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Friday, March 11, 2016

General Assembly Rejects McAuliffe's Changes to Victim Protection Bills

Earlier this week, Governor Terry McAuliffe sent substitute bills as amendments to HB766 and SB626.  These companion bills would have turned a protective order into a temporary concealed handgun permit (CHP) until the victim was able to secure a permanent permit.  McAuliffe's substitute bills turned these bills from a victim protection bill to a predator protection bill by allowing judges to arbitrarily deny the temporary permit, requiring the victim to have already applied for a CHP before the protection order was requested, basically making the victim have to know ahead of time that they are going to need a protective order and thus apply for the CHP in anticipation of the violence against them, and requiring the victim to have already completed the firearms training needed to get a CHP, but prohibiting the use of the online option that other CHP applicants can currently use.

Today, the State Senate rejected the Governor's substitute on a vote of 11-29 but fell six votes short passing the bill in it's enrolled version, meaning that had they done so, the Governor would have had no further options to stop the bill from becoming law.  Several Democrats changed their vote from when the bill originally passed as the bill originally passed with a veto proof margin.

The House of Delegates however not only rejected the Governor's substitute 28-71 then went on to pass the bill in it's enrolled form on a vote of 66-33.  Unfortunately, when the bill got to the Senate, it met the same fate as the Senate bill, falling six votes short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass. The actions are now communicated back to the Governor.

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