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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Big Day for Gun Bills in Monday's Senate Courts of Justice Committee

As has been the practice for the last couple of years, the Senate Courts of Justice plans to deal with gun bills in one meeting, that that day is this Monday morning beginning at 8:00 AM.  Below is the list of bills that are on the docket:

Pro-Rights Bills:
SB 689: Senator Black's bill that maintains the current five year Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) but adds the option of a permit that does not expire unless revoked or suspended. 
SB 828: Also sponsored by Senator Black, would allow the possession of firearms on private and religious school property.
SB 1132: Sponsored by pro-rights Senator Tom Garrett, would allow a person with a valid CHP to carry on school grounds after hours, or store a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle in the parking lot.
SB 1137: Also sponsored by Senator Garrett would prohibit local ordinances that ban CHP holders from transporting a loaded rifle or shotgun, eliminating a patchwork of inconsistent laws that are unnecessarily confusing for law-abiding citizens.
SB 1191: Sponsored by Senator Tommy Norment, would amend the felony charge for having a firearm on school property to require that the person must have knowingly possessed the firearm.

Anti-Rights Bills:
SB 694: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator David Marsden, purports to close the non-existent "gun show loophole." 
SB 768: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Don McEachin, would criminalize all private firearm sales or transfers to anyone outside of immediate family members.  The bill would make it a Class 2 misdemeanor for individuals to buy, sell, trade or transfer a firearm to individuals who are not a licensed dealer.
SB 798: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Mamie Locke, would re-impose gun rationing in Virginia, even though crime has continued to be at historic lows since gun rationing was repealed in 2012.
SB 909: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Janet Howell, would prohibit anyone subject to a protective order from possessing a firearm, without the protections of due process.  VSSA believes that revocation of an individual’s constitutional right should be subject to due process, not accusations that lack being substantiated through some form of judicial review.
SB 912: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Jennifer Wexton, would create a ninety-day firearms restriction period for anyone subject to an emergency custody order, without due process of law.
SB 943: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Barbara Favola, expands “prohibited persons” for ownership and possession of a firearm to individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors.  VSSA believes that misdemeanors convictions should not cause a person to lose their constitutional rights.
SB 993: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Louise Lucas, would change certain definitions related to gun shows in order to prohibit private sales of firearms.
SB 1108: Sponsored by anti-rights enator Linda (Toddy) Puller, would revoke the CHP of those who are ninety days or $5,000 delinquent on their child support payments.  Being behind on child-support payments is not relevant to your constitutional right to defend yourself and does not indicate that you are a violent person or a danger to others.  Likewise, misdemeanor offenses should not warrant the permanent loss of Second Amendment rights when no other civil right is lost in the Commonwealth for conviction of misdemeanor offenses.  
SB 1178: Sponsored by anti-rights Senator Adam Ebbin, includes numerous anti-rights provisions, including the criminalization of private firearm transfers, repealing CHP holder confidentiality and allows a person to be held civilly liable for injury or death of another resulting from the use of a firearm by a child under the age of 14.
SB 1179: Also sponsored by Senator Ebbin, makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly authorize a child age four or younger to use a firearm or pneumatic gun when it should be up to the parent to decide when their child is mature and physically strong enough to learn about firearm safety.
SB 1215: also sponsored by Senator Ebbin  would criminalize the sale of any ivory or ivory product, making sales of previously legally acquired ivory and horn products a serious felony, even if the seller was ignorant of the law and presumed the item’s original lawful acquisition shielded it from the scope of regulation.  This would impact the sale and trade of some of America’s most historically-significant and collectable guns.

Please contact the following members of the Senate Courts of Justice committee and urge them to support the pro-rights bills listed above and to oppose the anti-rights bills.

Senator Thomas Norment (R-3), Co-Chairman

Phone: (806) 698-7503
Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26), Co-Chairman

Phone: (804) 698-7526
Senator John Edwards (D-21)

Phone: (804) 698-7521
Senator Ryan McDougle (R-4)

Phone: (804) 698-7504
Senator Richard Stuart (R-28)

Phone: (804) 698-7528
Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27)
Phone: (804) 698-7527
Senator William Stanley (R-20)
Phone: (804) 698-7520
Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17)
Phone: (804) 698-7517
Senator Thomas Garrett (R-22)
Phone: (804) 698-7522
Senator Benton Chafin (R-38)
Phone: (804) 698-7538

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