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Prince Willam County Board Proposal to Lower CHP Application Fee Dies on Tie Vote

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Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman, Corey Stewart had a proposal before the Board last night that would have lowered the fee for a concealed handgun permit to $10.  That is the fee that the Circuit Court Clerk is required to charge under current law.  The measure died on a tie vote.

It should be noted that Senator Amanda Chase has a bill in the State Senate to make the $10 Circuit Court fee optional.  That bill advanced in Senate Finance on Wednesday and is headed to the Senate Floor.

VSSA Legislative Update

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As we approach the halfway point of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, some very important legislation has now passed both houses of the legislature.  In the House of Delegates on Wednesday, the bills that are the vehicle for moving the concealed carry reciprocity/recognition agreement between Governor Terry McAuliffe and the GOP leadership cleared the chamber.  The Senate has also moved all three of its bills tied to the deal. The agreement restores and expands concealed carry reciprocity, requires State Police to be available for voluntary background checks at gun shows, and prohibits individuals under permanent domestic violence protective orders from possessing a firearm under state law.  More importantly, the House bill (HB1163) that is the mechanism for restoring and expanding reciprocity takes the responsibility of approving agreements out of the hands of the Attorney General and puts it in the hands of the State Police.  The Senate bills will be conformed to the House versions when they are taken up by the House.

House Bill 1163, carried by Delegate Michael Webert (R-Fauquier), establishes reciprocity with any state that has a concealed carry permit program.  The legislation also prevents individuals who have had a Virginia permit revoked from having an out-of-state permit recognized in Virginia. The Superintendent of the Virginia State Police has 60 days after the bill becomes effective to enter into reciprocity agreements. House Bill 1163 passed the House 72 to 26.

House Bill 1386, carried by House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee Chairman Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), requires the Virginia State Police to be available at every gun show to administer voluntary background checks for private sales. The House Appropriations Committee has committed to fully funding this bill in the House budget.  House Bill 1386 passed 96 to 3.

Finally, House Bill 1391, carried by Delegate Murphy (D-Fairfax), prohibits individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearms.  This legislation is limited to permanent protective orders granted by judges after a full hearing with the opportunity for representation by counsel, which ensures due process protections for all parties involved.  House Bill 1391 passed 96 to 3.

In other legislative action this week, Senate Bill 626 passed in the Virginia Senate with bipartisan support on a 32-8 vote. Patroned by state Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27), SB 626 would allow the petitioner of a protective order to temporarily conceal carry without a permit, thus affording them immediate self-defense options while waiting for their carry permit to be approved. A companion bill, House Bill 766, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15), had already passed the House and is now awaiting action in the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.

Regular updates throughout the week are posted on this blog and the VSSA Twitter and Facebook feeds.  The weekly updates are included in the Friday eBullet.  Email alerts are only sent when your action is needed on specific legislation so be sure to check this blog and the VSSA web site regularly for the latest news on the progress of legislation.

McAuliffe on Receiving End of New Bloomberg Newspaper Ad

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The Washington Post reports this afternoon that the battle between Governor Terry McAuliffe and Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety escalated today to include a full-page newspaper ad in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
The ad quotes several of the governor’s statements about the gun deal, declaring each one “false” and providing a detailed analysis to back up that conclusion. Words that Everytown takes exception to are marked in red ink, as a teacher might when grading a test.

McAuliffe dismissed the criticism during an appearance in Northern Virginia, saying “everybody supports [the gun deal] except one gun-safety group out of New York City.”McAuliffe's response about support among gun ban groups doesn't square with what other groups told the Post.
“I’m so angry at the governor for his comments,” said Jennifer Herrera, the volunteer leader of the state’s Moms affiliate. “We are Virginians and we are the people doing the work. So to hear him repeat this line that it’s this outside group — we have met you. You’ve stood with our survivors. You’ve been at our events.”It could be a long second half of the General Assembly as it approaches the halfway mark on February 16th.  The group seems intent on making McAuliffe's life miserable.

Webert's HB1163 Greatly Improves Reciprocity Agreement Overturning Herring Action

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Last Friday, VSSA posted on Twitter that the legislative team had serious concerns about changes to the bills (SB610 and HB 1163) that are the vehicles for overturning Attorney General Herring's unilateral action on recognition of out of state permits:

Breaking: Yesterday's floor changes to SB610 bill overturning Herring concealed carry actions may render bill useless.— VSSA (@VSSA) February 5, 2016
Section 2 of SB610 was added yesterday. It basically voids rest of the bill if AG does not enter into new agreements https://t.co/Foh1gzQCeO— VSSA (@VSSA) February 5, 2016 The specific language stated:
That within 60 days of the effective date of this act, the Attorney General shall enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition of concealed handgun permits or licenses with states where such agreements were in existence as of December 1, 2015, as required by the provisions of this act; otherwise the provisions of this act shall not become effective.Also on Friday, HB1163 was amended in committee to mirror SB610 with the bad changes at the end of the bill. The VSSA legislative team went to work on Friday working with patrons and alerting friends to the problems in Friday's changes.  This work continued into Monday.

