In tomorrow’s business the VA Senate Local Government Committee will hear debate on the matter of SB268, a bill that would destroy Virginia’s preemption laws with regard to firearms.
Preemption laws are those passed at a statewide level that preclude local governments – counties, cities, towns, and anything smaller – from passing laws restricting firearms ownership and carriage beyond those set by state law. In other words, what’s held legal at the statewide level is legal everywhere in the state. Such laws prevent a confusing morass of laws that catch citizens unaware. A Virginian exercising his 2nd Amendment rights legally carrying his firearm into a parking lot of the local county clerk’s office in Fairfax might do precisely the same thing in Loudoun and find himself charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Making a simple mistaken turn onto a local government-owned access road could put someone in violation of a law that they would only have known about if they read what is sure to be an eye chart of a sign at the county line.
The Virginia preemption law was put in place to prevent precisely such a situation. This is a bad law and the committee needs to hear that from all of us who are concerned about such things. Thanks to the NRA-ILA, I don’t have to go through and cull the data on which Senators are on that committee. They’ve done it for me.
State Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-24)
State Senator Mark R. Herring (D-33)
State Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-2)
State Senator L. Louise Lucas- (D-18) – Committee Chair
State Senator David W. Marsden (D-37)
State Senator Henry L. Marsh, III (D-16)
State Senator Stephen H. Martin (R-11)
State Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-26)
State Senator Toddy Puller (D-36)
State Senator Frederick M. Quayle (R-13)
State Senator Wm. Roscoe Reynolds (D-20)
State Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-15)
State Senator Ralph K. Smith (R-22)
State Senator Richard H. Stuart (R-28)
State Senator Patricia S. Ticer (D-30)
Or, click here for the whole list of them.
For those of us in the 33rd Senate District, please note that our Senator, Mark Herring, is on this committee. Please write to him, if not all of them, and make sure he understands your viewpoint. I fully expect him to ignore mine, of course, but I’m going to make sure his office gets it.