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Friday, January 12, 2018

Long List of Gun Bills on Senate Courts of Justice Docket Monday

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee is wasting no time taking up the flurry of firearm related bills that have been introduced in the chamber.  Monday's docket includes a long list of bills, mostly anti-rights, but there are some pro-rights bills.  Included on the list are three bills that have previously passed and been vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe - two dealing with the ability of domestic violence victims to carry a concealed firearm without a permit while they are waiting for the permit for which they have applied to be processed, and a bill that prevents anti-gun states from going on fishing expeditions with people who have been stopped for routine traffic violations by preventing the sharing of concealed handgun permit information with states with which Virginia does not have reciprocity.  Please contact the members of the committee and let them know you oppose the bad bills (noted in red) and support the good bills (noted in green).  VSSA will be providing live updates on Twitter and Facebook during the committee meeting. In the interest of not clogging up our member's email inbox, rather than sending multiple emails during the week, please regularly check this blog and the VSSA web site Legislative Tracking Form for updates on legislation.  Bills of interest on Monday's docket are listed below.

S.B. 2  Patron: Ebbin
Firearms; alcohol; penalties. Provides that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty of such act is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years. Current law provides that such prohibition applies only to persons permitted to carry a concealed handgun.

S.B. 5 Patron: Ebbin
Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty. Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. A transferor who fails to obtain a required background check and sells the firearm to another person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts transfers between immediate family members, transfers that occur by operation of law, transfers by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust, and temporary transfers that (i) occur within the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm; (ii) are necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury; (iii) occur at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting, for use during target practice, a firearms safety or training course or class, a shooting competition, or any similar lawful activity; or (iv) are for the purpose of and while the transferee is engaged in hunting, trapping, or target shooting. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary.

S.B. 48 Patron: Black
Concealed handgun permits. Allows any person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun openly within the Commonwealth.

S.B. 63 Patron: Favola
Control of firearms by localities; lawful demonstrations and protests. Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits the possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof, during a demonstration, march, parade, protest, rally, or other similar event. Such an ordinance shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer, armed security officer, member of the Armed Forces of the United States, member of the Armed Forces Reserves, or member of the National Guard acting in the performance of his lawful duties or to any person having a valid concealed handgun permit.

S.B. 79 Patron: Lucas
Firearms on school property. Adds public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited. Under current law, the list of such schools only includes public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high schools.

S.B. 113 Patron: Favola
Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty. Prohibits the manufacture, import, sale or offer to sell, possession, transfer, or transportation of any device used to increase the rate of fire of any semi-automatic firearm beyond the capability of an unaided person to operate the trigger mechanism of that firearm. A violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

S.B. 119 Patron: Favola
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $50 for a first offense and not less than $100 or more than $250 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 145 Patron: Edwards
Firearm transfers; penalties. Creates a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer but who conducts business as a merchant of firearms to sell a firearm without a background check conducted by a federally licensed dealer. The bill exempts transfers to family members, to personal friends, by inheritance, by operation of law, or for a temporary purpose.

S.B. 155 Patron: Edwards
Control of firearms; chambers of local governing bodies. Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body, provided that notice of such prohibition is publicly posted and the meeting room is owned or operated by the locality.

S.B. 209 Patron: Stuart
Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information. Prohibits sharing of information regarding Virginia concealed handgun permits in the Virginia Criminal Information Network with law enforcement in states that do not recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. The bill requires the Department of State Police to maintain and publish online a list of states that recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. The bill does not create a private cause of action.

S.B. 215 Patron: Cosgrove
Renewal of concealed handgun permits; notice. Requires the clerk of the court that issued a concealed handgun permit to notify the permit holder, at least 90 days prior to the expiration date, of the expiration date of the permit. Such notification shall be provided by first-class mail unless the clerk provides an electronic notification to the permit holder. Current law provides that if the clerk has an electronic system for the application and issuance of concealed handgun permits and such system has the capability of sending electronic notices to a permit holder, then such expiration notices shall be sent electronically.

S.B. 276 Patron: Barker
Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Creates a procedure by which an attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a circuit court judge for a warrant to remove firearms from a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others. If firearms are seized pursuant to such warrant, the bill requires a court hearing within 14 days from execution of the warrant to determine whether the firearms should be returned or retained by law enforcement. Seized firearms may be retained by court order for up to 180 days or, with court approval, may be transferred to a third party chosen by the person from whom they were seized. Persons who have been served with a warrant to remove firearms until such warrant has been dissolved by a court or who are the subject of an order to retain firearms are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm; are disqualified from having a concealed handgun permit; and may not be employed by a licensed firearms dealer. The bill also provides that a person who transfers a firearm to a person he knows has been served with a warrant or who is the subject of an order is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

S.B. 288 Patron: McClellan
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $50 for a first offense and not less than $100 or more than $250 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 338 Patron: Peake
Firearms in courthouses. Allows a person who may lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to carry a firearm or ammunition for a firearm into an area courthouse that is being used exclusively for purposes other than judicial proceedings outside of the courthouse's normal hours of operation.

