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Thursday, February 21, 2008

House Passes Self Defense Legislation

Today, the House of Delegates passed both SB 436 and SB 476. As I posted yesterday, SB 436 , sponsored by State Senator Jill Vogel (R-27),will allow law-abiding, non-concealed carry permit holders to store a handgun in a locked compartment or container in their personal vehicles or boats. SB 476, authored by State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24), will allow restaurant owners to decide if they will allow Right-to-Carry permit holders to carry a firearm for self-defense in their restaurants.

SB 436 passed by a vote of 69 - 29. SB 476 passed 62 - 36. Both bills now move to the Governor office. There are several procedures that need to be completed before the Governor actually receives the bills. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House both have to sign the bills before they go to the Governor which could take several days. In the coming days, VSSA will ask you to contact the Governor and urge him to pass both bills. The Governor sent the State Police to oppose SB 476 so it is likely he may consider vetoing the bill. It did not pass the Senate by a veto proof margin so gun owners need to lobby hard for the bill to become law.

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