Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Friday, December 6, 2019

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Michael Bloomberg’s bought-and-paid-for new Virginia majorities have wasted no time introducing an extremist bill that would make the Commonwealth one of the most hostile states for law-abiding gun owners.

House Bill 2, introduced by Delegate Kenneth R. Plum (D-36), would criminalize almost all private transfers of firearms. Not merely restricted to doing so for sales, Virginians would be required to seek government permission to gift, trade, and even temporarily lend firearms to close friends and extended family. The legislation states that:

“[n]o person shall sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm” without first subjecting the transferee to a state police background check to be conducted at a licensed firearms dealer.

Under this extreme legislation, even lending a brother your rifle for a deer hunt or letting your daughter borrow a handgun for self-defense could land otherwise law-abiding Virginians with a felony conviction and up to 5 years in jail. Additionally, the recipient could face up to a full year of incarceration.

Background checks don’t stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers. Background checks simply do not prevent criminals from obtaining illegal firearms.

Not only would the proposed legislation criminalize harmless acts by law-abiding gun owners, severely hindering Virginian’s Second Amendment rights, it wouldn’t even make us any safer.

The legislation does include some exemptions, but the exemptions important to most gun-owners are incredibly narrow.

1. The transfer is a bona fide gift made by or to a member of a transferor's immediate family as defined in § 6.2-1300;

VA Code Ann. § 6.2-1300 defines “immediate family” as, “the individuals in a household who are related by blood, marriage, or other recognized family relationship” and “regardless of their place of residence, the children, grandchildren, grandparents, parents, siblings, and spouse of an individual.” Under HB 2, an uncle could not gift a niece that lives in a separate household a .22 rifle without involving the state.

Worse, this narrow “immediate family” exception is limited to a “bona fide gift.” Therefore, even immediate family members could not temporarily loan or sell firearms to each other without government interference. For example, a servicemember could not lend his wife his personal firearm for self-defense for while he is deployed overseas without involving the government.

6. The transfer is temporary and is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm;

While this may seem like a useful exemption, in Virginia, imminent threat is defined as “an immediate, real threat to one’s safety.” The Virginia Supreme Court has found that “a generalized fear of danger” is not sufficient. Even if someone was a recent victim of a crime or subject to a generalized or vague threat of violence, loaning them a gun would be illegal under the proposed legislation.

If a mother lent her daughter, who had been vaguely threatened, her pistol for self-defense without first undergoing an onerous background check, the mother could face felony charges under the proposed law.

7. The transfer is temporary and occurs within the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm;

This exemption would cover some types of informal shooting and gun handling scenarios. However, it is exceedingly narrow due to the “within the continuous presence” requirement.

For instance, a person could not permit their friend to borrow a firearm for a joint hunting trip unless they remained in the continual presence of one another throughout the entire hunt. This means that the two individuals could not hunt in separate duck blinds, or from different tree stands. Additionally, if an individual lent their friend a firearm in order to shoot together on private property, the owner would be committing a felony even if they went to the bathroom for five minutes.

10. The transfer occurs at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting, for use during target practice, a firearms safety or training course or class, a shooting competition, or any similar lawful activity.

This shooting sports exemption is also limited. The contemplated transfer must occur “at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting.” A friend or relative could not allow an individual to borrow a firearm to participate in the shooting sports or a firearm educational opportunity unless they accompany the individual to the range and transfer the firearm on its premises. The legislation provides no exemption whereby a friend or family member could allow an individual to borrow a firearm to hunt, unless they at all times accompany the borrower.

It is obvious from the everyday benign conduct which HB 2 would criminalize that Plum’s goal is to harass law-abiding gun owners rather than prevent violent crime. Furthermore, there is hard evidence that such laws do not stop criminals.

This year, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine (named after new legislature’s bankroller) found that comprehensive background checks and prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors “were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide.”

Now more than ever, all Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against Bloomberg-backed gun control in the Old Dominion. Stay tuned to www.nraila.org for updates. In the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat this and other terrible legislation.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Virginia private transfers
TRENDING NOW
Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State ...

Nebraska: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Readying Action on “Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Bill

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Nebraska: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Readying Action on “Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Bill

“Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Legislation, Legislative Bill 58, is currently awaiting action in the Judiciary Committee. 

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation ...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Florida Alert! "Bill Galvano is Trying to Give Bloomberg his Moneys Worth"

"Bill Galvano is trying to give Bloomberg his moneys worth by shoving this gun control bill down the Senate’s throat. That is not what a true conservative does. He is a RINO. Floridians deserve better! ...

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

In recent weeks NRA-ILA informed Virginia gun owners about gun control funding included in the state budget bill. The budget legislation, HB30, included a $250,000 appropriation to the Corrections Special Reserve Fund in order to provide for the ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.