December 10, 2023

Virginia Proposing Bill To Take Control of Firearms Away From Counties

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A bill proposed by Delegate Clarke N. Hogan (R) Halifax, would take the control of discharging firearms away from the county governments and put it into the hands of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

An article written in the Times Dispatch by Melody Martin said,

Joel Partridge, state liaison for the National Rifle Association of America, said the bill would protect hunting and sport-shooting facilities from residential growth and local governments that “capriciously, randomly, arbitrarily” set regulations. He said the state game department would be better qualified to address issues of hunting and firearm safety statewide.

“What we’ve seen is an uptick – especially at the board of supervisors level – of activity aimed at eliminating opportunities to hunt and sport shoot where it really wasn’t necessary,” Partridge said.

Opponents of the bill said it would take away the ability of the local governments to protect it’s citizens.

“Under this bill, an individual who owns a .38 can go out in his or her backyard on an eighth of an acre lot and practice target shooting in any hour . . . while there are children playing in the neighborhood,” Henrico County legislative liaison Linda Robinson said. “This would be a real public safety issue.”

Resident Joe Hooker of Hanover County added,

“I’m against you taking away my right to go to my supervisors and tell them my problems,” Hooker said. “I just don’t feel that’s right.”

The Fish and Game Department reserved comment for later as this bill was all new to them and they needed time to study it and respond.

Tom Remington