Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SB 1035

From the Virginia Citizens Defense League ( http://www.vcdl.org ):

Governor Kaine is in a very interesting position on the restaurant ban repeal this year.Last year he vetoed a restaurant ban repeal that would have allowed CHP holders to carry concealed as long as they didn't drink. However, the Governor then turned around and signed another bill into law that allowed off-duty, untrained, Commonwealth Attorneys to carry concealed in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages and even drink!While the Governor denied that Commonwealth Attorneys would be able to carry concealed in restaurants, the law was clear - they could. The Attorney General agreed with VCDL and so did all the other attorneys I consulted with.This year the Governor has TWO restaurant ban repeal bills on his desk:
* The first, SB 877 (Martin), allows retired police officers from ANY jurisdiction to carry concealed in restaurants that serve alcohol and even drink while doing so
* The second, SB 1035 (Hanger), allows CHP holders to carry concealed in restaurants as long as they don't drinkThere is no way the Governor could miss the implications of the first bill, as the only part of the code that it modifies is the part dealing with concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages. The change is direct and clear.So the Governor has four choices as to what to do:
* Sign both bills and let ALL those who can legally carry concealed in Virginia, carry concealed in restaurants. This would be consistent with signing the Commonwealth Attorney bill last year and the fair thing to do.
* Sign the retired police bill, but veto the CHP holder bill. This would be the height of hypocrisy. By signing the bill last year allowing off-duty Commonwealth Attorneys, untrained with firearms, to carry concealed in all Virginia restaurants and drink, followed by signing a bill this year to make it clear that vacationing, retired game wardens from Hawaii can carry concealed in all Virginia restaurants and drink, while denying a Virginia CHP holder concealed carry in the same restaurants, even if the CHP holder doesn't drink, would be indefensible.
* Sign the CHP holder bill, but veto the retired police bill. That combination would never happen. But even so, a retired police officer could simply get a CHP and he could then carry concealed in restaurants, but would lose the ability to drink while doing so.
* Veto both bills.Finally, the Governor has one other tool he can use - he can NOT sign one or both bills, in which case they become law without his blessing. That allows the will of the People to be addressed, while allowing a governor to distance himself from the bill.--ACTION ITEM:Let's flood the Governor's office with phone calls and emails. We have a good bill that we can stand behind, so we need our voices to ring out loud and clear.The Governor's phone number: (804) 786-2211The Governor's fax number: (804) 371-6351The Governor's webmail address (double-click or copy/paste into your browser):http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfmSuggested webmail subject:Support BOTH SB 1035 and SB 877!

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