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Pre-filed picks: Legislation to watch

Rosalind Helderman

An occasional blog feature on intriguing legislative proposals already pre-filed by members of the General Assembly for consideration when the legislature convenes Jan. 13.

Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell (R) said repeatedly during the campaign that he supported repealing the law that limits Virginians' handgun purchases to one weapon a month. As a delegate, McDonnell had voted for the measure, and his shift was thought to help secure him the endorsement of the NRA.

Now he gets a chance to show how strongly he supports repeal. Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) has filed a bill that would repeal the law, which was adopted during Gov. Doug Wilder's tenure and has always been among the Democrat's top priorities. Will McDonnell push for the bill's adoption?

Lingamfelter's bill is only one of several proposals dealing with guns that have made their way into the legislative hopper. Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) has filed a bill that would allow the carrying of guns in courthouses when the facilities are being used for non-judicial purposes. And Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) is sponsoring a bill to allow full-time faculty members who hold concealed-weapons permits to carry guns on the campuses of public universities.

Carrying weapons on college campuses is now forbidden, which rankles many gun-rights proponents. The Virginia Tech shootings are often used by both sides in this debate to support their positions. Some say the tragedy demonstrates that guns have no place on campus; others believe shooter Seung-Hui Cho would have been brought down before killing so many victims if more people on campus were armed.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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