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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Senate Courts Special Subcommittee Action Today

The Senate Courts Special Subcommittee reported five bills to the full committee today and recommended to Pass By Indefinitely (PBI) the rest. Below is the action taken on each bill.

H.B. 49. PBI
Purchase of handguns; repeal one-gun-a-month limitation. Repeals the prohibition against purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period.

H.B. 52 PBI
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. The bill also introduces an affirmative defense, of having a valid concealed handgun permit, to a charge of violating the concealed weapons statute.

H.B. 69 PBI
Firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition manufactured and retained in Virginia. Declares that firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that are manufactured commercially or privately in Virginia, and that remain within the borders of Virginia, shall not be subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce. This bill incorporates HB 886.

H.B. 79. PBI
Concealed handgun permits; access to applications and permittee information. 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.

H.B. 108 PBI
Disposition of firearms. 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.

H.B. 109 Reported to full Committee
Certain firearms taxes; destruction of records. 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 recordkeeping requirement for such persons is deleted and the clerk of the circuit court shall destroy any such existing records.

H.B. 171 PBI
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 property on which a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm; (ii) vehicles on property (a) to which access is restricted or limited through the use of a gate; or (b) upon which a building occupied by a single employer and its affiliated entities is located and in which access to the building is restricted or limited by card access; (iii) vehicles owned or leased by an employer or business entity and used by an employee in the course of his employment; (iv) personal vehicles while such vehicles are being used for the transport of consumers of programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; or (v) vehicles on property controlled by an employer required to develop and implement a security plan under federal law or regulation.

H.B. 236 PBI
Shooting firearms in certain areas. Makes a locality no longer able to prohibit hunting generally within a half-mile radius of a subdivision, but a locality would still be able to prohibit hunting within a subdivision.

H.B. 490 PBI
Development of plan for the issuance of a lifetime concealed handgun permit. Directs the Department of State Police, in cooperation with the Secretary of Public Safety, to develop a plan to allow for the State Police to issue lifetime concealed handgun permits to Virginia residents. The Department and the Secretary shall submit the plan, and any recommended legislative changes to implement the plan, to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety and the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice by October 15, 2010.

H.B. 505 Reported as amended
Concealed handguns; restaurants. Prohibits a person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer or a qualified retired law-enforcement officer, who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club from consuming an alcoholic beverage while on the premises.

H.B. 885 Reported as amended
Possession of concealed weapons. 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.

H.B. 1070 PBI
Carrying of concealed handguns in emergency shelters. 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.

H.B. 1092 Reported
Carrying concealed handguns; retired law-enforcement officers. 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 is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in the same manner as a law-enforcement officer authorized to carry a concealed handgun.

H.B. 1191 Reported
Issuance of concealed handgun permits; clerk of court. 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. The bill further provides that the court clerk is immune from suit arising from any acts or omissions relating to the issuance of concealed handgun permits without judicial review unless the clerk was grossly negligent or engaged in willful misconduct. This bill is not to be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law, or to affect any cause of action accruing prior to July 1, 2010

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