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Friday, January 29, 2010

Results of Last Night's Militia and Police Subcommittee #1

It was a busy night for firearms bills last night at the General Assembly. Below is a summary of the Subcommittee's actions.

H.B. 8 Concealed handgun permits; renewal by mail. Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N).

H.B. 26 Concealed handgun permit; documentation and information provided by applicant. Clarifies that the clerk of court accepting a concealed handgun permit application shall not require the applicant to provide any documentation or information not required by § 18.2-308 or by the application form prescribed by the Department of State Police. Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N).

H.B. 52 Concealed handgun permit; failure to produce upon demand of a law-enforcement. Failure to carry concealed handgun permit. Provides that failure to produce, upon demand of a law-enforcement officer, a concealed handgun permit and a government-issued photo identification while carrying a concealed handgun is punishable by a $25 civil penalty. A court may waive this penalty if the person presents a valid concealed handgun permit and government-issued photo identification to the court. Subcommittee recommends reporting and referring to Committee for Courts of Justice.

H.B. 79 Concealed handgun permits; prohibits clerk of court from providing public access to applications. Prohibits a clerk of court from providing public access to concealed handgun permit applications and information regarding identifiable permittees without the written consent of the applicant or permittee. The applications and information would be available to law-enforcement agencies, and the clerk of court would be authorized to release aggregate information that does not identify individual applicants or permittees. Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 0-N).

H.B. 108 Firearms; disposition of those acquired by localities. Provides that no locality may participate in any program in which individuals are given a thing of value in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality unless the governing body of the locality has enacted an ordinance authorizing the participation of the locality. The ordinance shall require that such firearms shall be sold by public auction or sealed bids to a person licensed as a dealer or be disposed of in any other appropriate manner. Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N).

H.B. 109 Firearms; destruction of certain records by clerk of circuit court. Repeals local authority to impose a license tax of not more than $25 on persons engaged in the business of selling pistols and revolvers. Also, a record keeping requirement for such persons is deleted and the clerk of the circuit court shall destroy any such existing records. No action taken.

H.B. 171 Firearms in locked vehicles; immunity from liability. Provides that no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner may prohibit a person who lawfully possesses a firearm from storing that firearm in a locked motor vehicle. The bill provides civil immunity for such persons, property owners, tenants, employers, or business owners. The provisions of the bill would not apply to possession of firearms on school property, nor would the provisions apply to vehicles owned or leased by an employer or business and used by an employee in the course of his employment. No action taken.

H.B. 870 Concealed handgun permit; removes option for locality to require applicant to submit fingerprints. Subcommittee recommends reporting (3-Y 0-N).

H.B. 871 Concealed handgun permit applications; right to ore tenus hearing. Clarifies that a person who is applying for a concealed handgun permit for the first time has the same right to an ore tenus hearing if the permit is denied as a person who has previously held a concealed handgun permit. No action taken.

H.B. 879 Firearms; locality may adopt an ordinance that prohibits thereof in libraries. 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. Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely by voice vote.

H.B. 885 Concealed weapons; person may carry a handgun in a motor vehicle or boat if secured in compartment. 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. Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (3-Y 1-N)

H.B. 995 Firearms; purchaser may present military identification card or concealed handgun permit. Allows a prospective purchaser to present a current or retired military identification card or a concealed handgun permit in order to establish citizenship or lawful admission for permanent residence in order to purchase an assault firearm. No action taken.

H.B. 1191 Concealed handgun permits; allows circuit court judge to authorize clerk of court to issue. 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. No action taken.

H.B. 1209 Machine guns; Superintendent of VSP to be notified in writing of change of address 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. No action taken.

H.B. 1210 Carrying concealed handguns; judges. 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. Subcommittee failed to recommend reporting (2-Y 3-N).

H.B. 1234 Criminal history record check; required to transfer firearm from firearms show vendor. Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also adds a definition of "promoter" and requires that the promoter of a gun show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal background check. Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely by voice vote.

The full committee meets on Friday mornings at 9:00 AM. Last night's subcommittee action is not scheduled to be taken up at this morning's meeting. The committee convened at 8:30 to interview Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker and Terrie Suit, Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness. It is expected that full committee action will take place at next week's meeting. Now is the time to contact committee members and urge them to support the pro-rights bills that were recommended for reporting to the full House.


Jon said...

About the bills marked "No action taken" after the subcommittee meeting. Are they effectively dead without approval or will they get to them another session?

VSSA Legislative Chairman said...

No, just means they did not get to them. The bills will likely be taken up at next Thursday's meeting.