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Thread: VA-ALERT: Good night for Gun Owners! 1/29/09

  1. #1
    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    VA-ALERT: Good night for Gun Owners! 1/29/09


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philip Van Cleave
    Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:07 PM
    Subject: VA-ALERT: Good night for Gun Owners! 1/29/09

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
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    Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html
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    Legislative update 1/29/09

    Tonight the Militia, Police, and Public Safety subcommittee #1 met at
    5 PM. Here are the bills that were heard, their status, and any
    comments:

    HB 1655, Delegate Carrico, would put teeth in preemption. PASSED OUT
    OF SUBCOMMITTEE!
    The lobbyists for local governments hated this bill because it would
    hold their clients responsible for illegal gun ordinances. They tried
    to say that forcing localities to pay legal fees when sued was never
    done before in Virginia. EM Hal Macklin reminded me that Freedom of
    Information Act violations do that now. I passed that on to the
    subcommittee, killing the lobbyists argument.

    HB 1748, Delegate Pogge, would clarify that a permit holder that has
    an expired permit does not have to be re-fingerprinted when renewing
    his CHP. WITHDRAWN. She withdrew the bill because of objections of
    the State Police. We'll revisit this again in the future.

    HB 1851, Delegate Lingamfelter, would allow active duty military to be
    exempt from Virginia's one handgun a month law. PASSED OUT OF
    SUBCOMMITTEE!

    HB 1910, Delegate BaCote, would allow guns to be banned in libraries.
    KILLED! I pointed out that crimes do occur on library property --
    just a few days ago someone was shot right in front of a library.

    HB 2144, Delegate Nutter, would restrict access to the concealed
    permit holder list from the State Police, but leaves a huge loophole
    for circuit courts to give out that same information for their
    jurisdiction. PASSED OUT OF SUBCOMMITTEE. I said that VCDL didn't
    like the bill because of the huge loophole. Nutter said he wanted to
    cement the protection that the Attorney General had provided on the
    State Police giving out the list. The bill passed unmodified. (Go
    figure.) We'll be back on this one. If any of you see a paper
    putting our permit holder information, let me know and we will put
    together a huge email blast to the General Assembly (there are now
    9,200 of you on this email list).

    HB 2178, Delegate E.T. Scott, would make possession of ammunition by a
    felon a felony. KILLED! I pointed out that not all felons are bad
    people. Someone who wrote a $300 bad check 30 years ago and lived a
    clean, productive life ever since is not somebody who should be
    categorized with a murder, rapist, or armed robber. With all kinds of
    crimes becoming felonies, we are all going to be felons one of these
    days.

    HB 2227, Delegate Marsden, would make it illegal to carry a concealed
    airgun if it can expel a projectile at over 300 feet per second. KILLED!

    HB 2318, Delegate Morrissey, would make it a requirement that anyone
    selling 3 or more guns at a gun show from a fixed location, like a
    table, have a Federal Firearms License. KILLED!

    HB 2481, Delegate Ward, would require anyone who legally owns a
    machine gun to file a change of address with the State Police if they
    move. KILLED! I argued that we need to get the State Police out of
    the machine gun registration business, as the feds already do it. The
    State Police wanted it so they knew if someone had a machine gun
    before they knocked on his door. I said that only 1 violent crime has
    ever been reported with a legally owned machine gun and there haven't
    been any in Virginia - thus the State Police don't need to know if
    someone has such a gun.

    HB 2528, Delegate Cole, would make localities that hold gun buybacks
    sell such guns to a dealer. PASSED OUT OF SUBCOMMITTEE!

    --

    Although VCDL tries to concentrate on Virginia laws, sometimes we will
    look at a federal law. Jeff Knox, with the Firearms Coalition, wanted
    me to pass this on to you as an ACTION ITEM:

    Philip,

    I understand that VCDL does not typically get involved in federal
    matters, but I would appreciate it if you would let members know that
    the vote for confirmation of anti-rights extremist Eric Holder to be
    Attorney General of the United States is scheduled for Monday in the
    U.S. Senate.

    The Attorney General has broad powers regarding firearms regulations
    and enforcement of federal firearms laws. Having an anti-gun activist
    like Holder in such a critical position would be very bad for gunowners.

