U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- VCDL’s lobby day has passed, and now the real work begins. It is time to send emails and make phone calls to our representatives to defeat bad gun bills.
There are a lot of bad bills in Richmond this session. One terrible bill that appears to be dead is the so-called “assault-firearms” ban that would see most semiautomatic banned as well as magazines holding more than twelve rounds. That is the silver lining to the slew of horrible legislation ranging from a ban on incomplete firearms to background checks on gun rentals.
There are a few long-shot pro-gun bills that we need to support to send a message to the state government. We sent them a clear message last year with lobby day and the 2A Sanctuary movement, and we need to send another now. Below I outline the gun bill that has been introduced in the Old Dominion.
Bad House Bills:
HB2295– Firearm or stun weapon; carrying within Capitol Square and the surrounding area, state-owned bldgs.
This bill would make any Commonwealth owned building a gun-free zone. Conceal handgun permit holders will not be exempt from this rule. As we know, gun-free zones do not make us safer. In fact, most mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. This bill makes us less safe.
HB1992 – Firearms; purchase, etc., following conviction for assault and battery of a family member.
On the surface, this bill doesn’t seem bad. Who wouldn’t want a domestic abuser stripped of their firearms, right? The issue that arises with this bill is any assault and battery of a family member is treated the same. If two brothers get into a fistfight, both brothers can lose their ability to own a gun. The proposed laws don’t treat two brothers getting into a fight any different from a violent serial wife abuser.
HB2231 – Group Violence Intervention Board and Division of Group Violence Intervention; established, report.
A few months ago, AmmoLand obtained emails from an open record request that shows the anti-gun group Gifford’s championed this bill. In the proposed law is a Project Ceasefire Grant Fund. This slush fund is a pile of money that goes directly to anti-gun groups to push their anti-gun agenda across the state. The Commonwealth will give these groups millions of your dollars to infringe on your rights.
HB2276 – Plastic firearms and unfinished frames, etc.; manufacture, import, sale, transfer, etc., penalty.
This bill would ban so-called “ghost guns.” If the law passes, Virginia will make unfinished frames and lower receivers illegal. There is a long tradition of Americans making their own firearms, but anything without a serial number would have to be turned over to the government. This law is a firearms confiscation act. The lawmakers didn’t include a grandfather clause, so you have to destroy or turn in anything that you own now. The owners are not allowed to transfer the firearms to anyone but the government.
HB2081 – Polling places; prohibited activities, unlawful possession of a firearm, penalty.
The proposed law would make it illegal to have a firearm at a polling place. The gun owner will have to choose between exercising their right to vote or to practice their right to bear arms. There has not been a rash of shootings at polling places. The purpose of the bill is to disenfranchise gun owners from participating in the democratic process.
HB2128 – Firearms; criminal history record information check delay increased to five days.
Right now, the Virginia State Police can delay an answer to a background check for three days before the dealer can legally transfer the firearm to the buyer. This proposed law would increase the maximum allowed time to five days. This new proposed wait period is a shifting of the goal post.
Good House Gun Bills:
HB1839 – Special hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans; 50 percent disabled.
This bill is something everyone can get behind. Simply put, it allows any disabled veteran is a rating of 50% or higher to get a free fishing and hunting license for life. These are the men and women who put their lives on the line for your freedom. This gesture is the least we can do.
HB1773 – Carrying a concealed handgun; permit not required.
This proposal is a constitutional carry bill. Anyone who can own a gun would be allowed to carry it concealed without seeking the state’s permission. These bills have popped up in many different parts of the country and have passed. It will be a long shot for the bill to make it through the Virginia Legislature, but we must push for it.
HB1757 – Firearm-free zones designated by the Commonwealth or a locality; waiver of sovereign immunity.
I love this bill. It states that if the state or a locality designates a gun-free zone, and someone is attacked in that area, the injured person or their family can sue the state or locality. Under the current law, both the state and localities have sovereign immunity, which means they cannot be sued.
HB1793 – Concealed handgun permit; local control of firearms.
This bill also deals with local gun-free zones. It makes any citizen with a concealed handgun permit exempt from local gun-free ordinances. Anyone who holds a CHP has already passed a background check and is a law-abiding citizen. Also, guns are more likely to be used in self-defense. This bill puts pressure on the localities to reconsider their anti-gun ordinances.
HB1799 – Sunday hunting; allowed on public lands.
In Virginia, hunters can’t hunt on public lands on Sundays. Most people work Monday through Friday, so by only allowing hunting six days a week, the law makes hunters burn leave or practice their passion on Saturdays. Democrats have pushed back on this bill by stating that game wardens need a day off. Most can see right through this ploy.
Bad Senate Bills:
SB1250 – Firearm rentals; criminal history record information check required, penalty.
Democrats want ranges to run background checks on everyone renting guns. A record number of firearms is being sold, meaning that the chances of a delayed background check are high. A lot of people’s first experience with a gun is through a firearm rental. By making them complete a background check before renting a firearm adds a barrier to entry. Democrats in the Commonwealth claim the new law will prevent suicide, but it is just a thinly veiled excuse to prevent people from taking up shooting.
With the anti-gun government in Virginia and now at the federal level, gun owners are in a fight for our rights. The only way to win is if every gun owner makes their voices heard in Washington and Richmond.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.