Marching Orders Blog: 1/17/18

The Marching Orders blog is an occasional roundup of gun policy news about lawmakers, candidates, and legislation that we are tracking at LEAP Forward.

Endorsed Candidates

Daniel Biss (IL-Gov)

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Daniel Biss and his fellow Illinois Democratic Gubernatorial hopefuls took a series of question from the Associated Press on crime and violence in the city of Chicago. Biss laid out his overall approach thusly:

It's imperative to reduce all kinds of violence, including domestic violence by funding services to support victims and ensuring they can access health care, legal advice and other resources without their abusers knowing. We must also invest in our communities to prevent crime and violence, by fully funding schools and creating jobs. Biss is co-sponsoring the Gun Dealer Licensing Act to help "end the epidemic of gun violence ravaging our communities." He supports restricting the number of guns that can be purchased within a designated time span and enacting a Lethal Violence Order of Protection to disqualify domestic abusers from owning firearms. Biss also wants to fully fund prevention and intervention programs, expand access to mental health care and pass Medicare-for-All in Illinois.

Other questions included topics such as legislation to license gun sellers and assault weapons bans. Full responses can be found here

Legislation

Colorado

We're keeping a close eye on SB 52 in the Colorado Senate, as Republicans led by Owen Hill are trying yet again to overturn the state's ban on high-capacity magazines.

Hill and two other state representatives are behind Senate Bill 52 which would repeal the ban, allowing citizens of Colorado to buy any high capacity magazine. However, it does say that any magazine able to carry more than 15 rounds that were purchased before 2013 is legal to have. Which is one of the problems law enforcement is facing.
The two main issues with the current law Hill says is that it is very difficult for local and state authorities to enforce the law since there are usually no dates placed on gun magazines and people can claim to have purchased them before 2013. The other problem he says is that people can still travel out of state to purchase the magazine and bring it back.

 We are sure there is an easier solution to this than to re-introduce magazines like the ones used in the Aurora movie theater murders and to ambush state law enforcement less than three weeks ago. But the NRA and their Republican allies have proven time and again they aren't interested in solutions. 

We will continue to track SB 52 as it moves through the legislative process and will be grading all future action on the bill.

Virginia

There was a graded vote in the Virginia Senate on SB 665. The bill failed to move out of committee, as only one Republican joined Democrats in voting to advance a legislation that would prohibit the carrying of firearms in Albemarle County and the CIty of Charlottesville. 

Also among the bills killed in committee on Monday (by process of being "passed by indefinitely") were SB 119 (reporting of lost or stolen firearms); SB 360 (allowing localities to control firearms at permitted events); SB 668 (regulation of firearms in public buildings); SB 2 (disallowing carrying of a weapon by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs); SB 5 (firearms transfers); and SB 794 (ban on high-capacity magazines). 

You can read more in The Daily Progress, the Republican Standard, and in Blue Virginia.

In the lone bit of good news, SB 1, the state's bump stock ban, advanced from Courts of Justice to the Finance Committee, where it faces another majority-Republican panel. The Virginian-Pilot explains the maneuver:

An 11-4 vote sent the bill to the Senate Finance committee for a second hearing. Sometimes, unpopular bills backed by Democrats get sent to the Republican-majority committee to stop the bills in their tracks. Republican Sens. Ben Chafin, Ryan McDougle, Mark Obenshain and Bryce Reeves voted against reporting the bill.
A similar bill in the House of Delegates hasn’t had a hearing yet.