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Virginia House Pass Bills to Relax State Gun Laws

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By Kamika Dunlap on February 22, 2010 10:10 AM

Virginia House lawmakers have pushed through a series of bills making it easier to buy and carry guns.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the 20 gun-related bills include lifting the ban on buying more than one gun a month, allow guns to be taken into bars, emergency shelters and locked in cars. In addition, new legislation would allow the names of applicants for concealed handgun permits to remain undisclosed to the public unless the applicant gives written consent for disclosure of the application.

Most of the bills passed out of the gun-friendly House of Delegates, but may face more scrutiny in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Some say the bills were able to muster enough votes with backing from nearly $1 million the National Rifle Association spent on Virginia elections last year.

The package of bills relaxes state gun laws and has sparked a renewed debate around the 2nd Amendment.

Several lawmakers worry that the legal changes could make Virginia the source of gun purchases for across-state sales.

Like Virginia, other states have recently proposed broad legislation around firearms law.

For example, Georgia lawmakers could overhaul current Georgia gun laws and allow weapons just about anywhere -- even handguns on college campuses, as previously discussed.

Also, Arizona's new state laws have rekindled the debate about guns on campus. As previously discussed, a new state law permitting concealed guns in bars also allows those licensed to carry concealed weapons the right to keep loaded guns in locked cars at work or on state college campuses.

Some of Virginia's bills passed by the House would:

  • Allow those with a concealed carry permit to take hidden guns into restaurants that sell alcohol as long as they don't drink. The Senate also passed this bill.
  • Allow concealed handgun permit holders to renew their permit by mail. (This also passed the Senate.)
  • Allow a retired law enforcement officer to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
  • Prohibit localities from requiring fingerprints for a concealed carry permit.

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