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Monday, February 24, 2014

"Celebratory Gunfire" Drama to End the General Assembly

The two bills that were introduced to address the issue of so-called "Celebratory Gunfire" have made their way to the final week of the General Assembly and are set to cause a little drama.  Both House Bill 810 and SB 65.made it out of their respective houses of the General Assembly. HB 810 was changed to a malicious wounding bill, while SB 65 also amended, but remained bill creating a crime called "celebratory gunfire".  So, when HB 810 came up last week in Senate Courts, the Democratic majority, led by Richmond State Senator Don McEachin made a motion to change the bill back to the form of the "celebratory gunfire" bill as SB65 left the Senate.  The House rejected the changes so HB810 is likely headed to conference.  Today, SB65 was amended in House Courts of Justice Criminal Law Subcommittee to the version that HB810 passed the House.  The Senate is likely to follow the House action and reject the amendment, setting up a conference on that bill as well.  So, we may yet see the death of both bills, something that could not be achieved in committee for two bills as introduced, that would have been unenforceable (as evidenced by the fact they still have not identified the culprit of the incident that tragically killed a 9 year-old boy last July 4th - the child that the sponsor of SB 65 has named his bill after).

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