S.B. 350 Patron: Peake
Concealed handgun permit; expiration date. Extends from five to 15 years the validity of a concealed handgun permit.

S.B. 351 Patron: Peake
Firearms in locked vehicles; immunity from liability. Provides that no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner may (i) prohibit a person who lawfully possesses a firearm from storing that firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, (ii) take any adverse employment action against an employee or contractor for lawfully storing a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, or (iii) search an employee's or contractor's motor vehicle or require that an employee or contractor consent to such a search as a condition of employment. The bill allows a person to petition a circuit court for an injunction to enforce his right to lawfully store a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle. The bill provides immunity for any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner in a civil action for any occurrence resulting from the use of a lawfully stored firearm or ammunition for a firearm. The provisions of the bill do not apply to (a) property owned or controlled by the federal government, (b) vehicles on property controlled by an employer required to develop and implement a security plan under federal law or regulation, (c) property on which a person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, (d) vehicles owned or leased by an employer or business entity and used by an employee or contractor in the course of his employment, or (e) personal vehicles while such vehicles are being used for the transport of consumers of programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

S.B. 360 Patron: McClellan
Control of firearms; permitted events. Authorizes any locality by ordinance to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or any combination thereof in a public space during a permitted event, or an event that would otherwise require a permit. This bill contains technical amendments.

S.B. 372 Patron: Chafin
Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship. Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.

S.B. 385 Patron: Lucas
Purchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty. Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts from this provision (i) persons who have been issued a certificate by the Department of State Police under certain circumstances and with an enhanced background check, (ii) law-enforcement agencies and officers, (iii) state and local correctional facilities, (iv) licensed private security companies, (v) persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, (vi) persons whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, (vii) purchases of handguns in a private sale, and (viii) purchases of antique firearms.

S.B. 412 Patron: Lucas
Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty. Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and directs the Department of State Police (the Department) to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. A transferor who sells a firearm to another person without obtaining the required background check is guilty of a Class 6 felony. The bill exempts transfers (i) between immediate family members, (ii) that occur by operation of law, (iii) by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust, and (iv) that are temporary and occur in the presence of the owner of the firearm or are necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary. The bill also provides that the Department shall have three business days to complete a criminal history record information check before a firearm may be transferred.

S.B. 432 Patron: Wexton
Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before a vendor, defined in the bill, may transfer firearms at a gun show. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show post notice of the requirement for a criminal history record information check and provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check. The bill repeals a provision added by the 2016 Session of the General Assembly that 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.

S.B. 433 Patron: Wexton
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $250 for a first offense and not less than $250 or more than $1,000 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 434 Patron: Wexton
Restoration of firearms rights; convicted felons. Requires the court to find by clear and convincing evidence that a person convicted of a violent felony, whose civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority, who has petitioned for a permit to possess or carry a firearm is not a risk to public safety and poses no present or future danger to himself or others prior to granting the petition and issuing the permit. Current law provides for a standard of good cause shown.

S.B. 442 Patron: Howell
Allowing access to firearms by children; penalty. Provides that any person who leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any person under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Current law provides that any person who recklessly leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of 14 is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

S.B. 447 Patron: Surovell
Firearm transfers; penalties. Creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to buy, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm from any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill exempts certain transfers, including between immediate family members, by operation of law, at a firearms show with a background check, at a shooting range, at a voluntary gun buyback programs, transfers of antique firearms, and when the transfer is temporary and (i) is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or (ii) occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm.

S.B. 493 Patron: Carrico
Possession of concealed handguns; concealed handgun permit holders at public institutions of higher education. Allows any person who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit or a concealed handgun permit from another state that is recognized by Virginia to carry a concealed handgun on the property of, in buildings owned by, or at events hosted at public institutions of higher education. The bill provides an exception that may prohibit firearms in facilities operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or a campus police department of a public institution of higher education if such facilities are located on the property of or in buildings owned by a public institution of higher education.

S.B. 595 Patron: Vogel
Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty.