 Today, a floor substitute to HB1163 was offered by the patron and was agreed to on the floor and engrossed setting up final passage tomorrow.  The floor substitute removes the enactment clause that was added on Friday and makes the State Police the entity to enter into reciprocity/recognition agreements and the Attorney General will only be involved if another state requires the signature of that office on the agreement.

VSSA will continue to monitor these bills as they continue to move through the process.  The House will likely amend SB610 to mirror HB1163.  The Senate will then have to agree to the changes.

Update:  The enactment clause was also in HB1391, the vehicle for the protective orders part of the McAuliffe deal and HB1386, the bill for the voluntary background check portion of the deal.  It appears to be someone's way to make sure the Governor did not go back on his word.  Unfortunately, while the enactment clause could have been appropriate in the case of the protective order and voluntary background check portions of the agreement, it would have completely destroyed the reciprocity part of the agreement.

Washington Post: McAuliffe Spokesman Lashes Out at Bloomberg Group

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It appears Governor Terry McAuliffe is getting tired of getting beaten up by Bloomberg's gun ban group Everytown for Gun Safety.  This from the Washington Post:
Brian Coy spoke dismissively of Everytown for Gun Safety, which is associated with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, as a “group from New York” that does not have the interests of Virginians at heart.

“One group from New York and its affiliates are upset, but that does not represent Virginia views on this,” Coy said. “We had no interaction with Everytown, the national folks, until after this deal became public. We wouldn’t have even known who to call.”The Post reminded Coy that Bloomberg came through when McAuliffe wanted money to buy the Virginia Senate during last year's election but, according to the Post, Coy did not back down from his comments:
“He talked to Howard Wolfson. Wolfson’s a political adviser to Bloomberg,” Coy said.” I don’t think he’s a policy advocate from this group. We’ve never heard from anybody at the staff level until now, after the deal has been finalized.”The Post noted that Coy's comments were made to the Post two days after Everytown unleashed a social media campaign against McAuliffe for agreeing to a deal with GOP leadership to overturn Attorney General Mark Herring's unilateral action to break concealed carry recognition agreements with 25 states.

For Everytown's part, they turned to Andy Parker, a gun ban advocate whose daughter was killed on live TV by a disgruntled former colleague in August, to counter Coy:
“Governor McAuliffe can’t have it both ways,” Parker said. “He stood side-by-side with me and other Virginia survivors from the Everytown Survivor Network and worked closely with Everytown on the Whatever It Takes rally at the U.S. Capitol in September. I am his constituent and friend — I would have happily taken his call and pointed him to the right policy experts before he struck this dangerous deal with the gun lobby.”Everytown also released emails to show just how much McAuliffe's office and the group had been in contact over 18 months.

McAuliffe's office also claimed they let Lori Haas, a Virginia gun ban advocate whose daughter was injured during the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 was made aware of the deal, a claim that Haas disputes.  She told the Post that she was only made aware of it less than 48 hours before the Post broke the story.

This just shows that McAuliffe is not above throwing all of his friends under the bus if he thinks it benefits him.  If he is willing to do this to his friends, we should remember he can still do worse to us if it suits his agenda.

Hat tip to the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

VSSA Legislative Update

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With a number of the bad gun bills disposed up last week, the VSSA lobbying team has been watching as some good bills have made it to the floor of the House and Senate.  The following bills have passed the House and the Senate:

HB 51 - Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers. Allows officers of certain agencies to purchase, at a fair market price and with approval of the agency head, weapons other than handguns that are issued for personal use of an officer so long as the weapon is a type and configuration that can be purchased at a regular hardware or sporting goods store by a private citizen without restrictions other than the instant background check. Current law allows this type of purchase only for the Department of State Police.

HB206 - Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement. Allows Virginia residents to purchase a firearm by presenting only one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. The bill provides that a member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia. Current law requires photo identification and another document that establishes residency, such as a lease or utility bill, and that includes an address that matches the photo identification.

HB 332 - Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt. Provides that a judge or retired judge of the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit.

