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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Legislative Update

Yesterday saw a number of pro-rights bills pass the House of Delegates, not least of which was the repeal of Virginia's handgun rationing law (HB 940).  In addition to HB 940, the other bills that passed were HB 20, a bill that clarifies Virginia's emergency powers statute to make it clear that not only may a citizen keep a firearm during a declared emergency, but they may also carry and transport the firearm(s) during such emergency.  Also passing was Delegate Coles HB 22, a bill that states before a locality may engage in compensated confiscation schemes ("gun buybacks") it must pass an ordinance allowing it to do so.

At the same time, the State Senate moved SB 4 (Castle Doctrine) and SB 67, a bill repealing fingerprinting of first time concealed handgun permit applicants, to Third Reading and a final vote which should take place today. SB 323, the Senate bill to repeal handgun rationing was passed by for the day in a stall tactic by anti-rights Senator Don McEachin (D-Richmond).

Also in the Senate yesterday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated SB 379 on a vote of 6-8, Senator McEachin's bill to outlaw all private sales.  Another bill patoned by Senator McEachin, SB 648, a bill that would add additional penalties for gun owners being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated, failed to report on a 7-7 vote.

This morning, House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee # 2 met and took up HB 237, which would allow long gun background checks to go through the federal NICS system rather than the state background system.  It was recommended reporting by a vote of 4-1 by the subcommittee.

This evening in Subcommittee #1 at 5:00 PM, the following bills will be heard:

HB 25: a bill that prohibits circuit courts from disseminating information related to concealed handgun permits.

HB 592: a bill that exempts CHP holders from state background checks when purchasing a firearm.  This bill is similar to HB 859.

HB 754: the House companion to SB 67 which removes the option for localities to require the fingerprinting of first-time CHP applicants.

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