New Virginia Gun Laws for 2010

At least 16 new gun-related laws enacted in 2010

Most are excellent enhancements to our freedoms

This information updates the current Virginia Gun Owner’s Guide (edition 7)

Download the free update formatted to insert into your book
(with cites of statutes affected by each new bill)

 

The Virginia Citizens Defense League did its usual excellent job of identifying, tracking, lobbying and cataloging the bills that concern gun owners in the Commonwealth. GunLaws.com owes VCDL a great debt of gratitude for doing this work and allowing us to post the results here for you. If you’re not already a member, and your gun rights are important to you, do the right thing and join or just donate a few bucks to help them with their work. http://www.vcdl.org

You can link to each bill to read the actual new language here:
http://www.vcdl.org/static/2010leg.html

Additional descriptions appear at the end of this posting.


KEY to the listings:

- BILL NUMBER   Patron (sometimes called “Sponsor” in other states)

- Official short description of the bill

- VCDL’s remarks about the bill

- Chapter number (Each enacted bill gets an official sequential number)

 

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HB109  Patron: Mark L. Cole

Certain firearms taxes; destruction of records.  Repeals local authority to impose a license tax of not more than $25 on persons engaged in the business of selling pistols and revolvers. Also, a recordkeeping requirement for such persons is deleted and the clerk of the circuit court shall destroy any such existing records.

VCDL Comments
This bill repeals the law that allows counties to require that all handgun sales be reported to the county. It also requires that any such information received in the past be destroyed.
CH 0495

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HB1191  Patron: H. Morgan Griffith

Issuance of concealed handgun permits; clerk of court. 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. The bill further provides that the court clerk is immune from suit arising from any acts or omissions relating to the issuance of concealed handgun permits without judicial review unless the clerk was grossly negligent or engaged in willful misconduct. This bill is not to be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law, or to affect any cause of action accruing prior to July 1, 2010.

VCDL Comments
This bill allows a court to authorize a Clerk to issue concealed handgun permits without judicial review as long as the person is not disqualified from receiving such a permit based on a background check and consulting with either the local sheriff or police department. It also allows a Circuit Court Clerk to sign a concealed handgun permit without the judge's approval in such a case.
CH 0576

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HB505  Patron: C. Todd Gilbert

Concealed handguns; restaurants; penalty. Allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club and prohibits such person from consuming alcoholic beverages while on the premises. A person who consumes alcohol in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This bill is identical to SB 334.

VCDL Comments
This bill repeals the ban on concealed handgun permit holders carrying a concealed handgun in a restaurant. It has a caveat that the permit holder does not consume alcohol in the restaurant while carrying concealed. VCDL prefers Delegate Cole's bill HB 106, which simply repeals the ban in its entirety.
CH0709

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HB8  Patron: Charles W. Carrico, Sr.

Renewal of concealed handgun permits.  Allows a person who previously has been issued a Virginia concealed handgun permit to submit an application to renew the permit via the United States mail. This bill is identical to SB 3.

VCDL Comments
This bill clarifies that CHPs can be renewed via the US mail. This is a matching bill to SB 3, below.
CH 0741

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HB885  Patron: Clifford L. Athey, Jr.

Possession of concealed weapons in vehicles. Creates a new exemption to the general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons by allowing a person who may lawfully possess a firearm to carry a handgun in a private motor vehicle or vessel if the handgun is secured in a container or compartment.

VCDL Comments
This bill allows anyone who may lawfully possess firearm, to carry a handgun secured in a container or compartment in a vehicle or vessel.
CH 0841

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SB3  Patron: Ralph K. Smith

Renewal of concealed handgun permits. Allows a person who previously has been issued a Virginia concealed handgun permit to submit an application to renew the permit via the United States mail. This bill is identical to HB 8.

VCDL Comments
This bill clarifies that CHPs can be renewed via the US mail.
CH 0586

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SB334  Patron: Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.

Concealed handguns; restaurants; penalty.  Allows a person with a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club and prohibits such person from consuming alcoholic beverages while on the premises. A person who consumes alcohol in violation of the provisions of the bill is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This bill is identical to HB 505.

