New Virginia Gun Laws Take Effect July 1st, 2011

VA Capitol

UPDATE:  The 2012 update is available!

While this has been a landmark year for gun rights across the country with Wisconsin passing a carry bill and Wyoming moving to constitutional carry, Virginia continues to lead the way by passing pro-gun bills at an astonishing rate.  Lead by the tireless efforts of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Virginia gun owners have much to look forward to on July 1st.

Shooting Air Guns Safely on Private Property

SB 757 allows someone on private property to be able to discharge an air gun (e.g. BB, Airsoft, or paintball) as long as they have permission from the property owner to do so and reasonable care is taken to ensure that the projectile does not cross the bounds of the property. Any local ordinances to the contrary, which many localities have, are preempted.

Adding a Firearm to the List of Items Protected From the Creditor Process

SB 839 amends Virginia’s Homestead laws to add one firearm, not to exceed $3,000 in value, to the list of items that every householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from creditor process.  This is an astonishingly important bill from a legal and public policy perspective because it recognizes that a firearm is an essential element of a citizens ‘homestead’, on par with the family bible.

Improvements to the Concealed Handgun Permit Issuance System

HB 1552 amends the language relating to the issuance of de facto concealed handgun permits. Current law states that if a court does not issue a permit or find that the applicant is disqualified, within 45 days of receipt of the application, the clerk is to certify the application and send it to the applicant. The certified application then serves as a de facto permit until the actual permit is issued or the applicant is found to be disqualified. This bill requires the clerk to mail or e-mail the certified application to the applicant within five business days of the expiration of the 45-day period.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Handgun Carry Permit

HB 1856 requires the Circuit Court Clerk to replace a lost or stolen permit within ten days of getting a notarized statement of the loss for a fee of $5

Allowing Members of the Military to Use Pentagon Orders to Prove Residency

HB 1857 clarifies that a member of the military may provide permanent orders assigning him to the Pentagon for purposes of providing documentation of residency when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Protection From Abuse of Preliminary Protective Orders

HB 1779 makes the prohibition on purchasing and transporting a firearm applicable to persons subject to preliminary protective orders only after a petition alleging abuse or neglect has been filed. Under current law, persons subject to a preliminary protective order are prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm regardless of any allegation which has the potential for significant abuse.

Other Due Process Improvements

HB 1699 clarifies the process by which a person acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity, adjudicated legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated, or involuntarily admitted or ordered to outpatient treatment may petition the courts for relief from disability.

HB 1411 provides that a person convicted of reckless handling of a firearm while hunting may lose their right to hunt and trap for a period of 1 to 5 years.  Current law allows up to a lifetime hunting and trapping prohibition for a first conviction of reckless handling of a firearm while hunting.

© 2011, John Pierce. All rights reserved.


About John Pierce

Monachus Lex is written by Virginia attorney John Pierce. John is a life-long gun rights advocate, an NRA certified instructor and co-founder of the nationwide gun rights group OpenCarry.org.

He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems, an MBA from George Mason University and is a 2012 Honors Graduate of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN.

Professionally, John is a member of the American Bar Association Second Amendment Civil Rights Litigation Subcommittee and his writings have been published by the ABA Civil Rights Litigation Committee and the ABA Minority Trial Lawyer Committee.

In addition, his open carry advocacy has been featured on Nightline and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
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2 Responses to New Virginia Gun Laws Take Effect July 1st, 2011

  1. Pingback: New Virginia Gun Laws Taking Effect July 1st, 2012 | Monachus Lex

  2. Pingback: The Definitive Guide to Virginia’s Air Gun Laws | Monachus Lex

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