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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crime Commission to Look at Virginia's CHP Statute Today

The Virginia Crime Commission will meet this morning at 10:00 AM and one of the items on the agenda is Virginia's Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) law.  Last year, the General Assembly referred Delegate Scott Lingamfelter's HB923 to the Crime Commission for study.  HB923 would create separate sections to address the general criminal prohibition against carrying concealed weapons; the requirements for applying for a concealed handgun permit; the process the circuit court follows in reviewing, issuing, and denying permits; the appeals process; procedures for nonresidents to obtain permits; the renewal process; disqualifications; and other procedural issues currently addressed in the statute. 

The bill would not make any substantive changes to the law but was introduced by Delegate Lingamfelter because the statute has become complex, cumbersome, and to put it simply, is difficult to understand, apply, and amend.  It has intertwined the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of citizens, circuit courts, and state police into one lengthy section of law.  The current statute as written covers eleven full pages in the Code of Virginia, and any amendment to the CHP law requires a bill that is, at a minimum, nine pages.  Delegate Lingamfelter believed that reorganizing the statute into several distinct sections and into a logical order would benefit private citizens and government officials to better understand their responsibilities, rights, and obligations relating to CHPs, and will assist members of the General Assembly in better understanding the law as they seek to make future amendments

The Crime Commission  will review current statutes for changes and, if found, compile a list of additional statutes that will need to be amended if the CHP statute is reorganized.

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