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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Castle Doctrine Likely to Pass House of Delegates Today

Delegate Rob Richard "Dickie" Bell's Castle Doctrine Bill (HB 48) will likely easily pass on the House Floor today and advance to the Senate.  During yesterday's debate, opponents of the bill used some outlandish claims to argue against the bill.
Democrats railed against the measure, pointing to various scenarios in which it could be used to justify killing an ex-girlfriend, or even a Girl Scout.
Delegate Habeeb's HB 14, a bill that would provide civil immunity for using deadly force in self-defense in your home, is also on Third Reading today.  That bill too is expected to pass.


JBolich said...

I'm confused. Isn't this a Senate Bill (SB4) too? Are they running in both houses concurrently?

VSSA Legislative Chairman said...

That's correct. It is not unusual for bills to have have is referred to as "dual introduction." Most of the firearm related bills introduced in the House were also introduced in the Senate.

JBolich said...

So how does that work? If both bills continue along the process and are passed in the House and Senate respectively, do both go to the Governor to be ratified?

And do you have guess-timation on how long it will take for these two bills to run their course? I mean, they both seem to have enough support to pass both the Senate and the House, how long until they get to the Governor?

VSSA Legislative Chairman said...

If both bills pass, they both go to the Governor. He can then sign, amend or veto. As far as schedule, it depends on when the respective committees take up the bills. They won't consider legislation from the other house until after "Crossover" (February 14). While it is possible that they could reach the Governor before the end of the session, it is more likely that they will not complete the process until the last week. The Governor then has until a week before the reconvened session (scheduled for April 18) to act. In any case, the signed bills will not take affect until July 1.