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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

House Bill on "Celebratory Gun Fire" Emerges from Conference, Passes House Unanimously

Anti-rights Delegate Betsy Carr's HB810 emerged from a conference committee yesterday and was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates.  The bill is named "Brendon's Law" after the nine year-old who was tragically killed on July 4th of last year when some numb-nut discharged a firearm into the air somewhere in the area, and the bullet came down and struck the child in the head.  Authorities still have not identified the individual who discharged the firearm.

As originally introduced, the bill included provisions that would have made it a felony to randomly discharge a firearm into the air, hitting or killing someone, and a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail if no one is hurt.  It has a companion Senate bill, SB65, sponsored by anti-rights Richmond State Senator Henry Marsh.

Both Bills emerged in a different from when they passed their respective chambers.  HB810 had been changed to a malicious wounding bill, making it much more palatable.  The operative language in HB810 as it passed the House is:
A1. Any person who handles any firearm in a manner so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
SB65 as amended on the other hand was almost as bad as the introduced version.

When HB810 got to the Senate, it was conformed to SB65, but that was rejected when the bill was sent back to the House of Delegates for approval an the bill went to conference.  The Conference Committee recommended rejection of the Senate substitute and approval of the bill as it passed the House of Delegates.  That report was approved by the House yesterday.  SB65, which was amended by House Courts of Justice to mirror HB810, emerged from the House Appropriations Committee yesterday and should be taken up today or tomorrow in the House. 

Update: The House passed consideration of the Governor's amendment by for the day.  It will be on the Calendar again tomorrow (Thursday).


Unknown said...

HB 810 passed the Senate unanimously today. It is headed for the Governor's desk. We are so happy and proud that this bill, which does not impact anyone's 2nd amendment rights to own a weapon, but only imposes severe penalties for those who choose to handle them recklessly and endanger the lives of others, has passed. Many of our Moms Demand Action members who pushed for this bill own guns and hunt. We believe that gun ownership comes with great responsibility to treat the weapons with respect and great care to safeguard our families and the public. We agree with your comment that the person who killed Brendon Mackey is a "num-nut". And we hope that this 4th of July, every "pop" heard is the sound of a firework exploding, and ever New Year's Eve, all the "pops" will be from champagne corks. Peace, prosperity and safety to you and yours.

VSSA said...

Thanks for your comments Unknown. It should be noted that both of the major Virginia based pro-rights organizations did not oppose HB810 as it passed the House. Rather than being an overly broad new penalty as it (and SB 65) was originally drafted, it ultimately passed both chambers as a malicious wounding bill requiring a "wanton disregard" for safety. A lot of time could have been saved if Senator McEachin had left the bill in the form it left the House.

Unknown said...

Sen McEachin was not a patron or sponsor. Sen Marsh was. The malicious wounding language was inserted by Del Gilbert of Woodstock.

VSSA said...

I never said that McEachin was a patron or sponsor, but he was responsible for HB 810 being conformed to the way SB 65 left the Senate. He is the one who immediately moved for HB 810 to be conformed to the Senate bill when HB810 came before Senate Courts.