Dear Mr. xxxx:
I have long supported responsible gun owners to secure concealed carry permits. Back in the 1990’s I opposed the gun a month law which passed anyway, I supported a revamping of Virginia’s concealed carry law, and I opposed amendments weakening concealed carry rights.
In 2005 I voted for HB 2535 which allows the holder of a valid concealed handgun permit to possess a concealed handgun on school property while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular access or exit from the school.
And in 2008 I voted for SB 476 which allowed concealed handgun permit holders to enter a restaurant where alcohol is served but which prohibits a person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club from consuming an alcoholic beverage while on the premises.
In 2008 I and Del. Gilbert introduced concealed carry bills.
I would have voted for HB 1371 (Gilbert) which prohibits a state entity, including the board of visitors of a state institution of higher education, from prohibiting the possession of a handgun on state property by a person with a valid concealed handgun permit, unless expressly authorized by statute to adopt such a rule, regulation, or policy. This is directed primarily at sate college Boars of Visitors which have prohibited concealed carry permit holders who are students from exercising concealed carry rights on a campus.
Additionally, I introduced HB 424 which allows full-time faculty members of state institutions of higher education who possess a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun on campus.
However, Republican Speaker Bill Howell made it very clear he did not want these bills considered, and Militia and Police Chair Beverly Sherwood refused to call our bills up for a hearing. Del. Gilbert and I held a press conference at the end of the 2008 session and criticized Speaker Howell for this gag rule he imposed on our concealed carry bills.
Republican Majority leader Morgan Griffith said the bills would have failed if they were reported to the floor. But his statement does not square with his own actions in pulling a bill from the House floor when I offered an amendment to another bill which would have allowed professors to carry on campus.
When I was not in the House Chamber because of a previously scheduled meeting in Northern Virginia, Del. Griffith called up the bill I wanted to amend and it passed without my proposed concealed carry amendment.
What I am saying is that I am not hopeful the Republican leadership will assist us in this matter.
There is the additional problem that Speaker Bill Howell in 2008 pushed for and secured a House Rules change which limits all delegates to only introducing 15 bills per year. I talked to the Speaker about this at the Clemson-UVA game, Saturday, November 22. He told me no one ever asked him to introduce more than 15 bills, and that he saw no reason that any House of Delegates member should be allowed to introduce more than 15 bills. I disagreed with him, pointing out that I have more registered voters than some Virginia state Senate districts.
I voted AGAINST this rules changed and another one which provided for secret votes in sub-committees and was punished by Speaker Howell by being denied a committee chairmanship, removed as vice chair from a committee I had been on since 1992 and was subject to other “penalties.”
You may want to contact Speaker Howell and Del. Griffith to let them know of your concerns about the way they are handling concealed carry bills, and their support for limits on the number of bills members may introduce.
They can be reached at: email@example.com
The state senate has no such rules limiting the number of bills senators may introduce.
Delegate Bob Marshall