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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stolle Amendment Guts HB 2528

Senator Stolle truely snatched defeat from the jaws of victory yesterday. There is no other way to say this - he stabbed us in the back. With no debate, the Senate passed HB 2528 on a vote of 21 - 18. The bill as originally passed cast some much needed sunshine on compensated gun confiscation schemes and it was on its way to the Governor for his consideration. But before the bill could be communicated to the House as passed, Stolle moved that the vote be reconsidered and then added an amendment to this section of the bill:

Any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section shall require that any firearm received, except a firearm of the type defined in § 18.2-288 or 18.2-299, shall be [ sold offered for sale ] by public auction, or sealed bids, to a person licensed as a dealer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq (Stolle amendment - or be disposed of in any other appropriate manner.)

As you can see, the amendment in bold print above completely guts the bill. VSSA opposes the amendment as it makes the bill meaningless. There is nothing that keeps localities from selling firearms to an FFL now if they wanted. The problem is, they are destroying every firearm they take in - even the ones that are in good operating condition. The point of the original bill is to require that the localities a)inform the public that they are going to undergo one of these buy back schemes by passing an ordinance allowing them to do so, and b) offer the working firearms for sale to FFLs - thus possibly recovering the taxpayer funds that were used for these schemes that have no evidence of reducing crime.

The various lobbying groups for the municipalities and localities have been working hard in the Senate to kill the bill. For some unknown reason, Senator Stolle has decided to do their dirty work.

If the bill passes the Senate in this form (it is on the Senate Calendar today), VSSA will urge the House to reject the amendment and force the bill into conference to remove the Senate language and put the bill back to a form true to the original.

Please contact Senator Stolle and let him know you are disappointed that he gutted the bill after it had passed the Senate.

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