Proposed gun laws 2020

VCDL Legislative Tracker

Jan 20, 2020

 

Strongly support

  • SB958 Place of religious worship; carrying dangerous weapon.
    1. HB1486 Place of religious worship; carrying dangerous weapon.
    2. HB596 Place of religious worship; carrying dangerous weapon.
    3. HB373 Place of religious worship; carrying dangerous weapon.
    4. Repeals current requirement for a person to have “good and sufficient reason” to carry a firearm while a meeting is being held for religious purposes in a place of worship.
  • HB939 Public schools; firearm safety education program.
    1. Allows elementary schools and requires high schools to offer a firearm safety education program. The Board of Education and the Department of State Police will develop the curriculum. Would not use actual firearms.
  • SB950 Appropriation of funds for Governor’s personal security staff.
    1. Allows funding for the Governor’s personal security if Governor does not take any action to deny law-abiding citizens their right to carry, possess, or transport.
  • SB928 Possession, purchase, and transport of certain firearms in certain localities.
    1. Allow for possession, purchase, or transport of a firearm or a firearms magazine that was legal on January 1, 2020, in any locality that, by ordinance, resolution, or motion allows for such possession, purchase, or transport.
  • SB129 Public schools; firearm safety education program.
    1. Requires students in all grades to receive a minimum of 2 hours of education on firearms safety and accident prevention.
  • SB173 Stun weapons; prohibits possession on school property, exempts holder of concealed handgun permit.
    1. Allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to possess a stun weapon while they are in a motor vehicle. There should also be an exception for a concealed handgun permit holder to leave a stun weapon in a closed container in a vehicle.
  • SB319 Public property, etc.; security on premises where firearms are prohibited.
    1. Requires that any property owned by the Commonwealth and where firearms are prohibited, require armed security on those premises.

 

  • SB476 Risk management plan; coverage for injury or death on public school or college property.
    1. Similar to SB477 Risk management plan; coverage for injury or death on state property, concealed handgun prohibition.
    2. Requires that the Commonwealth provide coverage of damages and an additional $350,000 to someone who is killed or injured by a criminal attack on the grounds, buildings, or properties of a public elementary or secondary school or institute of higher education where the carry of a concealed handgun is prohibited by law or policy and there was no armed security officer present.
  • HB1382 Firearms; control in local government buildings, waiver of sovereign immunity.
    1. HB162 Firearm-free zones designated by the Commonwealth or a locality; waiver of sovereign immunity.
    2. Waives sovereign immunity for any locality that prohibits gun and ammunition in their buildings and are civilly sued by a individual wh.o claims that his injuries, at least in part, were caused by that policy. The locality will be subject to the ordinary negligence standard for invitees.
  • HB1485 Firearms; regulation by localities, workplace rules, limitation.
  • Similar to HB669 Concealed handguns; carrying with a permit by employees of any agency of the Commonwealth, etc.
    1. Allows an employee of local government to carry a concealed handgun in the workplace if the employee has a concealed handgun permit. Some local governments are already doing this in Virginia.
  • SB901 Carrying a concealed handgun; permit not required.
    1. HB224 Carrying a concealed handgun; permit not required.
    2. HB161 Carrying a concealed handgun; permit not required.
    3. Sixteen other states have Constitutional Carry: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
    4. Sixteen other states plan to introduce it or have introduced it: Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
    5. None of the states that have adopted Constitutional Carry have repealed it. This bill is an improvement over HB 161, as it allows any qualified person to carry concealed, not just qualified residents.
  • HB888 Retail Sales and Use Tax; exemption for certain gun safes.
    1. Removes sales tax from gun safes that sell for $1,500 or less. This encourages citizens to purchase a gun safe, including those with quick-opening biometric systems.
  • HB934 Firearms, certain; possession, purchase, etc., in certain localities.
    1. Allow for possession, purchase, or transport of a firearm or a firearms magazine that was legal on January 1, 2020, in any locality that declares itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary by an ordinance, resolution, or motion. It also prohibits the Commonwealth from withholding funds on the basis of such a locality declaring itself a sanctuary.
  • HB976 Virginia State Police; Executive Protection Unit, possession of firearms.
    1. Allows the state police officers on the Executive Protection Unit to only possess a firearm anywhere a civilian can possess a firearm by law.

