Committee defeats Democratic bills, advances Republican bills in series of mostly party-line votes

RICHMOND — In an afternoon meeting, the Senate Courts Committee advanced several bills that seek to roll back existing gun safety requirements. The committee also defeated many bills that aimed to create new protections. All of these votes took place along party lines or near-party lines.

Among the ideas the committee embraced:

  • effectively ending permit requirements for concealed carry — Sen. Dick Black’s (R - Loudoun) SB 48 was approved.
  • limiting law enforcement’s ability to share information about concealed carry permit holders — Sen. Richard Stuart’s (R - Stafford) SB 175 was approved.

Among the ideas the committee rejected:

  • closure of the gun show loophole — Sen. Louise Lucas’ (D - Portsmouth) SB 199 was defeated.
  • process to temporarily remove guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or others — Sen. George Barker’s (D - Fairfax) SB 411 was defeated.
  • requirement for in-person demonstration of competence by concealed carry permit seekers — Sen. Jeremy McPike’s (D - Prince William) SB 520 was defeated. (Sen. Dave Marsden’s (D - Fairfax) SB 186, a related bill that would (among other differences) have required demonstrations of competence to be renewed every five years, likewise failed.)
  • penalties for parents who give guns to very small children — Sen. Marsden’s SB 217, which would have penalized parents who knowingly give guns to children aged six or younger, and Sen. Adam Ebbin’s (D - Alexandria) SB 302, which would have done the same for children aged four or younger, were both defeated.
  • civil liability for gun owners whose improperly secured guns are stolen and used in crimes — Sen. Marsden’s SB 95 was defeated.

Said Sen. McEachin, “Over and over, we’ve had tragic reminders that current law does too little to keep us safe. Instead of voting for common-sense safeguards, the committee chose to lower barriers and roll back protections. We should be doing more, not less, to keep guns away from those who would misuse them.”

Said Sen. Ebbin, “Parents should not be giving guns to toddlers. I am disappointed that the committee rejected my bill to stop that from happening — along with many other sensible and needed proposals. We have to do more to stop gun violence, but today’s meeting did the reverse.”

Said Sen. Marsden, “Most lawful gun owners take safety very seriously — but for the few who don’t, their actions can endanger the lives of others. Those few should be liable if, through their carelessness, others are injured or killed. I’m disappointed that the committee disagreed.”

Said Sen. McPike, “"We should expect that someone with a permit to conceal their weapon has demonstrated some basic firearms knowledge. Today in Virginia you only have to jump online for a few minutes to meet that requirement for a permit. I am disappointed that the committee rejected this idea, and so many other common-sense proposals to make Virginians safer.”

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