On proposed gun laws

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Trudy Berry

In his “Not a fortuneteller” article published Dec. 4, Senator Ruff performs a disservice to his constituents by failing to mention that there is no proposed legislation to repeal the Second Amendment, to take away all firearms, or that mandates law enforcement officers to actively seek and confiscate firearms. He also fails to mention that proposed legislation is for gun safety, not gun confiscation, and includes exemptions to background checks and firearms possession, purchases, sales and transfers.

Who does not want to protect children from shooting themselves or others because someone left a loaded gun within their reach? Who finds it safe or prudent to allow a person under the age of 18 to use a firearm without adult supervision? Who finds it reasonable or necessary to carry a shotgun loaded with more than seven rounds in a public place or while attending a public event with their family?

Proposed legislation allows owners to transfer their firearms, including antique firearms, to immediate family members without a background check. Firearms may also be transferred by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust without a background check. They allow persons under the age of 18 to possess or transport firearms while in their home or on their property; while in the home or on the property of a parent, grandparent or legal guardian; while accompanied by an adult while at or going to or from a lawful shooting range; and while actually engaged in lawful hunting or going to or from a hunting area or preserve. The purchase limit of one gun in a 30-day period does not apply to persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, who purchase handguns in a private sale, and purchase antique firearms.

Reporting lost or stolen firearms must be done within 24 hours after discovering the loss or theft or being informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. A person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft.

Additionally, SB35 does not “effectively ban firearms.” It “Authorizes any locality by ordinance to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or any combination thereof in a public space during a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit.”

While he’s proud that county legislators are giving their citizens permission to break the laws they don’t like, Senator Ruff fails to remind them that we are a Dillon Rule state and these Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions do not hold any legal weight; local governments must obey state laws and cannot enact ordinances without the state’s permission.

Without getting caught up in the absurd, the Second Amendment does not guarantee what type of arms the people can keep and bear, and just as there are limitations on the First Amendment to protect citizens from harm and character assassination, it is also necessary to enact limitations on the Second Amendment to protect the health and safety of citizens.

It is dishonest to purposely disinform and misinform, by utterance or omission, to stoke the flames of fear, and, by condoning these Resolutions, Senator Ruff caters to the fear that is based on speculation and disinformation that has been repeated over the past decade that the Democrats are going to take away all our guns. Rather than encourage the passing of these Resolutions, which are contrary to a civilized society, Senator Ruff should introduce a grandfather clause to exempt current owners and vote in favor of these gun safety laws to protect his constituents.

Trudy Berry lives in Green Bay, Lunenburg County. Her email address is holtram74@ aol.com.