Legislative Update (Federal) and Quote of the Day – 2013-03-13

Sebastian has a post up with some information on the federal “background check” bill that was voted out of the Senate committee yesterday. It’s bad. Very bad. Go, read the whole thing, follow his link to the actual text of the bill, and decide for yourself how unbelievably bad it is. Then get on the phone and computer to call and email your senators. Let them know that their vote on this bill will be remembered, and that a vote against freedom will not be forgiven.

Which leads me to today’s Quote of the Day, by jdrush, in a comment to Sebastian’s post.

Wow, they really aren’t coming for our guns. They are coming for US.

This looks to be the real point of this legislation – make gun ownership so fraught with legal dangers that it actively discourages people from trying to own firearms. Make teaching others how to shoot so difficult to do legally that it discourages people from trying.

Their aim is to strangle gun ownership with such a dense web of laws that are easily unintentionally broken, in order to choke the Right to the point that it is so weak that it can be excised out of American culture entirely.

Call and write your legislators. Kill this bill, before it can kill us.

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Legislative Update: Virginia Gun Bills #2

Some more gun bills have been filed in Virginia. In addition to the ones I listed previously, they are:

  • HB 1506 – Reduces from 15 years to 10 years the minimum number of years that certain officers must serve in order to qualify to purchase their service handguns. [I don’t see anything objectionable here.]
  • HB 1557 – Requires every school board in the Commonwealth to designate at least one qualified person for every school in the district who, upon application with the school board, may carry a concealed handgun on school property. Establishes required training for such persons. [This is a good thing, specifically requiring school boards to allow at least one person in every school to be armed. The list of people they can designate includes teachers, administrators, and volunteers with CHPs, so bad guys don’t have to just “look for the cop”. This allows greater protection for our children.]
  • HB 1582 – Permits any armed security officers, licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, to carry firearms onto school property if such officer is hired by the school to provide protection to students and employees. The 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. [Like HB 1557, this allows greater protection for our children, though it is limited to hired security.]
  • HB 1604 – Prevents the applicable regulatory body from prohibiting locksmiths and employees of any electronic security business from carrying firearms if they have a valid CHP. [I’m all for limiting the state’s power to prevent people from carrying.]
  • HB 1660 – Prohibits prisoners in state, local, or community correctional facilities from possessing or transporting weapons. A violation of this prohibition constitutes a Class 6 felony and may carry a minimum sentence if the violator was previously convicted of a felony. The bill also excludes such prisoners from the process whereby individuals may petition the circuit court for a permit to carry a firearm, stun weapon or explosives. [I assumed prisoners were already prohibited from having weapons in prison, but maybe its isn’t actually a crime currently. I can’t say I have any objections, unless it would be a redundant law.]
  • HB 1662 – Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components, or a combination thereof, in libraries owned or operated by the locality. [Pure anti-Rights cultist BS. I don’t know why they have this obsession with guns in libraries, but it’s just as stupid as any other victim-disarmament gun-free zone.]
  • HB 1679 – Adds another group of LEO’s to the list of people who can carry concealed without a CHP. [Yet another privileged class designated as better than the peasantry.]
  • HB 1693 – Repeals the section of current law that allows someone to possess a firearm on school property as long as it’s unloaded and in a closed container. [This is a step backwards. I don’t believe there has been one single case where someone took advantage of that exception to facilitate breaking the law. More anti-Rights cult BS, trying to take advantage of a horrible tragedy.]
  • HB 1833 – Reorganizes the existing concealed carry law into separate, discrete sections. [This is purely a clarifying measure. I don’t see any actual changes to the law, it just splits it up into separate and smaller code sections to make it easier to parse.]
  • HB 1866 – Removes certain weapons from the definition of weapons that require mandatory expulsion from school for up to one year. [If I’m reading it right, it removes knives, stun guns, etc., and limits the mandatory one year expulsion to firearms.]
  • HB 2025Requires a background check for any firearm purchase and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for sellers to obtain such a check from licensed firearm dealers. [The anti-Rights cult’s coveted “gun show loophole” bill. This bill MUST be opposed and killed.]
  • SB 965Another “lost or stolen” bill. [This one is far worse than the one I listed last time. That one required reporting within 48 hours and imposed a monetary “civil penalty”. This one only allows 24 hours to report it, and makes failure to do so a CRIME. This bill also MUST be opposed and killed.]
  • SB 1012 – Prohibits the possession of a firearm in Capitol Square, including the Capitol and other buildings predominantly used to conduct the business of the General Assembly. [Of course, they exempt themselves from this law. Another one to oppose.]

