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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Full Docket of Firearms Bills in Courts Committee

Earlier today I noted that SB 1257, Senator Marsh's bill attacking gun shows, will be heard on Monday in Senate Courts of Justice. In addition, these bills are also on the docket:

S.B. 1035 - Senator Hanger's bill repealing the prohibition on concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. - VSSA supports this bill.

S.B. 1166 - Senator Watkins' bill that increases the fee paid by gun owners for the required background check before a firearm can be transferred from a dealer to the buyer. The fee would increase from $2 to $5 for Virginians and from $5 to $8 for persons living out-of-state. The bill also provides that data and forms submitted to and maintained by the Department of State Police for such criminal history checks and purchases may not be inspected by the public. VSSA strongly opposes this bill. While we support the part that makes the forms maintained by the state police private, we strongly oppose the fee increase. The Commonwealth's budget woes should not be placed on the backs of gun owners.

S.B. 1254 - Senator Henry Marsh's attack on concealed carry. The bill makes changes to the procedures governing the application for a concealed handgun permit and the carrying of a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth. The bill would prohibit applicants from using an internet based training course for a concealed handgun permit. In addition, the bill also requires that a nonresident carrying a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth with either a reciprocal permit from another state or a Commonwealth-issued nonresident permit display photo identification along with the permit, upon request of a law-enforcement officer. Many permits issued in other states already have a photo on the permit so this requirement is redundant. VSSA opposes this bill.

S.B. 1257 - Senator Marsh's "Gun Show Loophole" bill. I posted about this earlier today. VSSA strongly opposes this bill.

S.B. 1383 - Senator Ken Stolle's bill that repeals the provision making it a Class 6 felony to possess a firearm muffler or silencer that is not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. VSSA supports this bill.

S.B. 1385 - Senator Stolles's bill to passify the gun control crowd that is upset that a "Gun Show Loophole" bill dies in the legislature every year. This bill places a tax on gun show promoters by requiring them to arrange and pay for a law-enforcement officer from the Department of State Police to be present at all times during a firearms show. The bill also federalizes state law enforcement by allowing the Superintendent of State Police to enter into agreements with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to grant federal law-enforcement status for the purposes of enforcing firearms laws of the United States. VSSA strongly opposes this bill.

Please contact the members of the Committee and urge them to oppose S.B. 1166, S.B. 1254, S.B. 1254, and S.B. 1385. Urge the pro-gun members to support S.B. 1035.

Contact information follows:

State Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25)
(804) 698-7525

State Senator John Edwards (D-21)
(804) 698-7521

State Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-20)
(804) 698-7520

Senator Thomas Norment (R-3)
(804) 698-7503

State Senator Frederick Quayle (R-13)
(804) 698-7513

State Senator Kenneth Stolle (R-8)
(804) 698-7508

State Senator Robert Hurt (R-19)
(804) 698-7519

State Senator Ryan McDougle(R-4)
(804) 698-7504

State Senator Mark D. Obenshain(R-26)
(804) 698-7526

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