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January 12, 2017

House panel shoots down banning guns in libraries

The (library) staff strongly feels that a library should be used as a reading circle and that schools and libraries are inappropriate places to openly carry firearms.
— Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond
2017 General Assembly
• Convenes: Noon Wednesday, Jan. 11

• Adjourns: Saturday, Feb. 25

• Website: virginiageneralassembly.gov


Fauquier’s legislators


• Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27th/Upperville).

• Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

• Del. Scott Limgamfelter (R-31st/Woodbridge).

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Fredericksburg).
By Nick Versaw
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A House subcommittee Thursday shot down a bill to allow libraries owned or operated by local governments to ban firearms from their premises.

On a 4-1 voice vote, Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee recommended tabling HB 1418. The bill, proposed by Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, sought to allow localities to adopt ordinances to prohibit the carrying firearms in public libraries.

> Text of bill at bottom of story

“The (library) staff strongly feels that a library should be used as a reading circle and that schools and libraries are inappropriate places to openly carry firearms,” Del. McQuinn said. “We know that a lot of times accidents are waiting to happen, and God forbid that happens in a public library.”

Tanya Francis, a resident of Richmond’s North Side and a Richmond Public Library board member, echoed Del. McQuinn’s statements.

“We have to have these laws place in order to hold these people accountable if something were to happen,” Ms. Francis said. “We have a law to cover the schools, and to me, the library is an extension of the school. This law would capture that.”

Lori Haas, Virginia state director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, also spoke in favor of the bill.

“Gun homicides in Richmond, Roanoke, Portsmouth, Newport News and other localities are on the rise,” Ms. Haas said. “There are certain circumstances where we need to give localities some control over innovative ways to deal with gun violence.”

Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, questioned Ms. Haas’s statement. Del. Gilbert, a member of the subcommittee, said he believes Del. McQuinn’s bill would do little to combat gun violence, asserting that it would “not stop those bent on homicide.”

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, joined Del. Gilbert in opposition.

“It is a bill in search of a problem,” Mr. Van Cleave said. “We haven’t been having problems in libraries. (The Citizens Defense League) holds meetings in libraries, and it’s always been well accommodated. It’s a public meeting place.”

He said such laws would be a step backward for the state.

“If we let localities start deciding on their own to ban guns, we’re back to the bad old days, prior to 2004, where a gun owner had to have a map of every locality to try to figure out where he could or couldn’t carry a gun,” he said.

“It’s so much better now. It’s nice and clean, and people can learn the gun laws and not worry about breaking them when they travel around the state.”

Virginia HB 1418 Regulating Guns in Libraries by Fauquier Now on Scribd


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mcm37 · January 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm
Why shouldn't individual cities, counties, and towns be able to determine for themselves whether guns are appropriate in their libraries?? Why should the state be involved in telling them what to do?
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