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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Governor McAuliffe Playing Games with Bill to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

HB 766, and SB 626, bills that would effectively make a protective order a temporary concealed handgun permit (CHP), covering the person being protected by the order while waiting for their CHP application to be processed and their permanent CHP to be issued.  Both bills passed the House and Senate.  During consideration of the bills in committee, both the gun ban lobby and groups representing domestic-violence survivors said women would not be capable of defending themselves with a firearm in an emergency.  Apparently, they shared the same views with Governor McAuliffe because instead of signing the bills, he has sent down a substitute bill for consideration that neuters the bill’s intent of allowing a victim to immediately begin to carry a concealed handgun for protection.

The Governor’s substitute does the following:

1.  Allows judges to arbitrarily deny the temporary permit. 
2.  Requires 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.
3.  Requires the victim to have already completed the firearms training needed to get a CHP, but prohibits the use of the online option that other CHP applicants can currently use.

The original bills passed with veto proof margins in both houses.  The bills are now on the calendar for consideration by both the House and Senate and both were passed by for the day today.  Contact your delegate and state senator today and urge them to defeat Govornor McAuliffe's substitute.

Update: The House and Senate passed the bills by for the day on Thursday.  Continue to make your voice heard to your delegate and state senator.

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