As the fourth week of our legislative session drew to a close, all three pieces of legislation comprising Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s gun deal passed the Senate. The first component of the deal – SB610, introduced by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) – restores and expands interstate reciprocity for the concealed carry of firearms, reversing Attorney General Mark Herring’s December decision that severed agreements to honor concealed handgun permits (CHPs) from 25 states with weaker restrictions than the Commonwealth.
Under SB610, any CHP holder who is at least 21 will be permitted to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia as long as their state honors a Virginia CHP. I believe this is a mistake, and consequently I joined 12 other senators to oppose removing prohibitions designed to prevent possession of CHPs by persons who would otherwise be denied a Virginia permit. This bill passed 27-13 despite our objections.
Encouragingly, the other two parts of the gun deal that passed the Senate are much better pieces of legislation than the first one. SB49, sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Northern Fairfax), will prohibit those subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm; this passed 31-7. The third piece – SB715, sponsored by Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) – requires the State Police to be available at gun shows to provide background checks at the seller’s request and allows private gun vendors the ability to perform background checks. This measure passed 34-5.
While not part of the broader gun deal, my bill SB300 – which would prohibit intoxicated persons from carrying a loaded weapon – has passed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and has been sent to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.
Although I recognize that we did not get everything we wanted in the gun deal, two of these bills represent a major step forward for the Commonwealth and reflect compromise on an issue few would have expected we could find common ground. This would not have been possible without the leadership of Attorney General Mark Herring, who was able to bring the NRA to the table for the first time in recent memory. However, we must continue working toward achieving more common-sense gun safety reforms, and I am committed to doing everything I can to address this growing problem.
Thanks to everyone who attended my town hall meetings in Arlington and Alexandria. I will have additional meetings on Saturday, Feb. 20 and I hope you can join me at one:
- Lee District: Saturday, Feb. 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Hayfield Elementary School – 7633 Telegraph Road, Alexandria
with Sen. Scott Surovell, Del. Mark Sickles and Del. Paul Krizek
- Mt. Vernon: Saturday, Feb. 20, 12:30-2 p.m.
Whitman Middle School – 2500 Parkers Lane, Alexandria
with Sen. Scott Surovell and Del. Paul Krizek
Please share your thoughts on legislation and other state-related matters with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @AdamEbbin and Facebook at www.facebook.com/EbbinCampaign. You can sign up for my weekly email updates at www.AdamEbbin.com.
It is my continued honor to represent the citizens of the 30th Senate District.