Gun control bills passed in Virginia House, head to Senate

Virginia Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Several gun control and reform bills have moved forward in the Virginia legislature.

On Wednesday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed three bills regarding guns and gun ownership, including background checks for gun transfers and sales, guns on school property and 3D-printed “ghost guns.”

Several days later, on Monday, the House of Delegates passed two more gun-related bills. One focuses on possession of weapons by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors, while the other would ban guns at the Capitol and other state buildings.

All five will now move forward to the Senate.

Here’s what each bill proposes:

HB 1909 would allow a school board to ban guns on its’ property. It would also ban anyone from knowingly possessing, buying or carrying a firearm and ammunition while on that property. Law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers would be exempt.

HB 2128 would increase the amount of time the Department of State Police is given to complete a background check before a firearm is transferred from three to five business days.

Under HB 2128, a dealer who has otherwise fulfilled all requirements for a sale or transfer can complete the action if state police say a response will not be available by the end of the dealer’s fifth business day. In those circumstances, the dealer would not be found in violation.

HB 2276 would create a Class 5 felony the manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of plastic firearms and unfinished frames or receivers and unserialized firearms — which are often 3D-printed and known as “ghost guns.”

These guns are difficult to detect using devices such as X-ray machines, which are commonly used at airports for security screening.

HB 1992 would prohibit possession, transportation or purchase of firearms by anyone convicted of assault and battery of a family member or household member.

HB 2295 would prevent people from carrying a firearm or stun weapon in Capitol Square in Richmond or other buildings owned or leased by the state.

The punishment would be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Exceptions to HB 2295 would include law enforcement officers, court officers, authorized security personnel, and active military personnel while in the conduct of such person’s official duties.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Senior Director of Advocacy Lori Haas issued the following statement Wednesday night after the passage of HB 1909, HB 2128 and HB 2276:

“The strong gun violence prevention bills advancing to the state Senate today show that the majority of Virginia delegates are committed to protecting their constituents from the deadly gun violence epidemic that has plagued this state for too many years. The bills, if enacted into law, would give school boards authority to ban guns on school property; increase the time for Virginia State Police to complete a background check on firearms sales; and prohibit the production, sale or possession of unserialized firearms and parts known as “ghost guns.”

“Virginia voters continue to support gun violence prevention legislators because voters want an end to the epidemic of gun violence. CSGV applauds Virginia delegates who listened to their constituents and advanced these bills, bringing us one step closer to creating a safer, more secure Commonwealth free of gun violence and armed intimidation.

“CSGV will continue to work with legislators and our partners on the ground to advance these bills through the state Senate and eventually to Governor Northam’s desk to be signed into law.”

On Monday, Joy McManus, a volunteer with Virginia Moms Demand Action, released a statement on the passage of HB 2295.

“We’re grateful to lawmakers for taking this step to prevent armed intimidation and keep guns out of politics. Virginia needs laws on the books that send a clear message: We won’t be intimidated by armed extremists. This vote puts us one step closer to protecting lawmakers, constituents, and all those who visit our Capitol to participate in democracy.”

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