Senator Marsh stated in the Roanoke Times on Monday, March 1, that the Senate
Courts of Justice Special Subcommittee could kill bills without the full
committee taking a vote.
However, the Senate's own rules are clear:
20(h) states, "...Such subcommittees SHALL make recommendations to the
Committee." (emphasis added)
I urge the full committee to follow your own rules and your own history and
vote on all the bills that are under consideration by the Special (or any
Ignoring the Senate's Rules will make a mockery out of the Senate and the
Committee. It will also, open all members up to the "they violate their own
rule and adopted the rule-of-men not the rule-of-law, in order to avoid
representing their true position in their district's news coverage."
Even newspaper, which support gun control have taken an Editorial position
against the practice, in the House.
See: No stacked committees - Roanoke.com
"Editorial: No stacked committees
Committees that reflect the composition of the House serve representative
democracy far better than the old Democratic system.
Individual pro-gun control commentators have gone on record that it is wrong
to use a personal "black hole" to avoid the democratic process in this way.
Dan Casey, an ardent gun control advocate, did a relatively factual post on his
blog with the penultimate paragraph actually supports our position and against
Guns-in-bars bill looks safe - other gun bills are in doubt | Dan Casey's blog: Roanoke Times metro columnist writes what's on his mind - Roanoke.com
"Guns-in-bars bill looks safe - other gun bills are in doubt
Okay folks, I've moved off the bathroom beat (see Tuesday's column) and had a
bit of time to analyze what happened Monday with the gun bills in the Senate's
Courts of Justice Committee.
It looks like the Senate is playing a bit of payback after similar actions by
the House of Delegates, and that a bunch of the House gun bills are caught in
Here's the background: For some time, going back years, the House has referred
Senate bills to subcommittees where they have died in the waning days of the
session, and the Senate has NOT done that until this year.
Now the Senate is following the House's lead with subcommittees, and they're
holding a bunch of House gun bills hostage on a subcommittee stacked with four
anti-gun Democrats and a lone Republican senator.
The likely result is that, absent some Richmond horse trading (the House puts
Senate bills through in return for the Senate putting House bills through)
some of the most sought-after legislation by the pro-gunners is going to go
down to defeat.
The subcommittee Democrats have safe seats that the gun crowd probably cannot
successfully attack. So the move might also protect some other senators on the
full committee from having to vote on the bills at all, and having to defend
those votes next year in Senate elections.
In other words, they are playing a big old game of legislative chess.
BUT: concealed carry in bars is NOT one of the bills in that could die in this
game. The Senate already has passed their own version of that. All the House
needs to do is pass the Senate version unamended and send it to the governor,
who will sign it.
Here are some of the House gun bills that are looking increasingly doubtful:
a.. HB 49, which repeals the one-gun a month handgun purchase limitation.
Torpedoing this one is a biggie in the gun-control crowd.
b.. HB 79, which bars Circuit Court clerks from releasing information as to
whether someone holds a concealed carry permit -- even if they're a homicidal
maniac multiple killer.
c.. HB 236, which would bar localities from prohibiting hunting within a
half-mile of a subdivision (which they can do now).
d.. HB 69, which says firearms (such as machine guns) and ammo manufactured
in Virginia would not be subject to federal law. I call this one the "Virginia
is for Terrorists Act."
And a bunch of others, which you can find here, although this list is not a
complete one. Here is a complete, though harder to understand list.
Now, there are some loud whines of "unfair" coming from the gun movement right
Those are justified because disproportionately stacked subcommittees are
wrong. But remember, the House bills may end up passing if the House gets
serious about some Senate-bill hostage trading.
You know what they say about law-making and sausage-making, right?"
Please do the right thing and follow your rules.