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VACP Positions on Gun Legislation Proposed for 2019 Special Session of the Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police has taken the following positions on certain legislation under consideration in the Special Session:
NOTE: The 2019 Special Session that was convened on Tuesday, July 9 was adjourned after 2 hours until November 18. No action was taken on any of the proposed legislation except to send the bills to the Virginia Crime Commission for study. 
https://www.wavy.com/news/politics/virginia-politics/special-session-on-gun-control-in-richmond/


VACP Positions on Special Session 2019 Legislation
 
  • HB 4002 Concealed handguns; carrying with a permit by employees of any agency of the Commonwealth, etc. OPPOSE – localities should have the authority to adopt safety ordinances that support the will of the people in those communities.  The last thing we need is to have to respond in an environment where we can't differentiate between friend from foe. An active shooter scene is already chaotic, this just adds to the chaos. Also, just because you have a concealed weapon permit doesn't mean you will know how to respond in a high stressed situation. You can get a concealed weapons permit without even ever firing a gun. Here's a prime case http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOn9LvmT5g 

  • HB 4003 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties. Red flag law that's been passed in a number of other states.  We SUPPORT IN CONCEPT, as long as 2nd amendment rights aren't violated.  This should track with a finding of mental incompetence that currently is required under federal law (SB 4012)

  • HB 4005 Firearms, ammunition, etc.; control by localities by governing possession, etc., within locality.  SUPPORT the best bill (this is one among several) that allows localities to have the authority to provide for limited controls to protect public properties.  This is allowed in federal buildings and courthouses. OPPOSE the bills that prohibit localities from exercising such authority (HB 4007, SB 4016, SB 4001, SB 4008, SB 4013 are other bills in this collective group)

  • HB 4006, SB 4017 Firearms; allowing access to minors, penalty. SUPPORT – children should be protected from potential harm from a dangerous object.  People have to protect children from access to “attractive nuisances” such as swimming pools and poisonous household products.  This falls into that same policy arena.

  • HB 4009, SB 4018, SB 4003, HB 4020 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty. SUPPORT

  • HB 4011 Firearms; reporting those lost or stolen, civil penalty. (Also SB 4021) SUPPORT – This bill should track the rationale in existing Code that requires the reporting of missing explosives  § 27-97.1. Reports of stolen explosives. Any person holding a permit for the manufacture, storage, handling, use or sale of explosives issued in accordance with the provisions of the Code shall report to the office of the chief arson investigator for the Commonwealth as well as the chief local law-enforcement official any theft or other unauthorized taking or disappearance of any explosives or blasting devices from their inventory. An initial verbal report shall be made within three days of the discovery of the taking or disappearance. A subsequent written report shall be filed within such time, and in such form, as is specified by the chief arson investigator.  Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by the same penalties applicable to violations of the Fire Prevention Code. 1988, c. 340.

  • HB 4012 Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center; school safety mobile application. NO POSITION - Uncertain whether this would be helpful

  • HB 4015, SB 4019 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty. SUPPORT

  • HB 4018 Use or display of firearm in committing felony; firearm silencer; penalty. SUPPORT - This makes more sense that a total ban, which we do not support.  This tracks with the enhanced penalty for the use of body armor in the commission of a felony. § 18.2-287.2. Wearing of body armor while committing a crime; penalty.  Any person who, while committing a crime of violence as defined in § 18.2-288 (2) or a felony violation of § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a) 2 or 3 of § 18.2-248.1, has in his possession a firearm or knife and is wearing body armor designed to diminish the effect of the impact of a bullet or projectile shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.  1990, c. 936; 1997, c. 311.

  • HB 4019 Certain public school buildings and buildings owned by localities; certain detection and alerting. VERY EXPENSIVE – SHOULD BE STUDIED

  • HB 4021 Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, trigger activator – Does this track with the federal regulation re: bump stocks? (https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/bump-stocks)

  • SB 4015 Public schools; firearm safety education program. OPPOSE – law enforcement officers are not teachers, this would be a very expensive program that would tax our law enforcement agencies at a time when they don't have enough personnel for their primary responsibilities.  This educational responsibility belongs with parents, not the school system.

  • SB 4004 Firearms; brandishing, etc., at a law-enforcement officer, penalty. SUPPORT

  • SB 4009 Employment; incidents of workplace violence.  THIS NEEDS WORK – reporting should be to a campus police department if the incident occurs at a college or university with a police department.

  • SB 4010 Public property; security screening procedures. SUPPORT

  • SB 4011 Volunteer school security officers; authorization by local school boards, etc.  THIS ONE RAISES CONCERNS unless the local law enforcement agency has specific knowledge of these security officers, especially in the event of a critical incident response.

  • SB 4014 Denial of a concealed handgun permit; entry into Virginia Criminal Information Network. SUPPORT

  • SB 4020 Concealed handgun permit; disqualifications; assault, assault and battery, sexual battery. SUPPORT

 
For more information on the VACP's positions on legislation, contact:
 
Ms. Dana G. Schrad, Executive Director
Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation, Inc.
Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
Email: dana@vachiefs.org
Mobile: 804-338-9512

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