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Thread: Action Item: Make the VA House of Delegates operate in a procedurally more pro-gun manner!

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    Action item below to make the House of Delegates operate in a procedurally more pro-gun manner!

    --

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
    scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
    http://www.vcdl.org/index.html#DefenseFund
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    VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thought for the day: "A gun is like a tourniquet. You don't need one
    very often, but when you do, you need it very, very badly."

    VCDL UPDATE 12/24/07 - Defending your right to defend yourself

    1. Pro-gun and anti-gun bills introduced in the General Assembly
    2. Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee needs to revert
    back to previous configuration


    . . .

    **************************************************
    2. Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee needs to revert
    back to previous configuration
    **************************************************

    Several years ago, the Militia, Police and Public Safety committee in
    the House created a special subcommittee that did nothing but handle
    gun bills. The members of this subcommittee were mostly people who
    understood guns and gun laws. The subcommittee could not kill a bill,
    but merely recommend a bill be passed or tabled. The full committee
    made the actual decision about whether a gun bill was passed or not.

    That arrangement worked extremely well, giving all gun bills a fair
    chance, with plenty of vetting.

    But two years ago things changed.

    First, rules were modified allowing the subcommittees to kill bills,
    thus avoiding the bill being voted on by the full committee.

    Second, the firearms subcommittee was changed to hear non-firearms
    bills, too.

    Third, another subcommittee was created that contained THREE anti-gun
    Democrats and TWO pro-gun Republicans (which we refer to as the "Death
    Star" subcommittee)! That new subcommittee would hear the gun bills
    that were not assigned to the normal firearms subcommittee.

    The net result was that strong, pro-gun bills that the Republican
    leadership wanted to kill without making gun owners angry, could be
    sent to the Death Star subcommittee. The bills would die a sure death
    and the full committee would never have to vote on them. The two
    Republicans on that subcommittee could vote for the bills, but would
    be crushed by the three Democrats who would vote against the bills.
    The Republicans walk away clean, while the Democrats take the blame
    for the death of those bills.

    Let me be clear, however. Those Democrats deserve the ire of gun
    owners for killing good bills that could save lives - like the College
    Carry bill that the Death Star subcommittee killed this year. But the
    Republican leadership is culpable, too.

    The 2008 legislative year starting January 9th is going to be the
    busiest year for gun rights yet. It is important that the Republicans
    go back to their original plan of having a firearms only subcommittee,
    which consists of Delegates who understand guns and gun laws. There
    are going to be a deluge of gun bills and such a subcommittee will be
    necessary to handle them all. We also want the full committee to
    provide an up or down vote on all gun-related bills.

    ACTION ITEM:

    We need to urge Republican leadership in the House to go back to the
    original protocol of a Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee
    that only does gun bills.

    If your Delegate is a Republican, click here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2rumdv

    If your Delegate is a Democrat or independent, click here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2ls2kk


    If you're not sure which party your Delegate belongs to, click here to
    find out:

    http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform


  2. #2
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    Done, I wrote my own email and sent it to Del Lingamfelter directly. I hope this helps...

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    TEX1N wrote:
    Done, I wrote my own email and sent it to Del Lingamfelter directly. I hope this helps...
    He normally doesn't waste any time. Here is his response:
    [TEX1N],

    First, gun bills go to the MPPS Committee, no where else unless there is a major legal issue which might take them to Courts or unless there is a funding issue which might send them to Appropriations.

    Second, even if a sub-committee does not recommend a bill, members on the full committee can still call it forward. Somehow my friends at the VCDL missed this point.

    The reason subcommittees have this power is because not all bills (and most gun bills are good in my opinion) are good ones that we want to see advanced, like "nanny state" ones teh democrats just love.

    The power to deal with bills in sub-committee has a much larger purpose than what is being noted here.

    Rest assured that I will protect your gun rights...a big issue for me...
    I understand what he is saying about committees being able to recall a bill out of their subcommittee, the problem is that they won't do this with controversial bills.

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    Lingamfelter misses issue of Problem posed by death star subcommittee being composed of 3 Dems and 3 Reps!

  5. #5
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    My wife and I both sent emails to Iaquinto on our own and via the link.

  6. #6
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    TEX1N wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    Done, I wrote my own email and sent it to Del Lingamfelter directly. I hope this helps...
    He normally doesn't waste any time. Here is his response:
    [TEX1N],

    First, gun bills go to the MPPS Committee, no where else unless there is a major legal issue which might take them to Courts or unless there is a funding issue which might send them to Appropriations.

    Second, even if a sub-committee does not recommend a bill, members on the full committee can still call it forward. Somehow my friends at the VCDL missed this point.

    The reason subcommittees have this power is because not all bills (and most gun bills are good in my opinion) are good ones that we want to see advanced, like "nanny state" ones teh democrats just love.

    The power to deal with bills in sub-committee has a much larger purpose than what is being noted here.

    Rest assured that I will protect your gun rights...a big issue for me...
    I understand what he is saying about committees being able to recall a bill out of their subcommittee, the problem is that they won't do this with controversial bills.
    Bulls-eye Tex1n!

    But it sounds like we can count on Delegate Lingamfelter to help us bring forward any pro-gun bills killed by the death-star subcommittee.

  7. #7
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    I just got this response from Delegate Howell, even though he's not my delegate (Mark Cole). Completelyavoidsthe point of the death star committee. Also, though he suggests that he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, his actions belie his statement as far as I am concerned.


    Thank you for your email requesting a subcommittee that handles only firearms bills.



    Although not formally written into the rules of the House, your request is essentially already in place. During the 2007 Legislative Session, Subcommittee #1 of the House Committee on Militia, Police & Public Safety dealt only with bills regarding firearms (20 bills: House Bills 1007, 1988, 2106, 2173, 2231, 2235, 2413, 2457, 2573, 2588, 2593, 2653, 2768, 2811, 2900, 2998, 3000, 3013, 3109, 3186). At the discretion of the Committee Chair, only two bills dealing with firearms were referred to a different subcommittee (House Bills 2300 and 2405 were referred to Subcommittee #3).

    Common sense dictates grouping bills by similar content for consideration and this practice is exercised regularly in all committees.



    Due to the large volume of legislation that we must consider in a short amount of time, the committee process must run as effectively and efficiently as possible in order to ensure that each bill receives a fair hearing. Last year, 103 bills were referred to the House Committee on Militia, Police & Public Safety. In order for these bills to be heard within 25 days – from when the Session convened January 10 to Saturday, February 3 when all committee action on House bills had to be completed – it was necessary for subcommittees to have the authority to take action on the bills.



    In previous years, the process you recommend was in place where only full committees voted on legislation. With the time constraints I described, this resulted in what has often been referred to as “the night of long knives” where committee meetings ran for hours late into the night or early morning and bills were soundly defeated with no discussion or not considered at all. I strongly believe that an efficient subcommittee structure is a favorable alternative ensuring, at the very least, that each bill is heard.



    I appreciate your suggestions on this issue and, as a strong supporter of second amendment rights, assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that legislation on this issue receives a fair hearing.



    Thank you again for your input.



    Bill Howell



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