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Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Gun Laws Take Effect July 1

On July 1, laws passed during the General Assembly session take effect.  Here are the five firearm related laws:

SB 610 and HB 1163, patroned by state Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17) and Delegate Michael Webert (R-18), which passed during the last session overrides Attorney General Mark Herring's order that ended reciprocity/recognition with 25 states. Action to terminate existing agreements and mutual recognition was delayed to allow the new provisions to take effect on July 1, making revocation unnecessary. As a result Virginia’s recognition of permits remained unchanged until July 1 when the new law becomes effective.

Effective July 1, the holder of a valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state may carry a concealed handgun in Virginia provided:
  • the holder of such permit or license is at least 21 years of age; and
  • the permit or license holder carries a photo identification issued by a government agency of any state or by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Department of State; and
  • the holder displays the permit or license and such identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; and
  • the permit or license holder has not previously had a Virginia concealed handgun permit revoked. 
The legislation also provides that the Virginia State Police in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General will work with the various jurisdictions to secure reciprocal privileges for Virginia citizens desiring to carry concealed in other states.

Although the new law will require Virginia to grant recognition to all states that issue permits, those states may not authorize Virginia permit holders to possess a firearm in their state. You will need to contact each state to determine if they will recognize your Virginia permit.

Additionally, on Friday, July 1, the Virginia State Police will begin the process of reaching out to additional states to enter into reciprocal agreements allowing Virginia concealed carry permits to be recognized when traveling to those states. Please note that effective July 1, new CHP applications will need to be used to apply for new or renewal permits.

HB 1386/SB 715 - Firearms shows; voluntary background checks; penalties. The law requires the Department of State Police to be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at firearms shows if requested by a party involved in a transaction. The promoter of the firearms show shall furnish the Department of State Police sufficient facilities to perform the background checks. In order for the law to become effective, the U.S. Department of Justice must approve the policies and procedures that the Department of State Police will use to implement the provisions of the law.

HB 206. Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement. The law allows Virginia residents to purchase a firearm by presenting only one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. The law provides that a member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia or his Leave and Earnings Statement. Current law requires photo identification and another document that establishes residency, such as a lease or utility bill, and that includes an address that matches the photo identification.

HB 810. Transfer of assault weapon; proof of citizenship. The law makes consistent the type of identification and other documentation that a purchaser of a firearm must present when purchasing any type of firearm from a licensed dealer by removing the additional requirement for the purchase of an assault weapon that a person who purchases such a weapon must present proof of citizenship. The law does not alter the provisions prohibiting the sale of assault firearms to noncitizens or persons who have not been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

HB 1391/SB 49. Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty. The law provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) for family abuse to possess a firearm while the order is in effect. The law also provides that such person may continue to possess and transport a firearm for 24 hours after being served with the order for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm to another person. Under current law, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person subject to a protective order to purchase or transport a firearm.

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