Reston, VA

Del. Ken Plum/File photoDel. Ken Plum’s (D-Reston) bill to require a background check for all gun purchases was defeated in a House subcommittee at the Virginia General Assembly session in Richmond on Thursday.

The bill had the support of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as well as several groups advocating for new Virginia gun laws.

HB 1604 would have added a definition of “firearms show vendor” or “vendor” and require that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show.

Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also required that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.

“Of course I am disappointed,” Plum said. “But the outcome was pre-ordained.  Four of the five members of the subcommittee have perfect or near-perfect ratings on the National Rifle Association scorecard. That same subcommittee defeated all the common sense gun safety bills including one to prohibit domestic abusers from having access to guns.”

On the Senate side, the Republican-led Courts of Justice committee earlier in the week killed off 10 gun bills, the majority of a gun control package introduced by McAuliffe. Among the dead bills, a bid to reinstate Virginia’s one-handgun-purchase a month law, which the General Assembly dismantled in 2012, and one that would take away concealed carry permits from owners behind on child support payments.

The Courts of Justice committee advanced several bills that will ease state codes for gun owners. Among them: one that allows lifetime concealed-carry permits rather than requiring re-registration every five years. Other bills allow the possession of weapons on private religious school campuses and allow people with concealed carry licenses to leave guns in their cars in public school parking lots.

However, many of the bills will still face a veto from McAuliffe if they pass the full General Assembly, the Newport News Daily Press reported.

Photo: Ken Plum/file photo

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