Friday, March 5, 2010

Maybe there is hope in Richmond?

While the special sub-committee formed by Senator Marsh in order to kill pro-gun bills (and especially "one-gun-per-month") did its intended job for the most part, some bills did make it out of this committee. The bills that passed out of the sub-committee are:

House Bill 109, sponsored by Delegate Mark Cole (R-88), repeals the statute which allows the governing body of any county to require the sellers of pistols and revolvers to furnish the Clerk of the Circuit Court with the name and address of the purchaser, date of purchase and the number, make, and caliber of the gun.
This pistol registry data should have never been collected in the first place. This is needed reform and I applaud the sub-committee on passing the bill out.

House Bill 1092, sponsored by Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-6), would give retired law-enforcement the ability to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

I understand the desire to give "Only Ones" this kind of special treatment, but would prefer to see this adopted for all law-abiding citizens.

House Bill 1191, introduced by Delegate H. Morgan Griffith (R-8), allows a circuit court judge to authorize the Clerk of Court to issue concealed handgun permits in instances where the application is complete, the background check does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified, and, after consulting with the local sheriff or police department, there are no other questions or issues surrounding the application.
It is my hope that this streamlining of the process doesn't result in the unintended consequence of a Clerk or the Sheriff holding up applications without just cause in violation of our "Shall-Issue" laws.

The committee also "conformed" two House bills to their Senate counterparts, which have already been passed. House Bill 505 (the restaurant concealed carry bill) was passed out of the subcommittee with the bills language conformed to SB334. House Bill 885 has been conformed to SB408, and allows law-abiding citizens to store a firearm in a locked container in a vehicle or boat.

As expected, the subcommittee killed the rest of the bills, especially their precious One-gun-a-month law passed by Governor Wilder.

Of greater disappointment to me was the defeat of the bill, HB79, which would have made private the application and issuance data of Concealed Carry permit applicant's information. This personally-identifying information has no business being disclosed to the general public, newspapers, or other third parties. The availability of this data puts gun owners at risk and exposes them needlessly.

Perhaps Senator Puller or Senator Howell or Senator Lucas would like to have their personal information made available to the general public? I guess it is a good thing that they don't have any abusive ex-partners that they need to defend themselves from, right? It seems to me that this common-sense reform would have been easy to justify, even to a gun-hater.

Maybe privacy is only for the powerful...



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