HB766 - Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty.

HB810 - Transfer of assault weapon; proof of citizenship. Makes consistent the type of identification and other documentation that a purchaser of a firearm must present when purchasing any type of firearm from a licensed dealer by removing the additional requirement for the purchase of an assault weapon that a person who purchases such a weapon must present proof of citizenship. The bill does not alter the provisions prohibiting the sale of assault firearms to noncitizens who have not been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

HB1281 - Carrying concealed weapons; exception for certain retired officers. Decreases from 15 to 10 the number of years of service required for certain retired officers to be exempt from the prohibition on carrying a concealed weapon.

Bills that have passed the State Senate are:

SB175 - Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information. Provides that information on concealed handgun permittees in the Virginia Criminal Information Network shall not be shared with law enforcement in states that do not have reciprocity agreements with Virginia for the carrying of concealed handguns.

SB198 - Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions. Adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by the Department of Corrections pursuant to subdivision 11 of § 53.1-10 retired from the Department of Corrections to listed individuals who may carry a concealed handgun, provided that he carries written proof of the need to carry.

SB205 - Purchase of handguns by certain officers. Adds employees of the Department of Corrections with internal investigations authority to the list of retired law-enforcement officers who may purchase their service handguns for $1.00.

SB544 - Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt. Provides that a judge or retired judge of the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit.

SB608 - Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement. Replaces current requirements that law-enforcement agencies report information regarding confiscated firearms to the Department of State Police with a requirement that information be reported to a firearms tracing system maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bill requires law-enforcement agencies to return stolen firearms to the rightful owner unless the person is prohibited from possessing the firearm or it is needed in a criminal prosecution.

SB615 - Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers. Allows officers of certain agencies to purchase, at a fair market price and with approval of the agency head, weapons other than handguns that are issued for personal use of an officer so long as the weapon is a type and configuration that can be purchased at a regular hardware or sporting goods store by a private citizen without restrictions other than the instant background check. Current law allows this type of purchase only for the Department of State Police.

The VSSA lobbying team is watching very closely SB610, Senator Reeves' bill to restore and expand concealed carry reciprocity/recognition.  The patron has asked that the bill be passed by for the day several times.  It will again be up for final passage today.

There will not be a meeting of the Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 today.  There are several bills of interest to gun owners on Friday's Militia Police and Public Safety's full committee docket.  Be sure to check the VSSA web site and blog for the most up-to-date legislative information.

Washington Post: Bloomberg's New Target - Terry McAuliffe

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The Washington Post reports this morning that Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety has turned its fire on Governor Terry McAuliffe via social Media:
On Wednesday, Everytown launched a social media campaign against McAuliffe, who last week stunned gun-safety advocates by announcing that he had struck a gun deal with Republican legislators and the National Rifle Association. It shows side-by-side photos of McAuliffe and the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.

“What do VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe and NRA head Wayne LaPierre have in common?” one version reads. “Both Gov McAuliffe and NRA Head Wayne LaPierre support allowing dangerous people to carry hidden loaded weapons in Virginia.”

While clearly a lower-budget affair than last fall’s TV blitz, Everytown’s social media campaign against McAuliffe was a stunner, given how closely he worked with gun-safety groups since his 2013 campaign for governor. He narrowly won the race while bragging about his “F” rating from the NRA. McAuliffe's office says he stands by the deal that was announced on Friday and during his radio blitz on Monday, McAuliffe said that his job is to keep Virginia safe and gun ban groups who are against the deal are more interested in pushing a national agenda.

This Post article also infers not only did McAuliffe throw Attorney General Mark Herring under the bus, he did the same to the gun ban lobby:
The deal that the McAuliffe administration hammered out with GOP legislative leaders and the NRA caught gun-safety groups off guard. In December, Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) had severed reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states with concealed-weapons standards looser than Virginia’s — a move that had infuriated gun-rights activists even though state law has long dictated that reciprocity be limited to states with standards on par with Virginia’s.

The McAuliffe deal, which still needs General Assembly approval, reversed Herring’s action — and then some, directing him to strike reciprocity deals with every state that offers them. In that sense, the deal expands gun rights. VSSA noted on its Twitter feed last Friday that McAuliffe's comments during the official announcement of the deal sounded like he was adding it to his resume for Vice President for his buddy Hillary Clinton:
Sounds like @GovernorVA adding another check mark for resume for Dem VP slot— VSSA (@VSSA) January 29, 2016The Post notes he also touted the deal with asked how he thought Clinton's gun control would play in New Hamshire:
Matthews asked McAuliffe, a close friend of Clinton’s and chairman of her failed 2008 bid, how the former secretary of state’s strong gun-control rhetoric might play in a rural state like New Hampshire. McAuliffe answered by touting the “historic agreement” he had just struck on guns.

