VGOF

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Firearm Bills Start Flowing at General Assembly

With the first day of the 2014 Session of the General Assembly behind us, here is a look at some of the more important firearm related bills VSSA will be working over the next two months.  Be sure to check this blog, the VSSA Twitter feed, and the VSSA Facebook Page for updates.  Bills will continue to be introduced until Friday January 17th.  The below list will grow and it is expected that a number of additional anti-rights bills will be introduced before next Friday. 

One final note; if your membership is about to expire, please take a moment now to renew so we can continue to include you in our voice to the General Assembly.  Because of you, we beat back all of the anti-rights bills last year and even passed a few good bills.  We need you to help us again this year.  And by renewing now, you will help save VSSA valuable resources that would be used on postage to send a renewal notice.

Pro-rights Bills:

HB 8 - Fees for concealed handgun permits. Decreases the local law-enforcement background investigation fee from $35 to $10, which includes any amount assessed by the FBI for providing criminal history record information. The total amount assessed for processing an application for a permit is thereby decreased from $50 to $25.  
 
HB 21 - School boards; employee firearms training. Requires every school board in the Commonwealth to designate at least one qualified person for every school in the district who, upon application with the school board, may carry a concealed handgun on school property. The bill requires all designated persons, including certain school division employees, certain school volunteers who carry valid concealed handgun permits, and certain retired law-enforcement officers, to be certified and trained by the Virginia Center for School Safety or the National Rifle Association in the storage, use, and handling of a concealed handgun. The bill also outlines the training requirements for designated persons as designed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.  
 
HB114 - Possession of firearm, etc., on school property; private or religious schools. Eliminates the crimes of possession on the property of a private or religious elementary, middle, or high school; a school bus owned or operated by such school; or any property being used for functions or extracurricular activities sponsored by such school of a stun weapon, knife, or other weapon (currently a Class 1 misdemeanor) or a firearm (currently a Class 6 felony). The bill does not affect the criminal penalties for the possession of such weapons on public school property. 
 
HB127 - Use of muzzleloading pistols. Allows persons to hunt big game with muzzleloading pistols of a caliber of .45 or greater where and in those seasons when the use of muzzlelooading rifles is permitted. The bill authorizes the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to adopt regulations that specify the types of muzzleloading pistols and projectiles and propellants that can be used. The bill contains technical amendments.  
 
HB317 - Prohibition on weapons at airport; exception for concealed handgun. Provides that a person who holds a valid concealed handgun permit may lawfully possess or transport a concealed handgun into any air carrier airport terminal.  
 
HB357 - Concealed handgun permit applicant; access to information. Allows a clerk of a circuit court to disclose information contained in a concealed handgun permit application to the applicant. Currently, the clerk may not disclose such information to anyone except for a law-enforcement officer acting in the performance of his official duties.  
 
HB639 - Concealed handgun permits; residents of the Commonwealth. Allows any resident of the Commonwealth who is otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun within the Commonwealth (commonly referred to as Constitutional Carry).  
 
HB644 - Concealed handgun permits; lifetime permits. Provides for the issuance of concealed handgun permits for Virginia residents that do not expire. Currently, such permits must be renewed every five years.  
 
HB646 - Replacement concealed handgun permits. Provides that no fees shall be charged for the issuance of a replacement concealed handgun permit because the permit holder has changed his address (currently subject to a maximum fee of $10) or to replace a lost or destroyed permit (currently subject to a maximum fee of $5). 
 
HB705 - Out-of-state concealed handgun permits. Eliminates certain requirements for an out-of-state concealed handgun permit to be recognized in Virginia and provides that such a permit authorizes the holder of the permit to carry a concealed handgun so long as the permit holder carries a valid government-issued photo identification and presents that identification to any law-enforcement officer upon request. 
 
HB714 - Renewal of concealed handgun permit; no fees required. Provides that a person who has previously been issued a concealed handgun permit does not have to pay any fees to renew such permit.  
 
HB736 - Lifetime concealed handgun permits; Department of State Police to issue; penalty. Provides for the issuance of concealed handgun permits that do not expire to Virginia residents upon payment of a one-time fee of $100, except that the fee for a person currently holding an unexpired permit is $50. Currently, the fee for issuing such permits is $50, and the permits must be renewed every five years with an additional $50 fee charged each time. Such lifetime permits will include a photograph of the permittee.  
 
HB752 - Student expulsion; pneumatic guns. Removes pneumatic guns from the list of weapons that require a school board to expel from school attendance for a period of not less than one year any student whom such school board has determined to have possessed such a weapon on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.  
 
