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  • VA-ALERT-02-17-2021

1. Gun bills that have passed the General Assembly and are headed to Governor's desk
2. Gun bills that are still alive in the House
3. Gun bills that are still alive in the Senate

1. Gun bills that have passed the General Assembly and are headed to Governor's desk


HB2128, Lopez, allows the state to take up to 5 days to do an "instant check," before a gun can be released to the purchaser. In 2020, there was not a single case in Virginia of someone who had waited the current maximum of 3 days, got their gun, and was later determined to be a prohibited person. Talk about solving a non-problem! The case that was referenced in needing this law was a mass-shooting by a person at a church in South Carolina. In that case, it didn't take the police 5 days to figure out he was prohibited, but 2 months! So if that had happened in Virginia, this bill would have made no difference at all. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill.

HB2310, Runion, allows someone who took an online CHP training course before January 1, 2021 and tried to apply for their CHP before January 1, 2021, but couldn't get an appointment before January 1 due to COVID-19 restrictions, to have until before May 1 to reapply. The law becomes effective immediately upon the Governor signing the bill.  VCDL Strongly Supports this bill.

2. Gun bills that are still alive in the House


SB1381, Ebbin, prohibits firearms in Capitol Square and in state government buildings. The Public Safety Firearms subcommittee put in and amendment that makes the wording the same as Delegate Levine's SB2295, which basically also prohibits guns on the streets and sidewalks that surround Capitol Square. The full committee will vote on that amendment on Friday and I expect them to rubber stamp the change. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill, which is a solution in search of a problem.

3. Gun bills that are still alive in the Senate

HB1909, Subramanyam, allows a school board to make their buildings and meeting rooms "gun-free" zones (good luck with that). The bill was changed in the House before it went to the Senate. The bill currently does not make a violation a felony, as it did originally. It doesn't specify a penalty, so it is a Class 1 misdemeanor by default. Like school property, guns left in vehicles must be unloaded (why do they insist on this inherently dangerous requirement that could trigger an unexpected discharge?), or the gun can be loaded if the gun owner has a CHP and remains in the vehicle. The bill is currently assigned to the Public Education subcommittee of the Education committee. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill, which does nothing for "safety," but infringes yet again on gun owners.

HB1992, Murphy, takes away a person's gun rights for a conviction of misdemeanor domestic violence. The bill was modified in committee to automatically restore the person's gun rights after 3 years and who the bill covers was narrowed to more closely match federal law. HOWEVER, it isn't clear from case law that it will restore those rights federally. The bill is now headed to the Finance committee. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill as writtenVCDL could support the bill if 1) the definition of who is covered EXACTLY matches federal law and 2) the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to be a notary public are also taken away and then automatically restored with the firearms rights. Doing so would also remove the federal prohibition.

HB2081, Levine, makes it illegal to possess a firearm within 40 feet of a polling place. The bill is currently on the Senate Floor and was supposed to be voted on today, but it was passed by until tomorrow. That usually indicates a problem in getting support for the bill or some other issue with the bill. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill, which is a solution in search of a problem.

HB2276, Simon, dealing with "plastic guns" was updated in committee. It now prohibits purchasing, selling, offering to sell, transferring, etc. an unserialized homemade gun. It allows those who already have such a gun to keep it, transport it, or carry it, but they cannot sell it, trade it, or give it away. The bill squeaked out of committee and may well have some trouble on the Senate Floor. Senator Chap Petersen made it clear that the bill needs work before he can support it on the Senate Floor. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill, which is a solution in search of a problem.

HB2295, Levine, prohibits guns in Capitol Square and state government buildings. The bill was amended in committee to narrow the prohibitions to match Senator Ebbin's SB1381. Thus the prohibition on carry on the streets surrounding Capitol Square were removed. The bill is now on the Senate Floor. VCDL Strongly Opposes this bill, which is a solution in search of a problem.

HB2298, Farris, allows hunting with a new type of muzzleloader that uses a "FireStick", which allows the powder to put into the gun from the breach end in a safer manner than a conventional muzzleloader. The bill is now on the Senate Floor. VCDL Strongly Supports this safety measure.



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