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Monday, January 18, 2010

Senate Courts Gets Anti-gun McEachin

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee has posted the names of the two new members of the committee to replace former State Senators Ken Cuccinelli and Ken Stolle. Both Cuccinelli and Stolle were pro-rights Senators with Cuccinelli being an NRA "A+" Senator. Their replacements are anything but "A" rated. Well, at least one. Senate Democrats have replaced Ken Cuccinelli with NRA "F" rated Don McEachin. Gun owners will remember that when McEachin ran for Attorney General in 2001 he ran on a platform that Virginia did not have enough gun control. He most certainly will be a yea vote for the gun show bill (introduced on January 13 by Senator Louise Lucas) when it is heard in the coming weeks.

Also joining Senate Courts is Senator Chap Petersen (Fairfax). Petersen is somewhat better than McEachin, having voted in favor of repealing the restaurant ban in both 2008 and 2009 as well as voting to override Tim Kaine's veto of the bill both years. But Petersen is only a "C" rated candidate when he ran in 2007. On the issue of gun shows, the record is a unclear. Looking back at Petersen's time in the House of Delegates, it is hard to determine just how he will vote in the Senate. As a member of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, he rarely had a chance to cast a meaningful vote on anti-gun legislation because the committee is stacked with pro-rights members so often times, the bad bills are Passed by Indefinitely (PBI) or stricken from the docket. Rarely do members of the committees oppose these motions unless the bill being killed in this manner are patroned by a member of the committee.

With this change in the make-up of Senate Courts, gun owners will be called upon often to make their voice heard to kill bad bills and to move good legislation forward. If you have not already signed up for the VSSA Legislative Email Alerts, you can do so here.

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