 

Strongly Oppose

  • SB35 Firearms, etc.; permitted events.
    1. Incorporated with SB450 Firearms; prohibition in chambers of local governing bodies.
    2. Incorporated with SB505 Firearms, ammunition, etc.; control by localities in local government buildings.
    3. Incorporated with SB506 Firearms; control by localities.
    4. Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 19-N) (January 16, 2020)
    5. Allows localities to prohibit the carry of firearms or ammunition at any permitted event, or any event that would otherwise require a permit. This legislation is a solution in search of a problem. Current laws already cover any crimes that can be committed at such events. Disarming the law abiding does NOT make them safer. SB 35 is a solution in search of a problem. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.

 

 

  • SB69 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
    1. SB22 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
    2. Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 19-N) (January 16, 2020)
    3. HB1502 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
    4. HB812 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
    5. This bill reinstates the old “One Handgun a Month” law, with a new exception for replacing handguns that were documented as stolen. There was no evidence to show that the old One Handgun a Month law did anything to reduce crime or gun trafficking.
  • SB70 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information check, penalty.
    1. SB12 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
    2. HB2 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
    3. This bill requires that all private sales of firearms go through a federal firearms licensed dealer (“Universal Background Check”). The dealer may charge up to a $15 fee for the transfer. The bill also triples the number of days that the State Police must approve the sale of a firearm before the firearm can be sold without approval, which complies with federal law. This bill will do nothing about crime, but it will make it harder and more expensive for a citizen to sell or trade one of his firearms to another citizen. No dealer is required to make such a transfer, possibly making a private transfer all but impossible or not possible in a timely manner. The dealer’s and State Police fees will raise the price of the firearm. Finally, this bill will also lead to an inevitable “Universal Registration” scheme at some point in the future to provide for enforcement. Firearms confiscation is the end goal, as is happening right now in California and Hawaii with their universal background checks and associated gun registrations. Illinois has universal background checks, but a 2015 survey of criminals in Illinois prisons showed that only 3% got their firearms after going through a background check! The rest got their guns using straw purchases, theft, from friends, from family, and the black market. This bill strips a person from 18 to 20 years-old from being able to legally own a handgun, unless that handgun was a gift from a parent. Under current law it is legal for someone in that age range to purchase a handgun from a private seller. Finally, this bill prevents a minor under the age of 18 to be able to hunt with a firearm unless the parent remains with the minor at all times while hunting. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.

 

 

