Now it’s dead

Tuesday, I reported that I had been a bit premature last Friday, in celebrating the death of the effort in Virginia to close the mythical “gun-show loophole.”

Today, though, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (chaired by the sponsor of the bill) voted it down 9-6 (actually, they referred it to the Virginia Crime Commission for further study–but that commission doesn’t meet until May, so the bill is dead for this year, at least).

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 9-6 this afternoon to reject a bill that would require criminal background checks for all firearms purchases at gun shows.

Sens. John Edwards and Roscoe Reynolds, Democrats from Roanoke and Henry County, respectively, joined the committee’s seven Republicans in voting against the bill.

Combined with a party-line committee vote in House of Delegates last week, the Senate vote would seem to doom the proposed legislation. The measure had been backed by Gov. Tim Kaine and families of Tech shooting victims who wanted to close Virginia’s “gun show loophole,” which exempts private, unlicensed sellers from a state law requiring criminal background checks for firearms purchases.

Even a last-ditch effort, on the part of Senator R. Creigh Deeds, to greatly dilute the onerousness of the bill was not enough to save it.

The amendment spelled out by Deeds at a Senate Court of Justice Committee hearing this afternoon, would change the proposed bill in three ways:
# It would exempt from a background check any prospective purchaser who already has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and who wants to buy a gun from an unlicensed seller.
# It would exempt from a background check any purchases of antique weapons from unlicensed sellers.
# It would make the background-check apply only on the leased premises of the gun show. Areas outside the leased space, such as parking lots, would be exempt from requiring background checks.

Way to go, Virginia. Now I eagerly await the anguished bleating of the anti-self-defense pantywaists.

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3 Responses to “Now it’s dead”

  1. Dustin Says:

    Wonderful news. Top marks to the Virginia legislature for looking at the facts rather than only at emotions.

  2. MrB398 Says:

    Amazing. A bill that would make it a little more dificult to buy firearms is rejected by the Senate. They claim thier not enough money. Yet they approve of spending $1 trillion on a war to liberate another country. This backgorund check law would have been a better use of the funds.

  3. 45superman Says:

    Yet they approve of spending $1 trillion on a war to liberate another country.

    The Virginia state senate is involved in decisions about war funding? One of us is a bit confused here, and I don’t think it’s me.

    Also, as far as I know, the objections to the Virginia gun show background check bill were based on rights issues (you know–that pesky Constitution getting in the way again), rather than funding.

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