With the start of the 2009 Session of the General Assembly a couple days away, four additional firearms related bills have been introduced.
HB 1734– Introduced by Delegate Brenda Pogge, amends various processes, procedures, and requirements for obtaining a Virginia concealed handgun permit. Among the amendments is a provision that allows permit applications to be submitted and returned by mail, and specifies that the court may not require any additional information with a permit application other than what is required or authorized by § 18.2-308. If a current permit holder wishes to obtain a replacement permit indicating a change of address, the permit holder is no longer required to provide proof of the new address.
HB 1741– Also introduced by Delegate Pogge, increases from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony the possession or transportation of certain firearms by persons under the age of 18.
HB 1748– Another bill introduced by Delegate Pogge, clarifies that no locality may require a person who has previously been issued a concealed handgun permit in the Commonwealth to submit to fingerprinting for a new permit. (There have been reports that some localities have tried to continue requiring fingerprints for permit renewals.)
HB 1821Democratic Delegate Joe Johnson has introduced a bill to repeal the ban on carrying concealed in a restaurant serving alcohol. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club from consuming an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club shall inform a designated employee of the restaurant or club of that fact. A person who consumes alcohol in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and a person who becomes intoxicated in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
HB 1822 Delegate Johnson has also introduced a bill exempting concealed handgun permit holders from the prohibition of carrying a firearm on to the property of a public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high school.
SB 877 – Senator Steve Martin of Chesterfield introduced this bill and it clarifies that retired law-enforcement officers from anywhere in the United States, District of Columbia, or territories of the United States are not subject to Virginia’s concealed handgun laws, if such officer meets the requirements of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004. The federal law allows retired officers with more than 15 years aggregate experience, who are certified annually on handgun proficiency, and meet other requirements, to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the United States.
The restaurant bill could make it through the House and Senate again but I have no doubt that Governor Tim Kaine will veto it like last year.