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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spotslyvania Repeals Fingerprinting and More Crime Commission News

Spotsylvania County Repeals Fingerprinting Requirement for CHP Applicants
On a unanimous vote last night, the Spotyslvania County Board of Supervisors voted to repeal the requirement that concealed carry permit applicants be fingerprinted. This was sold by the Board staff as a cost saving measure and as localities struggle with balancing their budgets in an economic down turn, more localities may see the value in doing away with the fingerprinting requirement.

Additional Information on Tuesday's Crime Commission Meeting
I posted yesterday that the Virginia Crime Commission heard testimony but put off a vote on recommending legislation dealing with the so-called "Gun Show Loophole." The press covered this heavily yesterday and articles about the meeting are plentiful. The Virginian Pilot reported that during a break, Senator Ken Stolle, vice chair of the commission said that the commission would probably approve a strict background-check requirement at gun shows, but to survive, the recommendation would need majority support from members of both parties on the commission. Stolle said "That's not going to happen." The Pilot reports that Delegate Dave Albo, the commission chairman and Stolle both floated the idea of having a state trooper stationed at each gun show with a computer available to conduct voluntary background checks for private gun purchases. A State Police representative said that could be done if it's funded and Stolle said that proposal could likely get majority support on the commission.

So, at a time when the state budget faces a shortfall of $2.3 billion, we are going to pay a State Trooper overtime (because that's what it would be - an off duty trooper in uniform getting paid overtime) to sit at a gun show and see if anyone comes up wanting him to conduct a background check. I understand Senator Stolle wanting to offer something in the hope that we can finally stop seeing these gun show bills every session but this proposal is not going to please the other side because it is not mandatory and if it were to pass, it gives Governor Kaine a vehicle to make it mandatory with an amendment or sending down a substitute bill that would not go to committee but would hit the floor for an up or down vote.

Gun owners need to make it known between now and January 13th when the commission meets again that there is no need for gun show legislation. Key on the pro-rights members of the commission - Delegate Terry G. Kilgore, Delegate Beverly J. Sherwood, Senator Kenneth W. Stolle, Delegate Robert B. Bell and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell and urge them to oppose any recommendation from the commission that would impose background checks for private sales at gun shows. Also ask them to oppose any proposal that would commit taxpayer funds in these tight budget times to pay for a state trooper at gun shows for voluntary background checks when there is no evidence it would be a wise use of taxpayer money. It is very likely the trooper would spend the entire weekend twiddling his thumbs.

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