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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

McDonnell Amendments Approved

Governor McDonnell's amendments to HB885 and HB1217 were approved by the General Assembly tonight. After five hours of debating budget amendments, The House began to focus on other legislation. The outcome was never in doubt in the House but the Senate was going to be the real test, especially with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling stranded in Italy where he had been on an economic develement trip.

HB885 is Delegate Clay Athey's bill that would allow individuals that do not possess a concealed carry permit to store their loaded firearm in a locked container in a vehicle or boat. Governor McDonnell amended to bill, removing the locked container requirement to simply be a "secured" container. The Amendment was overwhelmingly approved in the House and squeaked by in the Senate 20-19. The following senators supported gun owners:

Blevins, Deeds, Edwards, Hanger, Houck, Hurt, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Norment, Obenshain, Puckett, Reynolds, Ruff, Smith, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Wampler

These senators voted against gun owners:

Barker, Colgan, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Northam, Petersen, Puller, Quayle, Saslaw, Ticer, Watkins, Whipple

HB1217 is the bill sponsored by Delegate Lynwood Lewis (D-100), that would allow local school boards to offer firearm safety education programs in the elementary grades. To assist local school boards opting to provide such instruction, the Board of Education must establish a standardized program of firearm safety education for students in the elementary school grades to promote the protection and safety of children. The bill requires that the program objectives incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program. Local school boards offering the program must comply with Board curriculum guidelines and integrate the instruction in appropriate subject areas, if feasible, to ensure that every elementary school student receives instruction in firearm safety education.

The Senate Education and Health Committee added an amendment that would permit school boards to also use principles provided by the National Crime Prevention Center.

Governor McDonnell has recommended that the bill be amended back to it's original form.

That amendment was adopted overwhelmingly in both houses.

Both bills become law on July 1.

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