  • SB240 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk of injury to himself, etc., penalties.
    1. HB674 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties.
    2. “Red flag law”
    3. This bill creates an Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO) and a Substantial Risk Order (SRO), AKA “Red Flag” laws. The ESRO, which allows the police to confiscate the firearms from the subject of the ESRO, is issued ex-parte, so the subject will have no idea what has transpired and no way to legally defend himself against an ESRO issued upon false or misleading facts. While the subject’s firearms are taken, the “dangerous” subject is left walking around with the rest of us, still perfectly able to harm himself or others. The ESRO strips the subject of a constitutionally-protected civil right for up to 14 days without the subject being allowed due process to defend himself or to confront his accuser. The subject of the ESRO is not charged with a crime, yet he is presumed to be dangerous until he can prove he is not, just the opposite of the protections in the Constitution. SROs can be extended endlessly, again, without the subject having been convicted of anything. The State does not provide a lawyer to represent a poor person who cannot afford their own lawyer. The police are given a blank check to be careless, as they are not responsible for damages or even the loss of the subject’s firearms! ESROs and SROs are about confiscation, not public safety, and disgruntled people will use them to get legal “revenge” against another, based merely upon conjecture that the subject might do something in the future. The punishment for lying about the need for an ESRO is a mere misdemeanor, while that lie could cause the victim to have his civil rights violated, his property seized indefinitely, pay untold legal fees, suffer undo emotional stress, and possibly be killed. Under a similar law in Maryland, an innocent citizen was shot to death by police during an unannounced raid. A relative of the victim had falsely claimed the victim was dangerous. ESROs violate the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • SB16 Assault firearms and certain firearm magazines; prohibiting sale, transport, etc., penalties.
    1. Stricken
    2. HB961 Assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, etc; prohibiting sale, transport, etc., penalties.
      1. This bill makes the following things illegal: carrying a loaded shotgun that holds more than 7 rounds in public; possession, .sale, etc. of “assault firearms,” with a definition so broad as to catch almost all centerfire semi-automatic firearms; magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, silencers, and “trigger activators.” A person who owns an “assault firearm” on July 1, 2020, can keep the gun if they register it. HB 961 turns law-abiding citizens who own a perfectly legal and constitutionally protected product on June 30, into a felon on July 1. The Virginia Tech massacre commission concluded that the killer having 10-round magazines would have made no difference in the outcome. The Virginia Beach Chief of Police said such a limitation would have made no difference in the massacre in their Building #2. Studies have shown that for self-defense larger magazines are beneficial. It is extremely rare for a silencer to be used in a crime, as it makes the firearm much longer than usual. Most crimes committed with silencers deals with the unlawful possession of a homemade silencer. There is nothing in HB 961 that would lower crime. Its sole purpose is to disarm the public. Grandfathering existing “assault firearms” owners disarms the next generation and does not make this bill more palatable. This bill is rife with unjustified restrictions and is nothing short of a full-fledged attack on law-abiding gun owners.
  • SB13 Capitol Square; possessing or transporting a weapon within Square, penalty.
    1. HB1079 Weapons; possession in Capitol Square and legislative buildings, penalties.
    2. Prohibits firearms and other weapons in Capitol Square buildings and grounds. Over 90% of public mass-shootings happen in gun-free zones, such as SB 13 creates. A magistrate, court officer, judge, city or county treasurer, commissioner or deputy commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission are exempt, but not a concealed handgun permit holder? Government arming itself, while disarming the public. A solution in search of a problem: there have not been any incidents to justify this ban in the People’s House. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owner
  • SB14 Trigger activators; prohibition, penalty.
    1. Makes “trigger activators” illegal and a Class 6 felony, even though, with one exception in another state, crimes are not committed with these items. SB 14 is a solution in search of a problem. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • SB15 Weapons; carrying into building owned or leased by the Commonwealth, penalty.
    1. Similar to HB1312 Dangerous weapons; prohibits possessing or transporting in local government buildings.
    2. Similar to HB1510 Carrying weapon into building owned or used by the Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof.
    3. Similar to HB599 Weapons; carrying into building owned or leased by the Commonwealth, penalty.
    4. Prohibits firearms and other weapons in buildings that are either owned or leased by the Commonwealth. Over 90% of public mass-shootings happen in gun-free zones, such as SB 15 creates. A magistrate, court officer, judge, city or county treasurer, commissioner or deputy commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission are exempt, but not a concealed handgun permit holder?
  • SB18 Firearms; criminal history record information checks, age requirement, penalty.
    1. Takes away the right of anyone who is 18, 19, or 20 years old to purchase a firearm from a dealer or in a private sale. It also creates a “universal background check” scheme. Finally, this bill prevents a minor under the age of 18 to be able to hunt with a firearm unless the parent remains with the minor at all times while hunting and prohibits a minor under the age of 18 from being able to have access to a loaded firearm at home, even in an emergency and if highly trained. If young adults between 18 and 21 are mature enough to vote and serve in the military, they are mature enough to own and carry firearms. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • SB64 Paramilitary activities; penalty.
    1. 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.
  • SB67 Firearms; reporting those lost or stolen, civil penalty.
    1. HB9 Firearms; reporting those lost or stolen, civil penalty.
    2. Requires that a person report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours of discovering the firearm is lost or stolen. The penalty for reporting late is $250. A person in good faith who reports such a lost or stolen firearm is immune from any criminal or civil damage from acts using the firearm. The victim is punished twice: once by the theft or loss and next by the government for not reporting the loss quickly enough. 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.
  • SB71 Firearms; possession on school property.
    1. Similar to HB1080 Firearms or other weapons; unauthorized to possess on school property.
    2. This bill 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. “Gun-free zones” are where over 90% of public mass killings occur. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.

