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VSSA Continues to Enjoy General Assembly Success
The 2013 session of the General Assembly is completed and once again it was a very successful session. While most of the bills introduced this year were anti-rights bills that included attempts to ban standard capacity ammunition magazines and to force you to conduct background checks when you give or sell a firearm to a relative or friend, we did pass a very important piece of legislation that protects the privacy of concealed handgun permit holders. You can hear a full session update in the video below.
Bills Supported by VSSA and Passed in 2013:
A substitute to Senate Bill 1335. The substitute to S.B. 1335, amended by the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, protects the confidentiality of all concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders in Virginia.
Senate Bill 1363 and House Bill 2317 are companion bills that provide that residency for members of the armed forces shall include both the member’s permanent duty post and the nearby state in which the military personnel resides for the purposes of firearms purchases. Drafted by the NRA, both S.B. 1363 and H.B. 2317 passed unanimously in the Senate and House of Delegates.
A substitute to House Bill 1582 permits armed security officers licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to carry firearms onto private or religious school property if the officer is hired by the private or religious school to provide protection to students and employees. This bill also prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting any regulations that would prevent a child day center from hiring an armed security officer.
House Bill 1833 creates separate sections to address the general criminal prohibition against carrying concealed firearms; the requirements for applying for a concealed handgun permit; the process the circuit court follows in reviewing, issuing, and denying permits; the appeals process procedures for nonresidents to obtain permits; the renewal process disqualifications; and other procedural issues. H.B. 1833 passed unanimously in the House and the Senate.
Senate Bill 1378 increases penalties for individuals who knowingly assist prohibited persons in illegally obtaining firearms.
Bills Defeated in 2013:
Senate Bill 785 would have dictated how one must store firearms in their own home and imposed criminal penalties for noncompliance.
House Bill 2207 would have prohibited certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than twenty rounds from being imported, sold, bartered or transferred.
House Bill 2327 would have reenacted the repealed “one gun a month” (gun rationing) statute.
Senate Bill 1228 would have repealed state firearms preemption, thus allowing localities to adopt and enforce ordinances to regulate firearms and ammunition that are stricter than the state level.
House Bill 1662 would have allowed localities to adopt ordinances to prohibit firearms or ammunition in libraries.
House Bill 1326 would have eliminated certain firearms safety courses that currently fulfill the resident and non-resident requirement for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
House Bill 1693 would have removed exceptions for possessing certain unloaded firearms or knives in or upon a motor vehicle located at any elementary, middle or high school from the list of exceptions for possessing a weapon on school property.
Now we have to pay for our lobbying efforts and we hope you will help by making a donation to the War Chest.
Successes of past years:
Repeal of Handgun Rationing in 2012
In 2012, after 19 years, we finally repealed Virginia's gun rationing law known as "one gun-a-month. VSSA also helped repeal the requirement that first-time concealed carry permit applicants submit fingerprints with their application. Additionally, VSSA beat back another attempt by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to more than triple the cost of big game tags for hunters who pursue all three big game species in Virginia (deer, bear, and turkey). VSSA has successfully protect the rights of Virginia gun owners for the last 74 years. Your generous donations will help us to continue our past success.
Bills supported by VSSA and signed by the Governor in 2011 include:
House Bill 1552 - Amends the language relating to the issuance of de facto concealed handgun permits. Current law states that if a court does not issue a permit or find that the applicant is disqualified, within 45 days of receipt of the application, the clerk is to certify the application and send it to the applicant. The certified application then serves as a de facto permit until the actual permit is issued or the applicant is found to be disqualified. The bill states that the clerk must mail or e-mail the certified application to the applicant within five business days of the expiration of the 45-day period.
House Bill 1856 - Allows a concealed handgun permit holder to obtain a replacement permit in the event that the original permit is lost or destroyed. The permit holder would be required to submit a notarized statement to the clerk of the court that the permit was lost or destroyed and pay a fee not to exceed $5, and the clerk would be required to issue a replacement permit within 10 business days. The replacement permit will have the same expiration date as the original permit.
House Bill 1857, Clarifies that a member of the military may provide permanent orders assigning him to the Pentagon for purposes of providing documentation of residency when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. This bill corrects a problem caused by the federal government where some military personnel who are attempting to purchase a firearm in the Commonwealth are being turned away because their permanent duty orders have assigned them to the Pentagon, which lists its official address in Washington, D.C., despite being located in Virginia.
Senate Bill 1213/House Bill 1501 - Provides that the State Board of Elections, in cooperation with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will make mail voter registration application forms available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. This bill is identical to HB 1501. This bill incorporates SB 1346.
