06 February 2007

SB 827

Two days ago, I posted about Virginia Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis' legislation, SB 827 that died in committee. I promised to dissect it and provide some commentary regarding why it deserved to die. Supporters of the bill would point out one thing that I will address in due time. Here is my take on Senate Bill 827.The first section of the bill relates to so-called civil immunity for sellers of firearms. I shall quote the entire section, so bear with me:

Section 8.01-226.12. Civil Immunity for sellers in firearms.
Any person who sells, transfers, or trades a firearm shall not be liable for any claim arising from , or in any way related to, the use of the firearm by the purchaser or transferee in the commission of any crime, provided that the seller has obtained a criminal history record information check as set out in Section 18.2-308.2:2 that show that the purchaser or transferee is not prohibited from possessing or transferring a firearm by state or federal law, in absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct on the part of the seller.

Supporters of this bill would have us believe that the completion of a criminal history check by a private seller is necessary to reduce gun violence. Hogwash. Need a prime example? Washington, DC is supposedly a weapons free zone. Go ask the car jacker or the murderer where he got his firearm. I would surmise that they weren't procurred from a gun show, although I'm sure a fair amount are. This promise of civil immunity is really a trade off.It is a balance of probability that I am not willing to gamble my personal safety on.

I'm no lawyer nor am I a legislator, but this section is poorly constructed in my opinion. The inclusion of the word "trades" is prohibitive because of the undue restrictions it places upon the private seller. By seller, I am referring to the private possessor (usually an individual) of a firearm who intends to sell the firearm. The process of trading a gun carries an inherent trust between two parties. I've traded two guns through the years to friends and yes, family members. In other words, to make civil immunity contingent upon the completion of a criminal history check is to needlessly hamstring the law-abiding gun owners who want to trade a gun without monetary compensation.

How would the state pay for the huge amount of red tape, overhead and head aches with the additional calls coming into the state call center? Oh, that's right we have Timmy Boy in Richmond who promises the world and then skins our wallets.I'll continue with Section 2 of the Bill later this evening. Chew on this and see what you think. I'll admit to being a hardcore 2nd Amendment man with no compromise.

1 comment:

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