“If you can do it Virginia, which is the home of the NRA, working together, we can do this anywhere,” he said. “People want, folks, they want their legislators to come together, to work with their governors to make them safe.”Wonder how Bloomberg likes those bus tire tracks across his back.

Virginian Pilot Op/Ed Nails It on McAuliffe Deal With GOP on Out-of-State Carry Permits

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Kerry Dougherty has this Op/Ed in the Virginian Pilot on Governor Terry McAuliffe's deal with the GOP to restore concealed carry permit reciprocity/recognition with 25 states and she absolutely nails why this is such a big deal:
The agreement was a victory for common-sense supporters of the Second Amendment in Virginia and a blow for those who merely look for ways to nibble away at gun rights under the guise of “safety,” when it’s clear that safety has little to do with their motivation.

Case in point: Days before Christmas, Attorney General Mark Herring announced that Virginia was terminating concealed- carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states that had laws he believed were less strict than the commonwealth’s.

The heavy-handed move was ill-advised and unnecessarily provocative. Worse, it reeked of politics.

Herring’s office was unable to point to a single bad act committed by a person in possession of an out-of-state concealed- carry permit. Yet, by terminating reciprocity with more than two dozen states, many visitors to Virginia were slated to automatically lose their rights to carry weapons here, and many Virginians faced the possibility of losing their rights to carry firearms in other jurisdictions.

As I said at the time, Herring appeared to be acting unilaterally to protect the commonwealth from marauding Minnesotans and Montanans.Her opinion piece is a stark contrast to the editorial the Pilot posted after the deal was announced where the Pilot said the governor "folded."

Dougherty is one of the few voices of reason that write for the Pilot.  She was right this time too.

McAuliffe Continues to Walk Fine Line Regarding Herring and Out-of-State Permit Deal

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In the Richmond Times Dispatch story on the defeat of Constitutional Carry, the reporter circled back to the deal on overturning Attorney General Mark Herring's attack on out-of-state concealed carry permits.  The RTD noted that McAuliffe appeared on a radio station Monday continued his praise for Herring "getting everyone to the table" he admitted there was no evidence that people with out of state permits had committed crimes in Virginia:
In a media blitz Monday morning that included three radio appearances and one TV spot, McAuliffe walked a fine line that alternated between praise for Herring and defending the rationale of reversing an action that Herring had said would make Virginians safer.

“I appreciate the work the attorney general did on this. It got us to the table,” McAuliffe said in an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks. “But we have no record of anyone in the last 25 years being injured or hurt with someone who came into our state with a concealed weapon.”

The governor’s remarks echo critiques leveled at Herring’s decision by pro-gun activists, who question the need to tighten out-of-state permits if the state could not produce statistics showing a problem.

McAuliffe contrasted the lack of crimes involving concealed carry permits with statistics on other elements of the deal. The compromise would require state police to be present at every gun show to perform background checks for unlicensed sellers and force anyone under a permanent restraining order for domestic violence to give up their guns or face a felony conviction that would mean losing gun rights altogether.

Four people were killed last year after taking out a protective order, McAuliffe said, and state police were present at 42 of 77 gun shows.This blog reported yesterday via "The Trace" that the deal was in the works for a week before Herring was clued in.

Constitutional Carry Defeated in State Senate

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Senate Bill 48, Constitutional Carry was defeated shortly after the State Senate started taking up legislation for the day.  Republican Senator. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. voted with all 19 Democrats (including the usually pro-rights John Edwards) to create a 20-20 tie.  The Lt. Governor voted no, breaking the tie to defeat the bill.

Gun Ban Lobby Urges Defeat of SB 610 - Vehicle to Restore Reciprocity/Recognition

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Virginian's for Responsible Gun Laws sent out an email today urging their supporters to contact their state senators and urge them to vote again Senator Reeves' SB610, the Senate bill that is the vehicle to advance the deal to restore concealed carry permit reciprocity/recognition with 25 states.
It even makes reference to George Zimmerman to get their supporters to take action:
The deal includes reversing Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision to end concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states that fail to meet Virginia’s standards.  In fact, it broadens reciprocity to all 49 states in the country.  This would allow individuals from other states with weak or relatively no requirements for carrying a concealed weapon to legally do the same in Virginia.  That means convicted stalkers and abusers, habitual drunks, those with severe mental illness, and other dangerous individuals could carry weapons in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We don’t want the George Zimmermans of the world to be armed in our neighborhoods!  We want our Governor, who we elected to keep us safe, to stand up to the NRA and REJECT THIS BAD DEAL.SB 610 should be up for a final vote on Tuesday, February 2nd.  Please make sure your State Senator knows you support passage of this bill.

