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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Virginia State Senate Committee Kills Two Pro-gun Bills

I tweeted the results of yesterday's Senate Courts of Justice Committee but this Augusta Free Press article gives a little more detail.  To recap, there were three House bills before the committee; HB878, HB705, and HB962.   HB962 clarified that for purposes of the exception to the prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon in a secured container or compartment in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel, the term "compartment" includes a console, glove compartment, or any other area within or on the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed. The bill also provides that the term "secured" does not require that a container or compartment be locked, but merely closed.  That bill was reported to the full Senate.  

HB878 requires that when certification of a chief law-enforcement officer is required by federal law for transfer of a firearm, as defined in the National Firearms Act, such certification must be provided within 30 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. If the applicant is prohibited by law from receiving the firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee shall provide written notification to the applicant stating the reason for the prohibition. That bill was defeated on a party line vote, which included the usually pro-gun State Senator John Edwards voting against gun owners. 

Finally, HB705 would eliminate 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.  Again, on a party line vote, this bill failed, with Senator Edwards turning his back on gun owners again.

Vehemently anti-rights and co-chairman of the committee, State Senator Don McEachin (D-Richmond) resorted to hyperbole to describe the actions of the Democrats:
“Pro-gun advocates keep saying: enforce the laws on the books. Today, we acted to keep some of the protections we already have in Virginia from being chipped away. After all, if we have a high standard for the legal sale of bombs, grenades, or rockets, why make it easier to buy them?” said Senator McEachin of the Committee’s votes today. “Once again, Democrats chose commonsense, pragmatic governing as opposed to adherence to a rigid ideology.”

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