S.B. 596 Patron: Vogel
Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course. Creates the Virginia Firearms Safety and Training for Sexual and Domestic Violence Victims Fund. The bill provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services may distribute funds from the Fund to reimburse an entity that offers a firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department free of charge to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, or family abuse. The Department would not be permitted to issue reimbursements in excess of the amount available in the Fund. The bill also requires that, upon the issuance of a protective order, the petitioner for the order be provided with a list of such approved courses or classes.

S.B. 641 Patron: Stuart
Purchase, possession, or transportation of firearms by persons voluntarily admitted to an inpatient mental health facility; penalty. Prohibits a person voluntarily admitted to a state hospital or mental health facility for inpatient treatment from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm while receiving inpatient treatment and for two weeks following the date on which he is discharged from inpatient treatment. The bill requires the state hospital or mental health facility to notify the person seeking admission of such prohibition, to receive written consent from the person seeking admission to have his firearm rights temporarily revoked, and to disclose information regarding his admission to treatment to the State Police for entry in the Central Criminal Records Exchange prior to admitting such person for treatment.

S.B. 653 Patron: McPike
Dangerous weapons; place of religious worship. Requires a person to have the express authorization of a place of religious worship to carry certain weapons to such place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held. Current law requires such person to have a good and sufficient reason to do so.

S.B. 665 Patron: Deeds
Prohibition on carrying of certain firearms in public places; County of Albemarle and City of Charlottesville; penalty. Adds the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville to the list of localities in which it is unlawful for a person to carry certain firearms in public places.

S.B. 668 Patron: Deeds
Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings. Allows localities to regulate the possession of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in, or the carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof into, any building owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes. The bill also allows localities to regulate the possession of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in, or the carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof into a park or recreation area owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes, provided that at each public entrance to such park or recreation area there is (i) at least one law-enforcement officer or armed security officer; (ii) at least one metal detection device; and (iii) an inspection area where each person that enters the park or recreation area may have any bag, package, or other container that he is carrying inspected by a law-enforcement officer or armed security officer. Current law prohibits localities from adopting or enforcing any ordinance, resolution, or motion regarding firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof unless expressly authorized by statute.

S.B. 669 Patron: Deeds
Involuntary mental health treatment; minors; access to firearms. Provides that a person who, while a minor 14 years of age or older, was ordered to involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment or was subject to a temporary detention order and agreed to voluntary admission (i) is subject to the same restrictions on possessing, purchasing, or transporting a firearm as an adult who was similarly ordered to involuntary treatment or was subject to a temporary detention order and agreed to voluntary admission and (ii) may utilize the same procedure as such adult for petitioning for the restoration of such person's firearm rights. The bill also sets out procedures for the submission of any involuntary treatment order or certification of voluntary admission subsequent to a temporary detention order involving a minor 14 years of age or older to the Central Criminal Records Exchange for purposes of determining a person's eligibility to possess, purchase, or transport a firearm that mirror the current procedures for the submission of such orders or certifications for adults.

S.B. 676 Patron: Deeds
Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty. Prohibits the manufacture, import, sale or offer to sell, possession, transfer, or transportation of any device used to increase the rate of fire of any semi-automatic firearm beyond the capability of an unaided person to operate the trigger mechanism of that firearm. A violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

S.B. 715 Patron: Chase
Carrying a concealed handgun; firefighters and emergency medical services providers. Provides that any firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel who was previously employed as a law-enforcement officer or as a member of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves of the United States may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit, provided that such firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel has been approved to carry a concealed handgun by his fire chief or emergency medical services chief.

S.B. 732 Patron: Favola
Possession or transportation of firearms following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes; restoration of rights; penalty. Prohibits a person who has been convicted of stalking, sexual battery, assault and battery of a family or household member, brandishing a firearm, or two or more convictions of assault and battery from possessing or transporting a firearm. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides for a process by which a person convicted of such crimes may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his right to possess or transport a firearm.

S.B. 742 Patron: Spruill
Prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines and firearms; penalties. Prohibits any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a person from carrying semi-automatic center-fire firearms with more than 10 rounds of ammunition in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities and only to such firearms if the firearm holds more than 20 rounds of ammunition. The bill also increases from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony the penalty for carrying a semi-automatic center-fire firearm and a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place. The bill redefines "assault firearm" by reducing from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" and prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory such an assault firearm to any person. The bill also reduces from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" for purposes of possession or transportation by a person younger than 18 years of age and increases the penalty from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony for a person younger than 18 years of age to possess or transport a handgun, an assault firearm, or a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered, with some exceptions.

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