Virginia –-(Ammoland.com)- After a long brutal day of accosting Senators and Delegates in the hallway and testifying in two committee’s both in the House and Senate we hopefully have fix that constitutional pro-gun attorney’s are looking at.
In the House, a minor amendment was made to force the bill back to Senate for a conference committee to fix the problem.
I literally walked into the committee as they were about to vote on the bill without an amendment.
But after getting the attention of the chairman, I explained the problem and they made the motion to amend to give time to fix the bill on the House side.
In the Senate, my senator, Mark Obenshain, made the following amendment.
“This section shall not be construed to limit, withdraw or overturn any defense or immunity already in existing in statutory or common law or to affect any claim prior to the effective date of this law.”
You see, many have argued that Virginia common law is some of the best in the United States and that messing with the common law (i.e. court precedent law) may have bad unintended consequences.
Believe it or not, the commonwealth attorney’s association, which had formally been neutral on the bill, came out against it based on the same concerns.
As written, the statute would add the additional burden of proving that an overt action was made toward you beyond unlawfully entering your home and causing a reasonable person fear being harmed.
The statue could also limit self defense to homes based on the words “in your home.”
With the existing amendment I believe we have fixed the bill but am then left wondering what have we accomplished.
My Delegate, who will be a House conference committee member has promised to include me in on the process.
For now, the safest course is to email or call your delegate and senator and tell them NOT to support any version of castle doctrine without Senator Mark Obenshain’s amendment.
You can cut, copy and paste the following to your delegate and senator.
Please do not support any version of the castle doctrine bills HB 48 or SB 4 without Senator Obenshains’s amendment that says, “This section shall not be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already in existing statutory law or common law or to affect any claim prior to the effective date of this law”.
About Virginia Gun Owners Coalition
Virginia Gun Owners Coalition is Virginia’s only no-compromise, non-partisan gun lobby patterned after Gun Owners of America on Capitol Hill. VGOC is a non-profit tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. Because we lobby politicians to protect and defend the 2nd Amendment, contributions are not tax deductible for IRS purposes. Visit: www.vgoc.org