Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gun Show "Loophole" Bills Update

As Sebastian notes, a measure to close the "gun show loophole" failed in the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee. Though this was not the only legislation trying to shut down private sales at gun shows, it likely means that the effort is dead this year.

HB1234, the bill that was voted down, and SB595, its Senate companion, have a very broad definition of "firearms show vendor" that included anyone who sold any firearm at a gun show, including in the parking lot outside. This was likely prompted by the 20/20 segment where Omar Samaha was able to buy a gun in a gun show parking lot. Good riddance.

However, HB520 is still sitting in the same subcommittee. It requires anyone who arranges for a fixed location from which to sell, transfer, or exchange firearms at a gun show to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). This isn't a sea change - I'm pretty sure most people with booths have FFL's already. However, it requires anyone who sells three or more firearms, regardless of having a booth or not, to have an FFL. While I think that the gun show push is an uphill one, this bill has an incrementalist approach that gun rights supporters need to watch out for.

As always, the VCDL Legislation Tracking Tool is a good place to keep an eye on these things.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Virginia Church Carry Ban

One of the proposed bills (HB 106) in the Virginia legislature repeals both the restaurant carry ban and the ban on carrying a concealed handgun at a house of worship where services are occurring "without good and sufficient reason."

When I teach my legal seminars, I am up front about the church carry ban. I have no idea what constitutes a "good and sufficient reason." Neither does anybody else.

I strongly suspect that this is a variation of the "Black Codes" that Uncle and Thirdpower are highlighting. The Black Codes kept Blacks disarmed in the South after Reconstruction faded away. Georgia was one of the first states to offer a handgun carry permit - an excellent way to restrict who was carrying based on race. Bans on carrying to church grew out of the fact that once Blacks had guns, the Klan wanted a place where Blacks could be assembled and disarmed.

I've wanted to find the legislative history on this statute for a while and write a law review article on how its discriminatory nature makes it unconstitutional. I'd be happy if they just repealed it instead.

Good Year for Gun Rights

With a gun freedom-friendly governor in office and a bevy of gun bills (both good and bad) this year promises to be an interesting one in Virginia gun legislation. The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has a handy legislation tracker here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Roundup on VCDL Lobby Day

Sailor Curt has a roundup of the 2010 Lobby Day in Richmond. With a gun-friendly majority and McDonnell in office, I hope for a good year in Virginia gun legislation.

Indiana Parking Lot Bill

Indiana has a bill pending that would allow employees to keep a firearm in their car on the employer's parking lot. Caleb has the rundown with some relevant links from Oklahoma, Florida, and the Department of Labor.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weapon of Mass Destruction or Sawed-Off Shotgun? Yes!

Tam has a post up on the somewhat goofy terminology statutes use to define explosives. A man in Arkansas set off a car bomb and was charged with use of a "weapon of mass destruction." Same with the Undie-Bomber. No nukes involved in either case.

I'll give you one better. North Carolina defines a litany of things as a "weapon of mass destruction" - including short-barreled rifles and shotguns. It's not a post-9/11 development, either. Here's a pre-9/11 case interpreting the statute on appeal.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg's Blueprint for Gun Control

Pretty scary stuff - Bloomberg's plan is to push the regulatory powers over firearms to the max, which doesn't require a vote in Congress. Via Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell.

Barista pulls gun on would-be robber

Don't mess with this barista. Video at the link.

Security Guard Attacks Open Carrier

Yes, you read that right. An open carrier in Georgia gets attacked by a security guard at a big box store. The OC'er promptly knocked out the guard and the cops show. Reading through the posts (so you don't have to) the OC'er won't be charged with anything.

Back to the blog!

I've been away from the blog for a while - my day job kept me away - but I'm back.