rifle in places open to the public in certain cities and counties. Current law prohibits the carrying in such locations of certain loaded firearms with high capacity magazines, silencers, folding stock, or long ammunition or a loaded shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered. The bill adds the City of Roanoke to the list of cities in which the carrying of such firearms is prohibited.

HB1684 Marcus B. Simon Restricting access to firearms by children; mental state; penalty. Removes the requirement that conduct required for a conviction of unlawfully leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of 14 be reckless. The bill increases the penalty for such violation from a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

HB1685 Marcus B. Simon Purchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty. 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. The bill exempts from this provision (i) persons who have been issued a certificate by the Department of State Police under certain circumstances and with an enhanced background check, (ii) law-enforcement agencies and officers, (iii) state and local correctional facilities, (iv) licensed private security companies, (v) persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, (vi) persons whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, (vii) purchases of handguns in a private sale, and (viii) purchases of antique firearms.

SB1039 Janet B. Howell Protective orders; possession of firearms; felony. Provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) for subjecting another person to an act of violence, force, or threat to possess a firearm while the order is in effect, which is equivalent to the existing penalty for possession of a firearm by a person subject to a permanent protective order for family abuse. The bill also provides that such person may continue to possess and transport a firearm for 24 hours after being served with the order for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm to another person. The bill also requires that any person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm because he is subject to a permanent protective order certify in writing to the clerk of the court that issued the order within 48 hours after being served with the order that any firearm in his possession has been sold or transferred.

SB893 Janet B. Howell Firearm locks required for sale or transfer of handguns; warning against accessibility to children; penalty. Makes it unlawful for any licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer any handgun to any person (i) other than a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer, unless the transferee is provided with a locking device for that handgun, or (ii) unless the handgun is accompanied by a warning, in conspicuous and legible type in capital letters printed on a label affixed to the gun and on a separate sheet of paper included within the packaging enclosing the handgun, that handguns should be locked and kept away from children and that there may be civil and criminal liability for failing to do so. There are exceptions for law-enforcement and governmental agencies.

SB809 Barbara A. Favola Reporting lost or stolen firearms. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a $50 civil penalty for a first offense and a civil penalty of not less than $100 or more than $250 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from such loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

SJ229 Barbara A. Favola Study; Virginia State Crime Commission; firearm registration; report. Directs the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the feasibility and costs of establishing a firearm registration program for firearms purchased in the Commonwealth, along with the potential efficacy of firearm registration in reducing firearm-related deaths and injuries.



Written By: Jason Gibbens