 

  • SB75 Minors; allowing access to firearms, penalty.
    1. HB1083 Minors; allowing access to firearms, Class 6 felony.
    2. SB581 Minors; allowing access to firearms, Class 6 felony.
    3. HB463 Minors; allowing access to firearms, Class 6 felony, etc.
    4. This bill 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. 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 negligent. 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.
  • SB76 Protective orders; possession of firearms, penalty.
    1. SB372 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty.
    2. SB479 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty.
    3. HB856 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty.
    4. HB1004 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty.
    5. Takes away a person’s right to possess a firearm if they are subject to a permanent protective order that does not deal with family abuse. There are two sides to every story and a protective order which prohibits possession of firearms altogether can be gotten in bad faith and used as a weapon to disarm someone with the intent of attacking them once they are disarmed. Also, this kind of protective order is handed out like candy during divorces and a restriction on merely possessing a firearm at home is overreach. The bill also provides no timeframe for a firearm to be returned to the owner once the protective order is listed and exempts police if the firearms are lost or stolen!
  • SB248 Virginia Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Fund; created.
    1. HB1499 Virginia Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Fund; created.
    2. HB423 Gun Violence Survivor Assistance Fund and Grant Program; established.
    3. This bill creates a “Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Fund” to provide money to various organizations and local government agencies for the purpose of reducing gun violence. This is just another effort to villainize and single out firearms, not reduce crime.
  • SB263 Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence.
    1. HB264 Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence.
    2. HB142 Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence.
    3. Removes the online training option for those wishing to get a concealed handgun permit. SB 263 is a solution to a non-existent problem and would hurt those who might be in a hurry to get their concealed carry permit due to an unanticipated and immediate threat to their life. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.

 

 