Washington Post Suggests Herring Not Happy With McAuliffe Deal

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This morning the Washington Post posted this article on their web site titled "Five Things That (kid of) Explain McAuliffe's gun deal with Republicans."  To some extent, it continues the meme that McAuliffe has crafted that he got real concessions in return for overturning Herring's actions on out-of-state concealed carry permits.  A Post article Friday pretty much showed how hollow that claim is, describing how the deal almost fell through Friday morning when Delegate Todd Gilbert told a local Richmond morning show host that, given the deal that was detailed in the Post Thursday afternoon, he would take it any day.  According to the Post, any public comment was supposed to express that all sides gave and got something.  For Gilbert's transgression, the GOP had to agree to make possession of a firearm while a permanent protective order is in place a felony instead of a misdemeanor.  Even with that change, gun owners came out much better than the gun ban side.

Today's article goes on to explain why pro-rights activists are much happier about the deal than the gun ban lobby:
Does this deal expand gun rights?
Yes. The deal goes beyond restoring the reciprocity rights that Herring had planned to revoke, directing him to strike reciprocity deals with every state that offers them. If the legislature approves the deal, more out-of-state gun owners will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in Virginia, and Virginians will be able to carry concealed weapons in other parts of the country.

Does it also tighten restrictions on guns?
Yes, but in a more nuanced way.

The deal would make it a felony under Virginia law for someone subject to a two-year protective order to possess a gun. Possession for such a person is already illegal under federal law. But because local police, not federal agents, respond to domestic incidents, abusers could be more likely to face charges. And because possession in such cases would be a felony, anyone convicted would lose the right to possess a firearm for life, barring subsequent restoration of civil rights through the governor.

The deal also calls for putting a state trooper at every gun show to run background checks for private sellers who currently have no way to check buyers’ criminal histories. But those checks would remain optional. Then the Post gets to the question of where is Attorney General Herring in all of this?
It’s unclear, but he hardly seems happy about it.

The governor’s office was working on the deal to undo one of Herring’s biggest achievements for at least a week before it let him know what was in the works. Herring has not taken a public position on the deal and was notably absent from a news conference Friday, when McAuliffe and GOP leaders rolled out the deal. Herring’s spokesman said he had a prior commitment.

McAuliffe and his team have artfully credited Herring for bringing everyone to the table — suggesting that by yanking reciprocity, Herring so freaked out the gun-rights folks that they were willing to make a deal. But Herring’s absence on this has been conspicuous, particularly at Friday’s event, when McAuliffe asked the crowd to give the absent AG a round of applause. Awkward! For all the talk by McAuliffe and Herring's spokesman, it is clear Herring was thrown under the bus.  And, it appears from the Post article, he is not at all happy about it.

Update: Even Bloomberg's anti-gun mouthpiece The Trace notes today the deal was "in the works for a week before Herring was clued in."

No Wonder the Gun Ban Lobby is Upset by McAuliffe's Concealed Carry Deal With GOP

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Late Friday afternoon, the Governor's office emailed out the press release detailing the specifics of the deal reached to restore recognition of concealed carry permits for 25 states that had been listed by

The deal encompasses the following bills:
Voluntary Background Checks at Firearms Shows: Delegate Lingamfelter (HB1386) and Senator Edwards (SB715)
  • Currently, only firearms dealers with a federal firearms license (FFL) can access the National Instant Checks System (NICS) to perform background checks on firearms purchases/transfers.
  • The Virginia State Police cannot access the system on behalf of private citizens selling or transferring firearms.
  • This bill would give the Virginia State Police statutory authority to perform background checks on behalf of private citizens at firearms shows, which is required by the FBI. 
  • Private sellers feel it is their civic duty to obtain the results of a background check prior to selling or transferring a firearm and they currently do not have the ability to access background checks for this purpose.  This would allow them access on voluntary cases.
  • This bill requires the Virginia State Police to be present at every firearms show in the Commonwealth to perform background checks on a voluntary basis.
This bill had already cleared Senate Courts of Justice on Thursday night and rereferred to Finance as it has a fiscal impact. Delegate Lingamfelter's bill is currently awaiting action in the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee

