Virginia: McAuliffe’s First Attempt to Roll Back the Rights of Gun Owners
only two days left in the 2014 regular legislative session, Governor
Terry McAuliffe (D) has made his first attempt to limit the legal use of
firearms in Virginia by returning an amendment to House Bill 962 that
would further restrict how handguns may be stored in vehicles.
Sponsored by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24), HB 962 would codify an Attorney
General opinion from 2012 (see here), and a decision of the Virginia Court of Appeals from last year, Doulgerakis v. Com., 737 S.E.2d 40 (Va. Ct. App. 2013). House Bill 962 has passed in the House of Delegates by a 70 to 27 vote as well as in the Senate by a 27 to 13 vote.
opinion and decision both found that a handgun in a vehicle doesn’t
have to be in a locked compartment in the motor vehicle to fit within a
statutory exception to the concealed carry prohibition that allows for a
person without a permit to conceal a firearm within a secured
compartment or “secured” container within a motor vehicle. The
McAuliffe amendment seeks to contradict the opinion and ruling by
forcing drivers to keep firearms in a “locked” container rather than
being allowed to secure those firearms in a container without a lock as
they have lawfully been doing for years. What began as a simple
clarification bill would be turned into legislation that is worse than current law.
The House of Delegates is expected to vote on this amendment tomorrow. Please contact your Delegate and respectfully urge him or her to vote against this restrictive amendment.
a brighter note, as of July 1, hunters in the Commonwealth will finally
be permitted to hunt on Sundays on private property with written
landowner permission. House Bill 1237 was signed into law yesterday and its Senate companion, Senate Bill 154, is expected soon to be enacted as well. Please contact the sponsors of these bills, Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15) and Senator Phil Puckett (D-38),
and thank them for their leadership to expand and protect the
Commonwealth's rich hunting heritage and providing greater opportunities
to hunt that will strengthen recruitment and retention.
--We didn't have this problem or this much snow, until JayG moved here!!