VCDL Comments
This bill repeals the ban on concealed handgun permit holders carrying a concealed handgun in a restaurant. It has a caveat that the permit holder does not consume alcohol in the restaurant while carrying concealed. VCDL prefers Delegate Cole's bill HB 106, which simply repeals the ban in its entirety.
CH 0602

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SB408  Patron: Jill Holtzman Vogel

Possession of concealed weapons in vehicles. Creates a new exemption to the general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons by allowing a person who may lawfully possess a firearm to carry a handgun in a private motor vehicle or vessel if the handgun is "secured" (changed from "locked" just before passage) in a container or compartment.
CH 0740

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HB1217  Patron: Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.

Firearm safety education program.  Allows local school boards to offer firearm safety education programs in the elementary grades. To assist local school boards opting to provide such instruction, the Board of Education must establish a standardized program of firearm safety education for students in the elementary school grades to promote the protection and safety of children. The bill requires that the program objectives incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules of the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program. Local school boards offering the program must comply with Board curriculum guidelines and integrate the instruction in appropriate subject areas, if feasible, to ensure that every elementary school student receives instruction in firearm safety education.

VCDL Comments
This bill allows local school boards to provide a firearms safety program for students based on the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program by the NRA.
CH 0859

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SB533  Patron: Ryan T. McDougle

Concealed handgun permit applications; right to ore tenus hearing.  Clarifies that anyone who is denied a concealed handgun permit has the same right to an ore tenus hearing as a person who has previously held a concealed handgun permit. This bill is identical to HB 871.

VCDL Comments
This bill clarifies that a first time concealed handgun applicant has a right to an ore tenus hearing if he or she is denied the permit.
CH 0677

 

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VCDL OPPOSED THIS ENACTED BILL
VCDL OPPOSED THIS ENACTED BILL

SB89  Patron: Richard H. Stuart

Petition to restore right to possess, etc., firearm; notice to attorney for the Commonwealth.  Provides that if a person files a petition to restore his right to possess or carry a firearm, a copy of the petition shall be mailed or delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the city or county in which the petition is filed. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall be made a party defendant to the proceeding and may file an objection or answer to the petition within 21 days after service.

VCDL Comments
This bill adds a new requirement for someone petitioning to get their right to keep and bear arms restored - the Commonwealth Attorney where the petition is filed will be notified and will be entitled to respond. Is there a problem that requires the Commonwealth to make rights restoration even more complicated?
CH 0871

 

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VCDL WAS NEUTRAL ON THESE ENACTED BILLS
VCDL WAS NEUTRAL ON THESE ENACTED BILLS

HB1092  Patron: Anne B. Crockett-Stark (by request)

Carrying concealed handguns; retired law-enforcement officers. States that a retired law-enforcement officer who receives proof of consultation and favorable review to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun permit is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in the same manner as a law-enforcement officer authorized to carry a concealed handgun.

VCDL Comments
This bill allows retired police to be able to carry a concealed handgun without a permit wherever they may go. VCDL has no problem with good people like retired-police carrying a concealed handgun wherever they may go, but it gets tiresome that the government gives special privileges such as this to its own, while restricting the very citizens it is supposed to be serving. Law-abiding citizens, too, should be able to carry a concealed handgun wherever we might go and not need a state-issued permission slip to do so.
CH 0433

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HB1379  Patron: Mark D. Sickles

Child-care facilities in certain counties and cities; local regulation of possession and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof. Provides that certain Northern Virginia localities may adopt local ordinances that regulate the possession and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof at child-care facilities, so long as such regulation remains no more extensive in scope than comparable state regulations applicable to family day-care homes.

VCDL Comments
This bill is not necessary, it is an attempt by Fairfax County to keep a preempted ordinance that should have been removed a long time ago on their books.
CH 0649

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HB637  Patron: Ward L. Armstrong

Concealed handgun permit; fees.  Waives the concealed handgun permit fee (maximum $50) for certain designated boarding team members and boarding officers of the United States Coast Guard.

VCDL Comments
This bill exempts boarding team members or boarding officers of the Coast Guard from having to pay for their concealed handgun permits. VCDL does not see a need to keep adding to the list of special interest groups who don't have to pay the $50 fee for a concealed handgun permit.
CH 0754

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HB84  Patron: Robert G. Marshall

Foreign search warrants to be honored.  Provides that a Virginia corporation or other entity that provides electronic communication services or remote computing services to the general public, when properly served with a warrant and affidavit in support of the warrant, issued by a judicial officer or court of another state with jurisdiction over the matter, to produce a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber to or customer of such service or the contents of electronic communications, or both, shall produce the record or other information as if that warrant had been issued by a Virginia court.  This provision applies only to records relating to certain violent or sexual criminal offenses, computer fraud and identity theft.
CH 0319

