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Monday, February 20, 2012

More Bills Headed to Governor McDonnell

Today was a good day for gun owners in the Virginia General Assembly as both House Bill 22 and House Bill 26 passed the State Senate and are now headed to Governor McDonnell.

HB 22 would establish that no locality or entity may participate in a compensated confiscation ("gun buyback") program where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the "buyback" scheme. The bill also requires any locality holding a compensated confiscation program to sell the firearms to a federally licensed dealer or be disposed of in any appropriate manner if they could not be sold. HB 22 passed the state Senate by a 23 to 17 vote.  A similar bill passed the General Assembly in 2009 but was vetoed by then Governor Tim Kaine, who is now running for the U.S. Senate.

HB 26 would allow a court to waive a $25 dollar fine upon presentation of the permit to the court, if a person fails to display his concealed handgun permit when requested by a law enforcement officer. This legislation passed in the state Senate by a 40 to 0 vote.

Also passing the State Senate today was HB 48, the House bill codifying the Castle Doctrine.   There has been a great deal of misinformation about the Castle bills that are making their way through the General Assembly.  Contrary to information being spread over the Internet, HB 48 does not negatively impact your right to self defense.  This bill was amended by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee to address those concerns. When introduced and passed by the House of Delegates, the bill was previously in Criminal Code 18.2.  The Senate amended the bill moving it to the Civil Procedures section, 8.01. In addition, the following language was added:
This section shall not be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law prior to the effective date of this law.
As amended, HB48 would provide civil liability immunity to someone who uses any degree of physical force against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act. Despite its passage due to the amended language, HB 48 must now be sent back to the House of Delegates for their concurrence.

It is possible that HB 22 and HB 26 will arrive on Governor McDonnell's desk in the next week thus requiring him to act prior to the end of the session, which is March 10.  Regardless, the bills will not take affect until July 1, if signed by the Governor.

1 comment:

JC77 said...

I want to thank the VSSA for helping me to make an informed decision concerning the Castle Doctrine being passed.

Thank you for the time you took on explaining it as you saw it!