Protective orders: Delegate Murphy and Senator Howell (SB49)
  • Currently, a person subject to a protective order is prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm, but not from possessing a firearm.
  • This bill would prohibit a person subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm for the duration of the order. 
  • Permanent protective orders are issued by a judge and are served to the subject.  They can last up to 2 years and can be extended by the judge as necessary.
  • This bill allows the subject of the protective order 24 hours to transfer or sell the firearm to a non-prohibited person.  The subject of the protective order may possess or transport the firearm during that 24-hour period only for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm.
  • If a person violates this section, they could be guilty of a class 6 felony.
Senator Howell's bill is still awaiting action in Senate Courts of Justice

Reciprocity: Delegate Webert (HB1163) and Senator Reeves (SB610)
  • Reciprocity for all states with a concealed carry permitting process.
  • Prevents state-shopping. If a person has ever been revoked in Virginia, they cannot go to another state to get a permit and have that permit be recognized in Virginia.
  • Retains the 24-hour verification clause for law enforcement purposes which allows the VSP or other law enforcement agencies to verify the validity of a permit for an out-of-state person 24 hours a day when states that offer that process.  Permit-holders must carry another valid state-issued ID for the purpose of verification.
  • Governor McAuliffe will also extend the effective date for the planned implementation of the revocation of reciprocity agreements with other states to March 1st.
SB 610 is now before the full Senate and will be on final passage on Tuesday.  HB1163 has been heard by the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 and the subcommittee recommended reporting the bill.  It now awaits action by the full committee.

The reciprocity portion of this deal is the most important part.  This isn't just undoing Herring's action of unrecognizing the permits of 25 states, this is expanded recognition.   Delegate Webert was on Friday's NRANews' Cam and Company and explained how this will work.It should be noted that none of this is a completely done deal until the bills pass and are signed into law by the Governor.  VSSA was in consultation with one of the negotiating legislators before the deal was announced and the legislative team will continue to monitor developments.  For now however, not withstanding reports to the contrary from the media, gun owners came out on the better end of this deal.  Background checks are not "expanded" the way McAuliffe and the gun ban lobby would like.   They are simply voluntary.  He can spin this any way he wants but he backed down on reciprocity/recognition of out-of-state concealed carry permits and got little in return, which is why gun ban advocate Andy Parker and Everytown for Gun Safety are so upset with McAuliffe.

Herring Says His Actions on Reciprocity Led to Bipartisan Movement to Tighten Gun Laws

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We've now heard from Attorney General Mark Herring on yesterday's announced deal between the Governor and the GOP that will overturn the AG's December concealed carry permit recognition actions. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, Herring says is action is what spurred the agreement:
Though the deal could be viewed as a setback for Herring — often accused by opponents of playing politics with his office, but praised by supporters as a champion of progressive causes — the attorney general said in a statement Thursday that he’s “encouraged to finally see a bipartisan conversation” on reducing gun violence.

“If finally enforcing our concealed handgun reciprocity laws helps break the legislative logjam on efforts to expand background checks and force domestic abusers to turn over their guns, then I’m glad we could provide some momentum and I hope this is just the first step in enacting sensible gun safety measures,” Herring said.

Coy said Herring’s decision on concealed carry permits, which some gun-rights activists feared would lead other states to stop recognizing Virginia permits, served as a catalyst for the agreement.

“Without his leadership, this deal would not have been possible,” Coy said.I'm not completely buying that this was all aimed at causing a stink just to have the changes ditched at the eleventh hour.  It is more likely that the Governor was headed a for a veto override of at least one bill that would overturn the order that had strong bipartisan support and he was looking for a face saving way out of a jam his AG put him in.  Let's look again at what the GOP gave up in return for overtuning Herring's order:
  1. The deal would require the Virginia State Police to be available at all gun shows to perform voluntary background checks for sellers who are not federally licensed.
  2. Anyone subject to a permanent protective order to surrender guns in their possession, a policy aimed at removing guns from domestic violence situations.
  3. Anyone who has had a Virginia permit revoked would not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia using another state’s permit.
That's it.  For all of Herring's bluster that this agreement "expands" background checks, nothing really changes.  It just makes it easier for any private individual who wants to use the state police to have a background check run on a perspective buyer at a gun show can now do it. ATF regulations already allow private sellers to use a dealer to facilitate background checks on private sales in states that use the National Instant Check System (NICS). Virginia uses the State Police and only dealers can use that system. So, all 25 states that Herring said did not measure up to Virginia concealed handgun permit requirements will still have their permits recognized, all for just slight tweaks in Virginia law.

