Gun Control Bills Before Virginia State Senate


ACTION ITEM: More gun bills hitting the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, February 3, at 8 am!

Sorry for shot notice on these hearings, but welcome to the “new” version of the General Assembly.  🙁

Unfortunately, turnout for these hearings have not been all that large.  if you can make this hearing, here are the details:

Senate Judicial Committee
Senate Room A
Pocahontas Building (temporary General Assembly Building)
900 East Main
Richmond, VA 23219

Here are the gun bills being heard:

S.B. 13Ebbin, prohibits firearms and other weapons in Capitol Square buildings and grounds.  A city or county treasurer, commissioner or deputy commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission can carry, but not a CHP holder.  Another “I hate gun owners” bill.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 14Saslaw, makes “trigger activators” illegal and a Class 6 felony, even though, with one exception in another state, crimes are not committed with these items.  Another “we’ve got to do SOMETHING” bill.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 15Ebbin, prohibits firearms and other weapons in buildings that are either owned or leased by the Commonwealth.  A solution to a non-existent problem.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 64, Lucas, prohibits one or more persons from intimidating others by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm or explosive device. Who decides what is “intimidation,” considering a violation is a felony?  This bill would allow anyone to shut down any rally or meeting of a gun club or a gun organization by making a false accusation of intimidation.  There is no penalty for someone lying about intimidation, either.  An unjustified restriction on right to free speech, right to free association, and the right to keep and bear arms.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 67McClellan, requires that a person report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours of discovering the firearm is lost or stolen.   Who is to say exactly when the victim “discovered” the loss or theft?  The bill is also setting a precedent that a victim, who did not report the firearm stolen quickly enough, is somehow liable for the misuse of that stolen firearm.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 71Lucas, treats child day centers or religious preschools as if they were a K-12 school for purposes of possessing firearms or other weapons.  This bill is a solution in search of a problem and makes it very difficult for gun-owning parents picking up or dropping off their children to do so legally.  Make a mistake and you can be charged with a FELONY.  “Gun-free zones” are where over 90% of public mass killings occur.  Another “I hate gun owners” bill.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 353Bell, requires outdoor shooting ranges to be at least 500 yards away from any property zoned for residential use, unless it meets requirements of the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Health, Safety and Security have been met.  There is no grandfathering provision for existing outdoor ranges and the fines are MASSIVE.  This bill makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to have a place to shoot and everyone is being punished because Senator Bell didn’t like how a few situations in Loudoun County were handled by local government.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 436Surovell, creates a “Virginia Voluntary Do Not Sell List,” where a person can voluntarily have their name added and, later, removed if desired.  A person on the list cannot purchase a firearm, under penalty of a misdemeanor if they try.  What this bill actually accomplishes is a mystery, but a person could maliciously put another person on the list.  The penalty for doing so, if caught, is a misdemeanor.  VCDL opposes.

S.B. 490Favola, prohibits a person who has been convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family or household member from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm.  Has provisions for rights restoration.  VCDL does not support misdemeanor convictions taking away gun rights.  That said, VCDL could support this bill if it only focuses on domestic violence convictions, which already take away gun rights at the federal level, and keeps the rights restoration language.

S.B. 543Edwards, requires background checks for private sales at gun shows using the Virginia State Police to do the background check.  While VCDL opposes this bill, it is not as onerous as the Universal Background Check bills.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 581Howell, for purposes of someone recklessly leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger life or limb of a person who is not an adult and is under a certain age, raises that age from 14 to 18 and makes the punishment a felony.  A person under 18-years-old can be both very mature and have had training with firearms where leaving the loaded firearm out is not dangerous or reckless.  In fact, there have been plenty of cases where a person under 18-years-old has used a firearm to stop a violent home-invasion.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 684Mason, takes away a person’s gun rights, even if an appeals court at the time they review a person’s involuntary admission to an inpatient facility or a mandatory admission to an outpatient treatment facility finds the person no longer requires such treatment.  Rather than just restoring the person’s gun rights right there, the bill forces the person to go through a separate restoration process.  This puts a completely unnecessary financial and time-consuming burden on the person to get their gun rights restored.  VCDL strongly opposes.

S.B. 985DeSteph, provides that in any litigation in which the constitutionality of a law of the Commonwealth is at issue and in which the court finds that the law is unconstitutional, the Commonwealth shall reimburse the aggrieved party for attorney fees and costs.  This will help ensure that unconstitutional laws are not passed and, if they are, the party suing the Commonwealth and winning in court will not be out any money for doing so.  VCDL supports.