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SB501  Patron: L. Louise Lucas

Concealed handgun permits; disqualifying convictions. Provides that a conviction from another state for driving while intoxicated or for drunkenness in public within the preceding three years disqualifies an individual from obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
CH 0387

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The new Virginia gun laws GO INTO EFFECT ON JULY 1. There are some items here that you most likely are unaware of, so I highly recommend that you READ THIS ALERT IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Areas affected by the new laws:

RESTAURANTS AND CLUBS THAT SERVE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Starting July 1, CHP holders can carry concealed in restaurants and clubs that serve alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption, however the CHP holder cannot drink alcoholic beverages while carrying concealed. Police officers, on and off duty, as well as Commonwealth Attorneys, can carry concealed and drink responsibly.

There is NO requirement to notify anyone that you are carrying concealed in a restaurant or club and VCDL recommends taking a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The restaurant or club has the right to notify customers that guns are prohibited, or that a particular type of carry is prohibited (such as "no open carry" or, perhaps, "open carry only"). Regardless, if there was no obvious signage posted or you were not told verbally that guns are not allowed, you are NOT required to ask permission and I suggest that you don't - just go about your business.

Open carry remains unchanged by the new law and allows for responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.

MOTOR VEHICLES AND VESSELS

For those who do not have a CHP, starting July 1 they can have a loaded handgun with them concealed in their motor vehicle or vessel as long as the handgun is secured in a container (such as a zipped bag, closed gun case, closed briefcase, etc.) or in a compartment (glovebox, console, etc.).

NOTE: Remember that if you don't have a CHP, you generally can't carry a handgun in such a closed container OUTSIDE of your motor vehicle or vessel.

K-12 SCHOOLS

The new vehicle carry law, above, has an additional benefit for BOTH CHP holders and non-CHP holders. Under the law effective July 1, a loaded handgun can be kept in a secured container or a secured compartment in a motor vehicle while on K-12 school property.

The new vehicle carry law (18.2-308 B 10) is in the list of general exemptions from the concealed weapon law. Police officers and Commonwealth Attorneys, for example, are listed in 18.2-308 B. The key is that in the third paragraph of the K-12 school weapons law (18.2-308.1) it says that anyone exempted from the concealed weapon law is also exempted from the ban on guns on K-12 school property.

Thus, as long as your loaded handgun is in a secured compartment or a secured container BEFORE you pull onto school property and REMAINS SECURED in that compartment or container UNTIL AFTER you pull off the property, you are legal.

In case those of you with CHPs are wondering why you can't carry outside of your vehicle on K-12 school property, that's because the CHP wording (18.2-308 D) is NOT in the list of exemptions to the concealed weapon law (18.2-308 B and 18.2-308 C). Instead, you can think of your CHP as a "get out of jail free" card. You are not actually exempted from the concealed carry law, but you have an affirmative defense against any prosecution.

I think we should be working to exempt CHP holders from the concealed weapon law.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT MEETINGS IN COURTHOUSES

A few County Board of Supervisors, such as in Sussex, currently hold their public meetings in a courthouse at night, which thus prohibits the otherwise lawful carry of self-defense handguns. During the session a not-to-be-named Delegate told me about a bill that was totally unrelated to firearms that would help with that problem. Upon reading the bill I smiled and kept a watch on it from a distance.

The new law, effective July 1, prohibits public bodies from meeting anywhere that photographing, filming, recording, or otherwise reproducing any portion of an open meeting is not allowed.

That may make several public bodies move their meetings from courthouses to a more gun-friendly environment.

CHP RENEWALS

Starting July 1 you can renew your CHP through the mail. Just send your notarized application, a photocopy of your current CHP, and the fee and your application will be processed and your new CHP mailed to you. You might want to check with your local Circuit Court Clerk's office in case they want something else included - Fairfax is notorious for that. REMEMBER: renew between 90 and 180 days before expiration of your old permit so that your new permit will become effective on the day your old one expires. If you renew when there are less than 90 days left on your old CHP, then the new permit will become effective whenever it is issued, possibly causing you to lose weeks that you had previously paid for on your old permit.

CHP ISSUANCE

If the judge agrees, Circuit Court Clerks will now be able to issue permits as long as there were no problems with the application or the background check, etc. This should speed up getting permits from many localities. Judges will be happy to shift the CHP issuance to the Circuit Court Clerks. Clerks like the idea as they can serve the public more efficiently.

 

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