By Sarah RuhlmanThe American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is working to repeal laws that protect gun owners from gun violence and have been working on legislation to expand background checks to include people buying guns through a private sale.
The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would repeal two of those state laws, allowing gun buyers to buy guns from a private seller.
The legislation would also allow gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, which would be a big step up from the current law.
The bill, SB 1054, was co-sponsored by state Sen. William B. Bell, D-Loudoun, who chairs the committee.
The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in May that the state’s “stand your ground” law did not violate the Constitution because it allowed a person to shoot someone in self-defense.
Bell has said he would support repeal of the Stand Your Ground law if he were president.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that upheld the state law, which allows gun owners who are in a physical danger to stand their ground to use deadly force.
The new bill would repeal the state laws that allow guns to be sold to private sellers without background checks, the Virginia Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
The state legislature is expected to take up the bill this week, and the legislation will likely be debated on the floor.
A bill that allows private sellers to sell guns to gun buyers has been in the works for a long time, and has been on the cusp of passing several times, but it never got the chance to make it through the legislature.
Last year, then-Gov.
Ralph Northam (D) vetoed SB 783, which was meant to make the state safer for gun owners.
The bill would have required all private sellers of firearms to have background checks on the buyers.HB 1054 also would allow private sellers who are already licensed by the state to sell to gun owners without having to obtain a background check, and to offer discounts to people buying firearms at gun shows and online.
It would also require background checks for all private sales at gun shops, including those at gun ranges.
The House is expected take up HB 1054 this week.
In a statement, a spokesman for Northam’s office said the governor “was adamantly opposed to these measures, and was disappointed that he was not able to convince the Senate Judiciary committee to move forward with these legislation this week.”
“We will continue to fight for common-sense gun safety measures that make our state safer and protect our families,” the statement said.