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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bill Exempting CHP Holders from Background Checks Advances in Senate Courts

Yesterday the Senate Courts of Justice Committee advanced all of the pro-rights bill on the docket, including HB2029, a bill that would exempt Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders from a background check when they purchase a firearm.  Federal law allows those who hold a CHP to be exempted from background checks if they have had a check performed in the last five years through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  HB2029 would add that check to the processing of a CHP application or renewal.  Currently 23 states have this exemption as allowed by federal law.

The State Police, which has become a mouthpiece for the anti-rights McAuliffe administration this year strongly opposed the bill according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Tom Bradshaw of the Virginia State Police cited statistics showing that during the past five years, police sent 1,100 letters to circuit courts indicating a disqualified permit holder.

He said there were 227 permit holders who were subject to disqualification because of involuntary commitment to a mental health institution and 2,500 restraining orders were issued on holders of concealed handgun permits.

“During that five-year period a lot of things can actually occur,” Bradshaw said.
The bill now goes to Finance where it should be reported out as there is not fiscal impact due to an increase in the fee charged applicants to conduct the additional background check at the time of processing.

Also reporting yesterday were HB1329 which would recognize out of state CHPs as long as the out of state resident also has a government issued photo id on his or her person.  HB1329 was also referred to the Finance Committee.

Both bills may face vetoes from Governor McAuliffe.  Keep watching the blog for action alerts should the bills pass the Senate.  Gun owners will need to flood McAuliffe's office with phone calls and emails.

Finally, HB1666 advanced and moved to the Senate Finance.  HB1666 is Delegate Fowler's bill that permits a nonresident of the Commonwealth prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition because of a felony conviction or a juvenile adjudication of delinquency of certain offenses to petition the circuit court where his last felony conviction or adjudication of delinquency occurred for restoration of his right to possess, transport, or carry a firearm.  Current law does not provide for venue for a nonresident's restoration petition.

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