A couple of bills of special importance, with my comments in italics:
- HB 139: Provides that any person who may lawfully possess a firearm in Virginia may carry it hidden from common observation. This is the “Constitutional Carry” bill that had to be pulled last year due to drafting errors. We need to go all out to support this bill and try to get it passed this year.
- HB 20 and SB 245: Provides that nothing in the Emergency Services and Disaster Law shall be interpreted to limit or prohibit the possession, carrying, transportation, sale, or transfer of firearms. I’m not entirely certain how Virginia’s current disaster law effects firearms, largely because the current laws are a mess and the relevant effects depend on how a state of emergency is declared and who does the declaring. This bill is a good idea and should be supported.
- HB 1197: Creates a Class 3 misdemeanor for the offense of failing to report to law enforcement that a firearm a person owns or lawfully possesses has been lost or stolen. “Lost or Stolen” laws simply punish the victim of a crime if they fail to report it. This bill should be opposed.
- HB 364: Adds 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. A “gun show loophole” bill that does nothing but inconvenience the law-abiding. This bill should be opposed.
And finally, one that is so bad it needs to be addressed separately from the rest:
SB 379: Creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to buy, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm from any other person who is not a licensed dealer.
SB 379 (full text here) would ban all private transfers of firearms – any and all gun sales, trades, or gifts (other than gifts between immediate family members) would have to go through an FFL, with exceptions only for “temporary transfers” at shooting ranges, while hunting, or in the home in self-defense situations (but not for self-defense outside the home). This is the kind of statist crap that you see in states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Illinois, and is only one step shy of a full-on registration requirement. This bill was “passed by for the day” yesterday, meaning it’s still alive in the committee.
As much as I want as many of the pro-gun bills to succeed as possible, SB 379 is one that should be opposed at all costs, even if it means sacrificing all the others, including Constitutional Carry.
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[Thanks to VCDL for the information and sources!]