[Re-posted from a VA-ALERT with prior approval of VCDL]

[First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and “PVC” reference Philip Van Cleave, President VCDL]

Bad bills killed in subcommittee last Friday

On Friday morning two more anti-gun bills were killed:

SB 224, Senator Herring, would have made it easier for the federal government to take away someone's gun rights forever for a single conviction of *misdemeanor* domestic violence. An Administration (Governor Bob McDonnell) representative, the anti-gun Association for Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia State Police spoke in favor of the bill, saying it would be easier for the State Police to determine if a person convicted under Virginia's misdemeanor domestic violence law qualified to have their gun rights terminated by the federal government. The State Police said that such persons would be delayed longer than usual while the State Police determined their status.

I spoke against the bill, saying I was glad that it was hard or impossible for the State Police to determine if a person should lose their gun rights for a misdemeanor and that it would be worth the wait at a gun show to keep misdemeanants from being disarmed for life. I said that Virginia did not need to bring its laws into compliance with what I consider to be an unconstitutional federal law. I also pointed out that it's not like Virginia isn't tough on domestic violence offenders - a second charge within 20 years will move from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Boy, if looks could kill I'd be six feet under. The Administration representative was NOT happy with me. ;-)

The subcommittee voted to carry the bill over to next year by a 4 to 1 vote! It will end up in the Crime Commission for study and, I hope, won't rear its ugly head again for a year or two.

SB 389, Senator Marsden, would have made it a criminal offense to carry a BB gun on K-12 school property. Schools can already prevent students from doing so by policy. One claim for needing the law was that MS-13 was telling their members to carry BB guns on school property because it was legal. When I spoke against the bill I said, "Yeah - if it is made illegal I'm sure MS-13 members will comply with the law."

The bill died by a 4 to 1 margin.

Delegate Gilbert led the charge on killing those bills and we thank him. Also voting to kill both bills were Delegates Webert, Fariss, and Wright.

Bills we are still watching in the General Assembly

Here are the bills that are still under consideration in the House and Senate:

HB 375, Delegate Pogge, allows employees of local government to store firearms in their private vehicles while at work. We are awaiting the House to accept the Senate's changes and pass the bill, which would then send it on its way to the Governor's desk.

SB 663, Senator Smith, allows a CHP holder to use his CHP as identification for purposes of voting. Should be voted on in the House soon. We expect it to pass handily.

HB 48, Delegate Bell, and SB 4, Senator Stuart, are both Castle Doctrine bills. We continue to strongly oppose these two bills as the risk outweighs the benefit as they currently stand. Virginia common law is very good and there is no need to rush. VCDL is working on vetting a more comprehensive bill over the summer. Both bills are both currently stalled.

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).

VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]