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Panel kills 1 school safety bill, weakens another

Tuesday - 2/19/2013, 2:57am  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A panel of Virginia lawmakers has killed one school safety bill and weakened another.

The bills were recommended by a task force appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell after December's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

One bill would have created a new offense for entering a school while armed or while carrying an explosive device with the intent to commit a violent felony. The House Courts of Justice Committee tabled that measure Monday.

The second bill increases the penalty for straw purchases of guns. The panel reduced the new sentence from up to 10 years to a one-year mandatory minimum. Straw purchases occur when a person legally buys a gun with the intent to transfer it to someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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