Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- The 2021 Session of the General Assembly officially closes in a “pro-forma” session on Monday but all legislation had to be dealt with by mid-night last night and the House completed it’s work shortly before that time.
The Senate adjourned shortly after 10:30PM. Much of the day was taken up with bills dealing with a path to legalization of marijuana, requiring businesses that do not offer retirement plans to provide access to a new state created system, and elimination of mandatory minimum sentences. One of the last remaining firearm related bills that were in conference was HB2276, a bill that would have prohibited the manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of plastic firearms and unfinished frames or receivers and unserialized firearms. The bill had already been modified in the state senate and as passed by the senate, would have required reenactment of the bill next year before it would become law. Senator Chap Petersen had joined GOP members in opposition to the bill due to the ban on what are currently legal accessories at the federal level. The House insisted on it’s version of the bill. Shortly after 8:00 PM last night, the Senate Clerk announced there would be no further action on the bill. In the end, with all of the other high profile matters that were garnering attention yesterday, HB2276 died in the conference committee.
This was the worst of all of the firearm-related bills introduced this year. Thank you for contacting you legislators and making your voice heard. Below are bills that made it through the legislature this year:
SB1381 and HB2295, Possessing or transporting a weapon within Capitol Square or into building owned or leased by the Commonwealth; penalty. These bills prohibit firearms in Capitol Square and in state government buildings. The final version of the bills removed tasers from the list of prohibited weapons, leaving only firearms and explosives as being prohibited. Parking lots on state property were removed as a prohibited area and state parks were specifically exempted from the ban. VSSA opposed these bills.
HB1909, Certain school board property; establishment of gun-free zone permitted. Permits any school board to deem any non-school zone property that it owns or leases as a gun-free zone and prohibit any individual from knowingly possessing, purchasing, transferring, carrying, storing, or transporting firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof while such individual is upon such property, except certain individuals such as law-enforcement officers and qualified retired law-enforcement officers. VSSA opposed this bill.
HB1992, Purchase, possession, or transportation of firearms following conviction for assault and battery of a family or household member; penalties. Prohibits a person who has been convicted of assault and battery of a family or household member, as defined in the bill, from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm. The prohibition expires three years after the date of conviction, at which point the person’s firearms rights are restored, unless he receives another disqualifying conviction. A person who violates the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Senate version of this bill had been defeated before crossover but the Senate amended this bill from the original version and the House agreed with the changes. VSSA opposed this bill.
HB2081, Polling places; prohibited activities; unlawful possession of a firearm; penalty. Prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm within 40 feet of any building, or part thereof, used as a polling place, including one hour before and one hour after its use as a polling place. Given that many polling places are in schools where firearms are already banned, this bill is truly a solution in search of a problem. VSSA opposed this bill.
HB2128, Sale or transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check delay. Increases from three business days to five business days the time provided for the Department of State Police to complete a background check before a firearm may be transferred. If a dealer who has otherwise fulfilled all requirements is told by the State Police that a response will not be available by the end of the dealer’s fifth business day, the dealer may complete the sale or transfer without being deemed in violation. This bill is the so-called “Charleston Loophole” bill. VSSA opposed this bill.
HB2298, Muzzleloading rifle and shotgun; definitions. Removes the requirement that the propellant be loaded along with the projectile or projectiles in the definitions of muzzleloading rifle and muzzleloading shotgun. This bill will allow the Traditions Nitrofire muzzleloading rifle to be used during the muzzleloading firearms season. This rifle is currently the only muzzleloading rifle that uses the Federal Premium Firestick propellent, which loads at the breech of the firearm while the bullet stills loads at the muzzle. VSSA supported this bill.
HB2310, Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence; emergency. Provides that any applicant for a concealed handgun permit who completed an online course to demonstrate competence with a handgun and contacted the circuit court clerk’s office prior to January 1, 2021, but was prohibited from appearing in person at a circuit court clerk’s office because of COVID-19 restrictions is eligible to apply for such permit through April 30, 2021. The bill contains an emergency clause (becomes law as soon as the Governor signs the bill). VSSA supported this bill.
About the Virginia Shooting Sports Association
The Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) is the official state association of the National Rifle Association. VSSA is closely affiliated with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Virginia Gun Collectors Association, and the Virginia Wildlife Federation (VWF). VSSA represents the hundreds of thousands of Virginia gun owners at the Virginia General Assembly every year as well as working with its affiliated clubs to promote the shooting sports.