WASHINGTON – Virginia could require warning labels on some guns, lower fees for concealed carry permits or allow school security officers and others to be armed at schools.
These are proposals contained in just some of the hundreds of bills Virginia lawmakers will consider when the annual General Assembly session begins next week.
The gun-related bills can generate attention in Richmond, but with Republicans in control in the General Assembly, and a Democratic governor, the bills have often stalled in recent years.
A bill introduced by Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, would require any guns sold by licensed manufacturers, importers or dealers that do not come with a lock to have a warning label stating that the gun should be locked and kept away from children.
Two Republican delegates are again suggesting that certain people should be authorized to have guns in schools.
Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Woodbridge, proposes allowing school security officers who are retired law enforcement officers and who meet what would be newly created state training requirements to carry a gun if the local school board signs off.
A proposal from Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, would allow a school board or private school administrator to give any employees of a school permission to carry a concealed handgun on school property, providing that anyone who does so is certified and trained.
Several Republican lawmakers are backing bills that would reduce the fees required by those applying for concealed carry permits.
A bill filed by Lingamfelter would eliminate the up-to-$35 fee local law enforcement can charge for a background investigation and change some other parts of the fee structure.
Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Midlothian, submitted a narrower proposal to make a $10 fee charged for permits by the clerk of the court discretionary rather than mandatory.
Permit holders would be mailed or emailed notice that their permit needs to be renewed under another proposal.
Other weapons bills:
- Would permit the sale, trade or gift of switchblades in Virginia, and allow the knives to be carried for professional or recreational purposes;
- Allow local governments to ban guns in public libraries;
- Make it a crime for a person who runs a business selling guns but who is not a licensed dealer to sell a gun without a background check.
Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, wants to require anyone who legally has a gun (other than antique weapons) to report if the gun is lost or stolen within a day of discovering it is gone.
As part of a broader debate over the restoration of rights for felons following Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s moves last year to restore voting rights to tens of thousands of people, Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, has introduced a bill that provides that a person’s gun rights are restored when their other civil rights are restored.
That bill would be contingent on voters approving one of the constitutional amendments on the subject that have been proposed this year and could go to voters in 2018.
Some of the proposals would automatically restore the rights of so-called nonviolent felons, while either barring the restoration of rights for violent felons or allowing it only on a case by case basis.
Habeeb proposes defining violent felonies for that purpose as:
Violation of protective order; murder for hire; murder; homicide; voluntary manslaughter; killing a fetus; involuntary manslaughter as a result of DUI; involuntary manslaughter boating under the influence; Lynching; shooting, stabbing, etc. with intent to maim, kill etc, by mob; acts of violence by mob; participation in a criminal street gang; using or threatening force against an individual or member of his family or household to recruit him to join a criminal street gang; third or subsequent conviction of criminal street gang crimes; gang activity in a gang-free zone; committing, conspiring and aiding and abetting acts of terrorism; possession, manufacture, distribution of weapons of terrorism or hoax devices; an act of bioterrorism against agricultural crops or animals; abduction and kidnapping by a non-parent; abduction with intent to extort money or for immoral purpose; abduction by prisoners or committed persons; threatening, attempting or assisting abduction with intent to extort money, defile, or put any female under 16 into concubinage or prostitution; enticing another into a dwelling with intent to commit certain felonies; shooting, stabbing etc. with intent to maim, kill, etc.; malicious bodily injury to law-enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel; aggravated malicious wounding; reckless endangerment of others by throwing objects from places higher than one story; maiming, etc. of another resulting from driving while intoxicated; maiming, etc. of another resulting from operating a watercraft while intoxicated; strangulation of another without consent; malicious bodily injury by means of any caustic substance or agent or use of any explosive or fire; possession of infectious biological substances or radiological agents; shooting, etc. in committing or attempting a felony; use or display of a firearm in committing a felony; attempt to poison; adulteration of food, drink, drugs, cosmetics etc. with the intent to kill or injure; prisoners