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Thursday, January 5, 2012

More on Virginia Background Check

Yesterday I posted the WINA story about Governor McDonnell looking favorably at ending the state police run background check in favor of the federal check which was brief.  This Virginia Pilot story goes into more detail.
Under the current process in Virginia, potential gun buyers are run through state and federal checks. The scans look for records that would prohibit a purchase - things such as a criminal history, residency status in the country, drug offenses, a dishonorable military discharge, and mental health adjudications.
The state police say if Virginia transitions to using only the federal system, purchase restrictions unique to Virginia might not block a sale if the federal system were the only screening method in place.  One such difference is that Virginia blocks individuals with juvenile felony convictions from purchasing firearms.  But Virginia does not release juvenile information so a federal check would likely not block such a transaction.  Delegate John Cosgrove will attempt to fix that.
A possible solution to that has been offered by Chesapeake Del. John Cosgrove, a Republican who previously filed legislation to allow juvenile records to be shared with the U.S. attorney general.

Although his bill failed, Cosgrove said he plans to reintroduce it in the legislative session that begins Jan. 11 as a vehicle to create uniformity between that aspect of state policy and the federal background check system.
The gun ban lobby opposes doing away with the Virginia background check.  This is just one issue that VSSA will be tracking as the session begins.

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