A bill has been pre-filed in Virginia’s State House that aims to repeal gun restrictions.
House Bill 1428 is being led by Republican Del. Dave LaRock and state Sens. Amanda Chase and Frank M. Ruff. They are seeking to repeal an existing law that makes it unlawful for individuals to carry certain loaded semi-automatic center-fire rifles, pistols, or shotguns on public streets, roads, alleys, sidewalks, public right-of-ways, public parks, or “any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public” in the cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. The law also applies to certain counties, including Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, and Prince William.
Law enforcement officers and licensed security guards are not required to conform to this law, however, nor are people who have a valid concealed handgun permit. Those who go to hunting ranges to participate in lawful hunting and recreational shooting are also exempt.
House Bill 1427 was also pre-filed by LaRock in early December. This second bill would remove a law that allows local authorities to prohibit residents from carrying firearms in public parks and community centers, public streets, and sidewalks owned by local municipalities.
LaRock defended both bill’s ability to keep people safer, saying,
“Both of these current Virginia laws have the effect of making people less safe by depriving them of the right and ability to defend themselves without unnecessary government interference.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision which ruled that New York could not prohibit concealed carry paved the way for the bills.
LaRock cited the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen court case when mentioning repealing the gun control bills, noting that it “would be especially appropriate considering the Bruen decision.”
Gun control is a controversial topic, which will make passing the Republican-penned bills a battle. Virginia lawmakers will be back in session on January 11. LaRock’s bills have not yet received a committee assignment in the politically-divided General Assembly. The Democrats and Republicans both hold a slim majority, Republicans in the House of Delegates and Democrats in the state Senate.