    I am urging everyone to call Senators Web and Warner to ask that they
    vote against confirmation of Holder and that if there is a filibuster,
    that they not support ending the filibuster.

    Eric Holder has many problems from his days as Janet Reno's deputy,
    but his biggest problem should be his unconstitutional position on gun
    ownership. Anyone seeking more information about Holder's activities
    against the Second Amendment can find it at our web site:

    www.FirearmsCoalition.org

    Activists can reach Senators Webb and Warner at the following:

    Senator Mark Warner
    Phone: (202) 224-2023
    WebMail: http://warner.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm

    Senator Jim Webb
    Phone: (202) 224-4024
    WebMail: http://webb.senate.gov/contact/

    The vote is scheduled for Monday so immediate action is needed!
    Thanks,

    Jeff Knox
    Director, The Firearms Coalition



    -------------------------------------------
    ************************************************** *************************
    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
    dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
    Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
    ************************************************** *************************

  2. #2
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    W.E.G. wrote:
    VA-ALERT: Good night for Gun Owners! 1/29/09

    HB 2144, Delegate Nutter, would restrict access to the concealed
    permit holder list from the State Police, but leaves a huge loophole
    for circuit courts to give out that same information for their
    jurisdiction. PASSED OUT OF SUBCOMMITTEE. I said that VCDL didn't
    like the bill because of the huge loophole. Nutter said he wanted to
    cement the protection that the Attorney General had provided on the
    State Police giving out the list.
    The bill passed unmodified. (Go
    figure.) We'll be back on this one. If any of you see a paper
    putting our permit holder information, let me know and we will put
    together a huge email blast to the General Assembly (there are now
    9,200 of you on this email list).
    All in all, a very good day.

    However, the gaping hole in the Nutter bill just makes my head want to explode. After reading the bold text above, which is similar to what Senator Houck said last summer in the FOIA Council Subcommittee that mindlessly sent the bill back to the full General Assembly this year, I just have to ask, why do they want to codify only a part of the opinion!?

    Here are two paragraphs from the Attorney General's opinion, which they claim they are trying to "cement" into law. My emphasis is added.

    First, at the beginning of the opinion:

    Response

    It is my opinion that the Department of State Police possesses the discretionary authority to release the names of concealed carry handgun permittees, including other associated personal information, pursuant to a request under The Virginia Freedom of Information Act. However, since such list of permittees will include names and other personal information of crime victims and witnesses, it is my opinion that the identities and locations of these persons should be protected in the interest of public safety. The Department has the responsibility to refrain from releasing sensitive personal information when the interests of public safety demand discretion. Further, it is my opinion that the express language of §18.2-308(K) limits the use of concealed carry permit information to law-enforcement personnel for investigative purposes.
    Then again, at the end of the opinion:

    Conclusion

    Accordingly, it is my opinion that the Department of State Police possesses the discretionary authority to release the names of concealed carry handgun permittees, including other associated personal information, pursuant to a request under The Virginia Freedom of Information Act. However, since such list of permittees will include names and other personal information of crime victims and witnesses, it is my opinion that the identities and locations of these persons should be protected in the interest of public safety. The Department has the responsibility to refrain from releasing sensitive personal information when the interests of public safety demand discretion. Further, it is my opinion that the express language of §18.2-308(K) limits the use of concealed carry permit information to law-enforcement personnel for investigative purposes.
    Nearly identical text, repeated twice in the three page opinion, found here.

    How can the Clerk of the Court, releasing this information for publication in the local newspaper possibly be consistent with "limited... to law-enforcement personnel for investigative purposes"?

    The entire reason for restricting the State Police from releasing this information is to protect the safety of the public. Again, how do Clerks feeding the local newspapers with this information on a regular basis, possibly keep the public "safe"?

    Nobody seems to have an explanation as to why they seem to want to cement into code only one half of the opinion, leaving the courthouse side wide open for public dissemination and publication in your local newspaper for any criminal to see and come invade your home and steal your firearms. Even from an anti-gun perspective, this does not seem like such a good idea.

    Ok, I'm off my rant for the moment.

    I was fortunate enough to sit down one-on-one with my Delegate (Speaker Howell) and share my thoughts on this for about 10 minutes during the afternoon on the 19th, and he was very cordial and understanding about the problem. I believe if we could get the bill amended to close both ends, he would support it.

    TFred


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