And, for the little McAuliffe got, some in the gun ban lobby are not happy:
McAuliffe’s deal-making on guns didn’t sit well with some of his allies in the gun-control push.

Andy Parker, the father of slain Roanoke-area TV journalist Alison Parker, criticized the governor in a statement circulated by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group that poured in more than $2.4 million to support Democratic campaigns in last year’s legislative elections. McAuliffe’s deal-making on guns didn’t sit well with some of his allies in the gun-control push.

“Since my daughter, Alison, was killed on live television in August, I’ve stood by Governor McAuliffe’s side and applauded his leadership on gun safety — and he has been a friend and source of support for me and my family,” Parker said. “That is why if reports are true that he’ll put the gun lobby agenda ahead of the safety of Virginians, I am beyond disappointed.” Herring's spin not withstanding, it still looks like McAuliffe threw him under the bus because of all the political heat that came from the AG's move in December.

Washington Post: McAuliffe to Restore Reciprocity in Deal with GOP

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The article was posted at 1:02 on the Washington Post web site.  The deal includes the following:
The about-face is part of a deal that McAuliffe (D) struck with Republican leaders one month after Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) severed the right for gun owners in 25 states to have their concealed carry permits recognized in Virginia.

In exchange, Republicans will agree to some concessions, according to McAuliffe’s office and the office of House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

If an individual’s Virginia concealed-carry permit is revoked, a permit from another state will not be honored in Virginia — a practice known as “state shopping.”

State police must be present at all gun shows to administer background checks in private sales of guns on a voluntary basis.

Anyone subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offence will be prohibited from carrying a firearm for the two-year life of the order.The policy changes will come in the form of bipartisan legislation before the General Assembly.
VSSA's lobbyist got word that a deal may be in the works but this article confirms the information and provides the actual details.  Be sure to check this blog for more information as it becomes available.
Hat tip to NRANews.com.

Thursday Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 Docket

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Below are the bills that are on the docket for this Thursday's Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 meeting.

HB128 Weapons; possession prohibited in state legislative buildings, penalty.
HB149 Concealed handgun permits; individuals on federal Terrorist Screening Database.
HB422 Firearms businesses; local regulation of dealers in proximity of schools.
HB423 Firearms; possession in school zone, penalty.
HB424 Firearms; possession in school zone; regulation by locality.
HB425 Firearms; prohibits person in Terrorist Screening Database to purchase, etc.
HB482 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
HB599 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
HB617 Concealed handgun permit; demonstration of competence.
HB632 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check, penalties.
HB658 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.
HB979 Firearms; buyers or transferee, criminal history record check delay.
HB980 Transfer of handguns; permit required, penalties.
HB981 Concealed handgun permit; eliminates proof of competence.
HB982 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children age four or younger, penalty.
HB983 Firearms magazines, certain; prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., prohibited, penalty.
HB1000 Online firearm sale; criminal history record information check, penalties.
HB1001 Terrorist Screening Database; check of Database required prior to purchasing firearm from dealer.
HB1025 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties.
HB1049 Firearms show; list of vendors or exhibitors submitted to State Police.
HB1055 Foster care homes; firearm storage on premises.
HB1106 Firearms; possession or transportation following certain convictions.
HB1109 Concealed handgun permit; application; disqualification.
HB1199 School resource officers; possession of firearms and other weapons; penalty.
HB1313 Concealed handguns; protective orders, surrender of firearms, penalty.
HB1339 Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings.

Results of the meeting will be posted as an update to this post after the meeting.  As always we will be posting live updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Urge Your State Senator to Support SB 610 Overturning Herring's Reciprocity Action

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Wednesday night, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee advanced SB 610, Senator Bryce Reeve's bill that would overturn Attorney Mark Herring's late December announcement that Virginia would no longer recognize the concealed handgun permits of 25 states, which will likely impact Virginia concealed handgun permit holders ability to carry in those states when traveling.  SB 610 provides that a holder of a concealed handgun permit issued by any state who is at least 21 years of age is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia. The bill requires the Attorney General to enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with other states that require an agreement to be in place before the state will recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. Current law recognizes concealed handgun permits issued by states that (i) provide a 24-hour-a-day means of verification of the validity of the permits issued in that state and (ii) have requirements and qualifications that are adequate to prevent possession of a permit by persons who would be denied a permit in Virginia.


SB610 will be on final passage on Monday or Tuesday.  You can find out how to contact your state Senator by clicking here.

