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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Senate Courts to Take Up Firearm Related Bills

There is a busy morning scheduled for Senate Courts of Justice tomorrow morning.  The bills on the docket include:

Patron: Marsden
Use of firearm in commission of crime; civil liability. This bill makes you civilly liable for injury if your firearm is stolen and used in a crime if you did not "adequately secure the firearm from theft or unauthorized possession."

Patron: Marsden
Creates a $250 civil penalty for failing to report to law enforcement that a firearm you own has been lost or stolen.

Patron: Howell
One of the annual "Gun Show Loophole" bill.  Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a background check be performed on the prospective transferee before the private seller may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.

Patron: Ebbin
Makes the victim of the crime of a stolen firearm a double victim by failing to report to law enforcement within 24 hours of the time you "should have known" that the firearm has been stolen.  You would be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent violation. The bill also provides that a person who knowingly files a false report of a lost or stolen firearm is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Patron: Marsh
Another so-called "gun show loophole" bill.  Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a background check be performed on the prospective transferee before the private seller may transfer firearms at a gun show. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.

Patron: Ebbin
Possession of handguns in legislative buildings. Prohibits the possession of a firearm in Capitol Square, including the Capitol and other buildings predominantly used to conduct the business of the General Assembly. The Capitol Police are required to screen persons entering the Capitol or the General Assembly Building. The prohibition would not apply to members of the General Assembly or to law-enforcement officers.

Patron: McEachin
Senator McEachin's second attempt to bann all private transfers of firearms.  Creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to buy, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm from any other person who is not a licensed dealer.

Patron: McEachin
Bans sale and transfer of standard capacity magazines.  Prohibits any person from selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill prohibits a person from carrying semi-automatic center-fire firearms with more than 10 rounds of ammunition in a public place; under existing law this prohibition applies only in certain localities and only to such firearms if the firearm holds more than 20 rounds of ammunition. The bill redefines "assault firearm" in the Code section that prohibits noncitizens and persons not lawfully admitted for permanent residence from possessing assault firearms and in the Code section that prohibits dealers from transferring an assault firearm to such persons by reducing the number of rounds of ammunition that the magazine will hold from more than 20 to more than 10. The rounds of ammunition are also reduced from more than 20 to more than 10 in the section that makes it unlawful for a person younger than 18 years of age to possess an assault firearm.

Patron: Saslaw
Repeals Virginia's pre-emption law.  Repeals provisions preventing localities from adopting ordinances and taking administrative actions regarding firearms and authorizes localities to adopt ordinances that prohibit firearms, ammunition, or components, or a combination thereof, on property owned or leased by a locality.

Patron: Ebbin
Requires all sales, including private firearms sale to undergo background checks.  Requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for sellers to obtain such a check from licensed firearm dealers. A seller who fails to obtain such a check and sells the gun to any other person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Patron: Deeds
Requires a background check for any firearm purchase and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for sellers to obtain such a check from licensed firearm dealers. A seller who fails to obtain such a check and sells the gun to someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by state or federal law is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Please contact the following members of the committee and urge them to oppose all of the above legislation:


VSSA's lobbying team has been working with legislators in both the House and the Senate to insure your rights are protected.  The Senate is of special importance as some members of the Courts Committee vote with us sometimes and not at other times.  Please contact them today and politely let them know that law abiding gun owners are the only people that would be affected by the above legislation and that none of the proposals would prevent crime.

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