I’ve put the bills that are more relevant to the average citizen in bold type, and critical bills are in red. Contact your Virginia state representatives!

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Legislative Update: U.S. House – It’s not ALL bad

A bill, HR-35, the Safe Schools Act of 2013, that would repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act, has been introduced.

It’s short, sweet, and to the point, as it should be. Call your CongressCritters, let them know this needs to pass.

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(h/t SayUncle)

Legislative Update: US House gun bills

No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money has a good summary. Go check it out, and then start calling your legislators.

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(h/t SayUncle)

Legislative update: Gun bills in Virginia

The first wave of gun bills for Virginia’s 2013 legislative session have been introduced, and can be found here. They’re pretty much all bad, either being anti-gun or carving out exceptions for “special” groups. Here’s a quick summary.

  • HB 1326: Removes all hunter safety courses and all electronic/video/on-line courses from the list of courses that satisfy the requirements for a CHP, and requires any course taken to qualify for a CHP to specifically focus on “the use and handling of a concealed handgun”.
  • HB 1391: Prohibits the possession of weapons in legislative buildings except by any person who lawfully possesses a handgun. [So, I guess if someone wanted to kill someone in a legislative building, they would have to use a handgun instead of a rifle, shotgun, or knife. Oh, and people who can’t lawfully possess a firearm can’t carrying a handgun that they’re prohibited from having into legislative buildings.]
  • HB 1410: Expands the list of crimes that prohibit someone from possessing a gun for 5 years. [This may be redundant, as they all seem to be crimes of domestic violence, and such people are already prohibited from possessing a gun for life under federal law. It does, however, provide a process for such people to petition for a reinstatement of their gun rights at the state level.]
  • HB 1411: Deals with hoax “weapon[s] of terrorism”. [I see some potential for abuse in this one, depending on how the courts or the legislature decide to define what is a “weapon of terrorism”. I do not see any such definition, or a reference to any such definition, in this bill, so there’s nothing to stop a court from deciding that “Terrorists use AK-47s, therefore, AK-47s are weapons of terrorism, and therefore using, selling, giving, distributing, or manufacturing anything that looks like an AK-47 is a felony.]
  • SB 703: Exempts retired correctional officers from the fee for a CHP. Also contains minor linguistic changes to the CHP statute. [Other than adding another group to a special class, it appears generally harmless. The linguistic changes do not appear to change anything in the meaning of the statute.]
  • SB 785: Creates a civil liability for a victim of theft if a gun stolen from them is used in a crime resulting in injury or death and “if it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence that the firearm came into the possession of the person who committed the crime because of the failure of the civil defendant to adequately secure the firearm from theft or unauthorized possession”. [In other words, blame the victim for the actions of a criminal, in order to make gun ownership a legal risk. These laws are dangerous, because no matter how well you secure your guns, if one was stolen it was, by definition, not adequately secured from theft or unauthorized possession. Because if it was adequately secured, it couldn’t have been stolen.]
  • SB 786: A “lost or stolen” bill. Requires reporting a lost or stolen gun to police within 48 hours, and imposes a $250 “civil penalty” for failure to do so. [Again, punish a law abiding victim for the actions of a criminal, in order to make gun ownership a legal risk.]

Not one of these bills has a beneficial purpose, and most are just plain bad. HB 1326, SB 785, and SB 786 are particularly egregious to gun owners. We need to stop all of these, fast – preferably in committee. Call your state legislators, today.

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