House Bill 1422 - Adds one firearm, not to exceed $3,000 in value, to the list of items that every householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from creditor process. This bill incorporates HB 1471, HB 1494, and HB 2428. This bill is identical to SB 839.
Senate Bill 757 - This important legislation prohibits a locality from adopting an ordinance that prohibits the shooting of pneumatic guns on private property, with permission of the owner of the property, if reasonable care is taken to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property. The bill also invalidates any existing local ordinances that conflict with the provisions of the act.
In addition to the successfully lobbying for passage of the above bills, VSSA helped defeat the following bills in 2011:
Senate Bill 868 - This bill would have eliminated the current provision in state law that requires officials from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to investigate and confirm claims of crop damage before issuing deer and bear agricultural kill permits to landowners. It would also have added elk to the list of species that may be killed pursuant to these permits. The bill was introduced as a response to the elk restoration program the VDGIF approved last year. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation vehemently opposed the reintroduction effort and knows that this legislation would have ensured the failure of the program by allowing the killing of reintroduced elk without government oversight.
HB 1553 –This bill would have established separate big game licenses for deer, bear and turkey hunting. If passed, the bill would have increased the cost of hunting for many by as much as 100%. Many hunters currently hunt all three species of big game in Virginia and pay a flat $18 for big game tags that include all three species in addition to $18 for a state hunting license ($36 total). If passed, the bill would have established separate fees for deer and turkey that could not exceed the cost of the state hunting license, and set a fee of $25 for bear tags (a total of $79 if all three tags were purchased in addition to the state hunting license).
HB 1669 - The annual "gun show loophole" bill. This bill would have added a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also adds a definition of "promoter" and requires that the promoter of a gun show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal background check.
HB 2343 - This was a solution in search of a problem. This bill would have created a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person carrying a handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and prohibits a person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit for five years following such a conviction. The prohibition would apply regardless of whether the person is carrying the handgun openly or concealed with a concealed handgun permit. Current law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but does not speak to openly carrying a handgun while under the influence.
HB 2524 - This bill would have prohibited any person from selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold 20 or more rounds of ammunition.
2010 A Big Year for Gun Rights
In addition to this year's success, 2010 was the most successful legislative year for gun owners since 2004. Let me begin with the biggest win of all. After a 15 year hard fought battle, we finally repealed the ban on carrying concealed in restaurants (SB 334/HB505), like Applebees and Olive Garden, that serve alcohol in addition to food. Virginia’s concealed handgun permit holders (CHP) can now carry their personal protection firearm with them when they take their families to full service restaurants.
There were other positive CHP reforms passed into law in addition to repeal of the restaurant ban. Senate Bill 3/HB 8 allows a person who previously has been issued a Virginia CHP to submit an application to renew the permit via the United States mail..
Another bill that passed is HB 1191,which will allow a circuit court judge to authorize the Clerk of Court to issue concealed handgun permits in instances where the application is complete, the background check does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified, and, after consulting with the local sheriff or police department, there are no other questions or issues surrounding the application.
Also passed this year was HB1217, which allows local school boards to offer firearm safety education programs in the elementary grades. The bill requires that the program objectives incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program.
The clip below will give you a little more information about our successful lobbying efforts in 2010.
Only a small portion of VSSA member dues go to pay for our legislative activities. The generous contributions of our members have help us be as successful as we have been for the last decade. Please consider a contribution to support the War Chest.
In addition to making a donation, it is important that every VSSA member that has an email address to contact us and provide us with the email address so we can include you in our legislative alerts.
We will never sell your email address nor will we give it to any other organization. Also, we will only contact you when your legislators need to hear your voice. We do not send out weekly updates because we maintain a legislative tracking form on the VSSA web site so you can easily track legislative activity.
All you need to do to be included in the VSSA Legislative Alert database is click here and enter your email address. You will automatically be added to our email list.
If you prefer to mail a check, click here to download a contribution form and mail it to: Virginia Shooting Sports Association, PO. Box 1258, Orange, VA 22960
We thank you for your support and hope you will continue to make VSSA’s legislative efforts a success.
Let Your Voice Be Heard – Support the VSSA War Chest Today!
The VSSA War Chest is organized for the purpose of defraying the cost of protecting the rights of Virginia gun owners. Only a small portion of your VSSA membership dues are dedicated to the War Chest meaning we need your additional support. VSSA is the only pro-firearm organization in Virginia that maintains an effective full-time lobbyist in Richmond protecting your rights as a firearm owner. We need and appreciate your support. Please take a moment and send your most generous contribution today. Credit card contributions by Visa and Mastercard graciously accepted.