Virginia: 2012 General Assembly Session Officially Convened Today  

Today, the Virginia General Assembly convened its 2012 legislative session and NRA members can expect an active session with many bills relating to our Second Amendment rights.  As of today, the following legislation has been introduced: 

House Bill 20: Drafted by the NRA and sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-25), HB 20 would update Virginia’s Emergency Powers statute by adding lawful carrying and transportation to the list of actions that cannot be prohibited during a declaration of emergency.

Second_AmendmentHouse Bill 22: Drafted by the NRA in 2009 and sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), HB 22 would establish that no locality or entity may participate in a gun “buyback” program where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the gun “buyback.”  This legislation would also require that any locality holding gun “buybacks” sell the firearms to a federally licensed dealer “or be disposed of in any appropriate manner” if they could not be sold.

House Bill 25: Sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), HB 25 would prohibit the Clerk of the Court from disclosing information contained on a concealed handgun permit application or on an order issuing a concealed handgun permit.

House Bill 26: Sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), HB 26 would allow a court to waive a $25 dollar fine upon presentation of the permit to the court, if a person fails to display his concealed handgun permit when requested by a law enforcement officer.

House Bill 91: Sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13), HB 91 seeks to allow full-time faculty members of public institutions of higher education who possess a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun on campus.

House Bill 139: Sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), HB 139 would provide that any person who may lawfully possess a firearm in Virginia may carry it hidden from common observation. This bill retains the procedures to obtain a permit that authorizes a person to carry a concealed handgun for those who wish to carry a concealed handgun in other states with reciprocal agreements with the Commonwealth. HB 139 creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for carrying concealed handguns during the commission of certain drug-related crimes and makes carrying a concealed handgun during the commission of certain felonies a separate felony.  This bill also contains technical amendments.

House Bill 237: Drafted by the NRA and sponsored by Delegate John Cosgrove (R-78), HB 237 seeks to transfer the duties of firearm background checks from the Commonwealth to the National Instant Check System (NICS).  This legislation will streamline the process and help reduce the time it takes to approve a firearms transaction.  Its introduction is in response to the increasing delays on sales by the Virginia Firearm Transaction Program.

House Bill 288: Sponsored by Delegate Beverly Sherwood (R-29), HB 288 would provide an exception from the prohibition against carrying a weapon into courthouses in the Commonwealth for city and county treasurers.

House Bill 364: Sponsored by Delegate Jennifer McClellan (D-71), HB 364 would prohibit the private sales of firearms at gun shows by requiring that all sales conducted at a gun show go through a federally licensed dealer.  Make no mistake, if passed, supporters of this legislation will soon be calling for a ban on all private sales in Virginia, unless they go through a background check.

House Bill 375: Sponsored by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96), HB 375 would prohibit localities from adopting a workplace rule that prevents an employee from storing a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in his locked motor vehicle.  The firearm must be in a secured container or compartment in the vehicle.

Senate Bill 67: Sponsored by state Senator Bill Stanley (R-20), SB 67 would remove the option for a locality to require that an applicant for a concealed handgun permit submit fingerprints as part of the application.

Please contact your legislators and urge them to support your Second Amendment rights during this important legislative session.  Also, please continue to check your e-mail and for updates as well as additional legislation.

Copyright 2011, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.