  • SB353 Outdoor shooting ranges; prohibited adjacent to residential areas, exceptions, civil penalty.
    1. 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. This bill makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to have a place to shoot.
  • SB490 Firearms; purchase, possession, etc., following a conviction.
    1. HB900 Firearms; prohibition on possession, purchase, or transport following certain convictions.
    2. Takes away a person’s right to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm if they are guilty of certain misdemeanor assault and battery convictions. The bill has a provision to petition the court for rights restoration after five years have elapsed since the conviction. Misdemeanors should never strip away a person’s civil rights. This is just an excuse to disarm gun owners.
  • SB543 Firearms shows; mandatory background check.
    1. This bill requires background checks for private sales at gun shows using the Virginia State Police to do the background check.
  • HB1287 Firearms dealer; employees.
    1. This bill provides that no person, corporation, or proprietorship licensed as a firearms dealer shall employ any person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Under current law such restriction is limited to persons employed as a seller for the transfer of firearms. This bill affects large employers, like Cabelas and Bass Pro. So, for example, if a janitor had written a hot check 30 years ago when he was 22, he could now no longer be employed at either store. This bill is not about fighting crime, only vindictively striking out at gun stores.
  • HB1447 Firearms, loaded; carrying in public while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
    1. Similar to HB750 Carrying a concealed handgun; consumption of alcohol in a public park, penalty.
    2. Makes an additional penalty if someone is under the influence and is in possession of a loaded firearm. Besides the Class 1 misdemeanor, the person is prohibited from getting a concealed handgun permit for five years. Merely possessing a loaded firearm while intoxicated does not mean the gun was going to be used to endanger anybody, or even touched for that matter.
  • SB781 Handguns; leaving unattended in public, penalty.
    1. Makes it a crime to leave an unattended handgun in public view in any public place where the public assemble, street, highway, or other public conveyance, or sidewalk. If a handgun is left on the seat of a locked vehicle (something someone without a concealed handgun permit might do), it could trigger this law.
  • HB960 Firearms and ammunition; imposes additional sales and use tax, use of proceeds.
    1. Adds a retail tax to all ammunition and firearm sales, providing a total tax of 10%. The money goes into a fund dealing with student mental health and safety. This bill places an unnecessary burden on law-abiding gun owner to discourage the purchase of firearms and ammunition under the guise of the tax being necessary to fund something that has nothing to do with lawful purchase and ownership of guns and ammunition.
  • SB593 Licensed family day homes; storage of firearms.
    1. HB600 Family day homes; storage of firearms.
    2. Requires family day homes to have firearms unloaded and locked up separate from any ammunition during hours of operation, making the firearms useless for self-defense or defense of the children. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • SB684 Firearms; appellant to seek restoration of rights, etc.
    1. 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.
  • HB567 Indoor shooting ranges; prohibited in buildings not owned or leased by the Commonwealth.
    1. This bill prohibits indoor shooting ranges in private buildings unless there are fewer than 50 employees in the building or it is used by 90% law enforcement and officers information is entered into a log book. This bill has no real purpose other than to restrict large, private indoor ranges.
  • HB568 Carrying or storing firearms in motor vehicles and vessels; exceptions, penalty.
    1. This bill requires a firearm in a motor vehicle or vessel be place in a locked container, other than a glove box, with exceptions for police and concealed handgun permit holders. This bill makes the firearm useless for self-defense and is a solution in search of a problem. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • HB569 Out-of-state concealed handgun permits; reciprocity.
    1. Undoes significant changes to concealed handgun reciprocity that made it equitable and simple to enforce. The current law has been working perfectly and allows Virginia concealed handgun permit holders the maximum number of states where their permit is honored when travelling. The current law, signed by Governor McAuliffe, was in response to the Attorney General abusing his power to decide which states’ concealed handgun permits met the criteria required by Virginia. The current law depoliticizes reciprocity decisions. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners
  • HB421 Firearms, ammunition, etc.; control by localities by governing possession, etc., within locality.
    1. This bill guts Virginia’s firearms preemption laws. It not only allows localities to create a confusing patchwork of areas where possession of a firearm, ammunition, and components of the same are prohibited, it also removes the restrictions on localities controlling the carrying, storage, and transporting of those items. This bill takes us back to the days before 2004 when local gun laws were so confusing that no one knew what all of them were, even the police. Current law allows only the General Assembly, with its 140 members vs 2 to 9 members for local government, to make a case-by-case decision on anything affecting firearms, making for a set of uniform gun laws across the Commonwealth. And most importantly, civil rights should be uniform across the state to provide equal protection under the law. Finally, there have been no issues with the current firearms preemption law. Let’s not fix something that isn’t broken. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • HB425 Transfer of multiple firearms; report to the Department of State Police.
    1. HB355 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
    2. Requires gun dealers who sell more than one firearm to an individual in a single transaction to report said transaction to the State Police on a form provided by the State Police. So a person who purchases a handgun and a shotgun from a dealer now has their purchase reported to the State Police. Exactly what information the State Police get is not defined in the bill, but could include information about the guns purchased, making a defacto gun-registry.
  • HB426 Firearms, certain; penalty.
    1. Makes the carrying of any loaded centerfire handgun which has a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or has a threaded barrel illegal in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. It also bans the carry of loaded shotguns in those localities. For loaded rifles, the bill has conflicting provisions, seeming to allow some loaded semi-automatic rifles, but then bans the carry of all rifles in the specified localities. And there is no exception for the most law-abiding of the law-abiding: concealed handgun permit holders. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.
  • HB450 Appeal of involuntary admission order; possession of firearms, penalty.
    1. Bill 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.
  • HB459 Firearms; possession or transportation following certain crimes.
    1. Takes away a person’s right to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm if they are guilty of certain misdemeanor assault and battery convictions. The bill has a provision to petition the court for rights restoration after two years have elapsed since the conviction. Misdemeanors should never strip away a person’s civil rights. This is just an excuse to disarm gun owners.
  • HB318 Ammunition for a firearm on school property; Class 1 misdemeanor for possession, penalty.
    1. This bill makes possession of ammunition on K-12 school grounds a Class 1 misdemeanor. Currently a person leaving their unloaded firearm in a vehicle can take their ammunition with them into a school and not leave it in the vehicle with their firearm. An unjustified restriction on law-abiding gun owners.