SB368 - Regulation of transportation of a loaded rifle or shotgun. Provides that lawful concealed carry permit holders shall not be subject to the provisions of certain local ordinances that make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess, or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality.  
 
SB396 - Criminal background check for transfer of firearms; exemption for holders of concealed handgun permits. Provides that a licensed firearms dealer does not have to have a criminal background check performed to determine a person's eligibility to purchase a firearm if the purchaser possesses a valid concealed handgun permit and presents a photo-ID issued by an agency of the Commonwealth or the Department of Defense.  
 
Anti-Rights Bills: 
 
HB48 - Possession of firearms following conviction of certain crimes; penalty. Prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member that results in serious bodily injury from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following his conviction. A violation would constitute a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides for the forfeiture of any weapon possessed, transported, or carried in violation of the prohibition. Finally, the bill provides for a process by which a violator may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his rights to possess, transport, or carry a weapon. (the pupose of bills like this is to take us down the road to California where some 40 different misdemeanor crimes can cause someone to lose their 2nd Amendment rights). 
 
HB61 - Firearms; purchase and sale of rifles or shotguns; penalties. Prohibits the sale of any rifle, shotgun, or assault rifle by a federally licensed firearms dealer to any out-of-state resident. Under current law, out-of-state residents may purchase rifles, shotguns, or assault rifles from licensed dealers in the Commonwealth provided certain background checks have been passed. Also, the bill moves language regarding driver's license designations from Title 18.2, Crimes and Offenses Generally, to Title 46.2, Motor Vehicles, with no substantive change to the language. The bill contains technical amendments.  
 
HB129 - Explosive material; method of ignition. Adds high impact velocity to the methods of ignition contained in the definition of "explosive material." It is a Class 5 felony to possess materials that may be used to manufacture explosive materials or to manufacture, transport, distribute, possess, or use explosive materials. (You may be asking why? Because this would make a substance commonly used in exploding targets illegal.  Exploding targets are used safely by many shooters). 
 
HB535 - Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor 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 access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.  
 
HB695 - Concealed handgun permit; firearms safety course; nonresident permits. Makes various changes to the types of training courses permitted to satisfy the requirement to display competence with a handgun to obtain a resident or nonresident concealed handgun permit, including (i) requiring that a National Rifle Association (NRA) or Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) course focus on the use and handling of a concealed handgun; (ii) requiring that a law-enforcement course be a handgun training course rather than a firearms safety course; and (iii) requiring that online NRA or DCJS training courses be synchronous. The bill also requires that applicants for a nonresident concealed handgun permit possess a valid concealed handgun permit from their state of residence and provide a copy of that permit with their application. 
 
HR7 - Rules of the House of Delegates. Prohibits firearms on the floor of the House of Delegates.  
 
SB39 - Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. In order to be a "firearms show vendor" the person must have paid or given other thing of value to the promoter for the opportunity to sell guns at the 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 access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.
 
SB65 - Brendon's Law; celebratory gunfire; penalty. Provides that any person who willfully discharges a firearm with no discernible or designated target within or into the limits of any city or town or within two miles of any occupied building and such conduct results in the death of another person is guilty of an offense punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years. The bill also provides that such conduct that does not result in the death of another but does result in bodily injury to another person is a Class 3 felony. Finally, the bill provides that such conduct that does not result in the death or bodily injury to another is a Class 6 felony. (This bill is a response to the tragedy that occurred on July 4th where some idiot apparently fired into the air and the bullet came down and struck a young boy walking to a fireworks show.  It is already against the law to discharge a firearm in an unsafe manner such as occurred in Chesterfield that night).
 
SB287 - Transfer of firearms; penalty. Provides that any person who sells or otherwise transfers a firearm to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by state or federal law is guilty of a Class 6 felony if the transferor does not obtain a background check from a licensed firearms dealer.  (It is already illegal, and a felony to "willfully and intentionally" sell a firearm to a prohibited person.  The bill also creates a registry of firearms similar to what Manchin, Schumer, Toomey did by basically cooercing private sellers to go through an FFL for a background check in order to protect themselves - and requires the licensed retailer to list the purchase in his records similar to what is required of FFLs by ATF).
 
SB377 - Firearm transfers to dealers; penalty. Requires firearm dealers to go through a process administered by the Department of State Police to determine whether a firearm that is being transferred to the dealer by a person other than a dealer, importer, or manufacturer can be lawfully transferred. The bill has an effective date of January 1, 2015.





 





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