and probationers who inflict bodily injury; reckless handling of firearms that causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment; assault and battery; disarming a law-enforcement officer; assault and battery against a family or household member; robbery by violence or putting the person in fear of serious bodily harm; carjacking; extortion by threatening injury to the character, person, or property of another person; threats of death or bodily injury or threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property; threatening the governor or his immediate family; stalking; violation of protective orders; rape; carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years of age; carnal knowledge of prisoners or other offenders; forcible sodomy; object sexual penetration; aggravated sexual battery; infected sexual battery; attempted rape, forcible sodomy; object sexual penetration; aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery; a third misdemeanor sexual battery or attempted sexual battery conviction within ten years; convictions of multiple felony sexual assaults; burning or destroying an occupied structure; manufacture, possession use etc. of fire bombs or explosive materials or devices; burglary; entering at night or breaking and entering in the day with intent to commit murder, rape robbery, arson or certain other felonies or misdemeanors; armed bank robbery; personal trespass by computer (using a computer to computer network to cause physical injury to an individual); maliciously obstructing, removing or injuring any part of a canal, railroad, power lines or bridge whereby the life of any person is put in peril; maliciously shooting at or throwing missiles etc. at a train, car or vessel where life may be put in peril; maliciously destroying, injuring or removing a signal or flag used by a railroad where the life of any person is or may be put in peril; damage or trespass to public services or utilities; maliciously shooting a firearm in or at an occupied building where life may be put in peril; willfully discharging a firearm in any street in a city or town or in any place of public business or public gathering; willfully discharging a firearm on the buildings and grounds of any elementary, middle or high school (unless it is part of a school-approved program; setting a spring-triggered gun or other deadly weapon triggered by a trip wire or other contrivance; pointing, holding or brandishing a firearm or air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance in a manner that reasonably induces fear; brandishing a machete or other bladed weapon with intent to intimidate; shooting from a vehicle creating the risk or apprehension of injury or death; wearing of body armor while committing a crime; use of a machine gun for a crime of violence or aggressive purpose; possession or use of a “sawed-off” shotgun or rifle in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a crime of violence; use, attempted use or display in a threatening manner of a firearm in a elementary, middle or high school; violations of certain bans on transportation of firearms ammunition or other weapons by certain people convicted of felonies or adjudicated delinquent; selling or giving a firearm to someone prohibited from possessing or transporting it; straw purchase of a firearm; use or attempted use of restricted ammunition in the commission of a crime; possession of firearms while in possession of certain substances; illegal use of tear gas; prostitution and solicitation of prostitution; human trafficking; pimping (pandering); commercial sex trafficking; incest; abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult where it results in serious bodily injury, disease or death; willful abuse or neglect of children that leads to serious injury; indecent liberties with a minor; child pornography or showing it to minors; use of communications systems to facilitate solicitation of a minor; a second conviction for employing a minor in child pornography; rioting; unlawful assembly; conspiracy or incitement to riot; commission of certain offenses including resisting or aiding the rescue or escape of another from lawful custody in a county, city or town declared by the governor to be in a state of riot or insurrection; injury to property or persons by persons unlawfully or riotously assembled; burning a cross; burning an object with the intent of intimidating any person or group; placing a swastika on religious institutions; displaying a noose with the intent to intimidate; unlawful paramilitary activity for use in or furtherance of a civil disorder; obstruction of justice; delivering drugs or other controlled substances to prisoners; a prisoner escaping from jail; escape from a juvenile facility; escape of those committed to mental institutions; treason against Virginia; advocacy for any change by force violence or other unlawful means in the government of Virginia, its subdivisions or the United States; conspiring to incite one race to insurrection against another race; eluding police where the chase leads to the death of the officer; violation of secrecy rules for terror investigations tied to the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center; felonies committed by prisoners through the violation of rules including damaging facilities, possessing any weapon or drugs, or tampering with fire protection and sprinkler systems in the jail.