Wrap-up of Marathon Senate Courts of Justice Meeting

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee, probably trying to make up for a missed meeting on Monday as the state continued to dig out from under the weekend snow, held a marathon meeting yesterday afternoon that went well into the night.  The Committee disposed of a number of gun control bills.  Below is a list of bills defeated by the committee:

SB 96 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.
SB 97 Handguns; establishes limitation on purchases, penalty.
SB 138 Firearms retailers; local regulation, proximity to schools.
SB 156 Concealed handgun permit; family member who resides with applicant may submit statement to court.
SB 184 Firearms magazines, certain; prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., penalties.
SB 214 Firearms; Terrorist Screening Database check prior to purchase.
SB 220 Firearm transfers; penalties.
SB 259 Persons involuntarily admitted or ordered to outpatient treatment; purchase, etc., of ammunition.
SB 260 Concealed handgun permit; disqualifications, residential mental health or substance abuse treatment.
SB 263 Firearms; purchase by persons intending to commit act of terrorism, penalty.
SB 430 Firearms; Terrorist Screening Database check prior to purchase.
SB 546 Possession or transportation of firearms following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes. (This was continued until next year)
SB 694 Firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow; shooting in or across road or street, penalty.

The committee also took up several bill that attempt to overturn the December 22, 2015, announcement by Attorney General Mark Herring that the state would no longer recognize the concealed carry permits of 25 states.  Several bills were rolled into one and advanced to the full senate.  The committee also reported and referred to Finance Senator Emmett Hanger's SB 713 which takes away the power of making reciprocity and recognition agreements from the Attorney General and gives it to a Legislative Commission.  The bill heading to the full Senate is Senator Bryce Reeve's SB 610.  The bills rolled into SB610 were SB 616, SB 699 and SB 764.

The Committee also advanced several other bills:

SB 677, a bill that makes the $10 fee that the clerk of court is now required to charge for processing a concealed handgun permit application or issuing a concealed handgun permit discretionary with the clerk.  The bill was reported and referred to Finance.

SB 300, a bill that creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who carries a loaded firearm on or about his person onto the premises of any restaurant or club licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and consumes an alcoholic beverage while on the premises.   The bill was reported and referred to Finance.

SB 323, a bill that creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for (i) the physical possession of a firearm while in the residence of the alleged victim of a person who has been served with an emergency protective order issued as a result of an assault and battery against a family or household member or (ii) the transport of a firearm by such person while the order is in effect. The bill also provides that in order to be convicted of the existing Class 1 misdemeanor of purchasing or transporting a firearm when subject to a protective order, the person must have been served with the order.  The bill was amended and reported.

Another full docket is set for Thursday's 4:00pm Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1.  VSSA will be posting live results on Twitter, and Facebook and will have a wrap-up of the committee action on the Blog.

Legislative Update with NRANews

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Virginia House and Senate Democrats have introduced bills to create "gun store-free zones," another effort to shut down Nova Firearms' new location in McLean, Virginia. I had the opportunity to talk about this and other legislative action during yesterday's NRANews Cam and Company.  Legislation continues to move forward to maintain concealed carry permit reciprocity with 25 states that was abruptly terminated by Attorney General Mark Herring. Originally aired on Cam & Co 01/26/16.


Two News Bills of Interest Introduced in State Senate

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

A couple of new bills dropped in the final days of last week that should be of interest to gun owners.  The first is Senator Emmett Hanger's response to Attorney General Herring's unilaterally invalidating agreements with 25 states to recognize concealed carry permits from those states.  The bill is SB713 and it establishes the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Advisory Commission (the Commission) as a legislative commission.  This bill would strip the Attorney General's authority to enter into reciprocity and recognition agreements with other states and put it in the hands of the legislature. Of the bills introduced to deal with this issue, SB713 is the only one that establishes a process and looks to be the best vehicle to undo Herring's actions.  The way the bill is drafted, it is possible that enough Democratic votes could be rounded up to override a likely veto from Governor McAuliffe.  The VSSA legislative team will be working this bill hard and will let members know when calls and emails are needed.


The other bill is Senator John Edwards' SB716.  This bill creates a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer but who conducts business as a merchant of firearms to sell a firearm without a background check conducted by a federally licensed dealer.  The bill exempts transfers to family members, personal friends, by inheritance, by operation of law, or for a temporary purpose.  This bill basically is what is current law under ATF regulations, so it appears to be an attempt to appear to be doing something without really doing anything.


Edwards also has a bill in that allows private sellers to voluntarily conduct background checks at gun shows by requiring the gun show to allow state police sufficient facilities to conduct the checks at the show.  Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has a companion bill in the House.

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