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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day One of Assembly Brings More Pro-Gun Bills

More pro-gun bills were filed as the General Assembly opened yesterday. Some are duplicates of bills that had already been filed and some address the same issue with slight variations in the approach.

HB 854 Encodes a version of the "castle doctrine," allowing the use of physical force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker, with no duty to retreat and without criminal or civil liability.

HB 870 Removes the option for a locality to require that an applicant for a concealed handgun permit submit fingerprints as part of the application.

HB 885 Creates a new exemption to the general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons by allowing a person who may lawfully possess a firearm to carry a handgun in a private motor vehicle or boat if the handgun is secured in a container or compartment.

HB 886 Declares that firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition made in Virginia and retained within the borders of Virginia are not subject to federal law or regulation under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

HB 1070 Provides that a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit may not be barred from carrying a concealed handgun in any place or facility designated or used by the Governor, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or any other governmental entity as an emergency shelter or for the purpose of sheltering persons.

HB 1092 States that a retired law-enforcement officer who receives proof of consultation and favorable review to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun permit shall have the same ability to carry a concealed handgun wherever he may travel in the Commonwealth as a law-enforcement officer authorized to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

HB 1191 Allows a circuit court judge to authorize the clerk of court to issue concealed handgun permits in instances where the application is complete, the background check does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified, and, after consulting with the local sheriff or police department, there are no other questions or issues surrounding the application.

HB 1210 Allows a judge to carry a concealed handgun without a permit at all times. Currently, judges are authorized to carry a concealed handgun without a permit while in the discharge of their official duties.

SB 334 Allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club and prohibits such person from consuming alcoholic beverages while on the premises. A person who consumes alcohol in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and a person who becomes intoxicated in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Additional anti-gun bills have also been filed.

HB 879 Provides that a locality may adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in libraries owned or operated by the locality.

HB 1209 Requires that the Superintendent of State Police be notified in writing of the change of address of the registrant or the change of the address of the permanent physical location of a machine gun.

HB 1214 Prohibits a person from possessing an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container in or upon a motor vehicle located at a public elementary, middle, or high school or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle located at a public elementary, middle, or high school.

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