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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crime Commission Deadlocks on "Loophole" Vote

On a 6-6 vote, The Virginia State Crime Commission chose not to recommend a bill that would require people who purchase firearms from private sellers to undergo mandatory background checks. Anti-gun State Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, (D-Richmond), a member of the commission, confirmed that he still plans to introduce a bill similar to the one that failed to clear a Senate Courts of Justice Committee last year.

Senator Ken Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) suggested that legislation be passed requiring promoters of shows to make available licensed dealers to perform voluntary background checks for private sellers who want to know whether they are selling weapons to people who are legally able to purchase them. That passed on a vote of 7-5.

The anti-rights lobby along with some supporters of families of the Virginia Tech shootings also staged another "die-in" near the Bell Tower on the Capitol grounds after the two-hour commission meeting.

Mike White, father of slain Tech student Gina Nicole White, criticized the panel for being indecisive but what he told the Times Dispatch about the shooting played more of a role in what happened on that day than gun shows (which played no role at all). White said "Indecision is what caused the murder of my child, when they waited two hours to close that school."

Update: The Times Dispatch reported after the meeting that the Commission endorsed legislation to provide an FFL for those private sellers that want to perform background checks. However, Wednesday's Virginian Pilot reports that the Commission endorsed on a 7-5 vote legislation that requires gun show promoters to pay for a State Police Trooper to monitor gun shows for illegal sales. The Times Dispatch story, on which the original post was based, made no mention of the bill requiring gun shows to pay for a State Trooper.

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