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Senator Drops Bill To Ease Gun Permit Rule

January 17, 2011

By Jillian Quattlebaum
Capital News Service

RICHMOND — A state senator on Monday withdrew a bill that would have made it easier for someone with a history of mental problems to obtain a concealed weapon.

Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds, D-Martinsville, asked that his measure, Senate Bill 755, be stricken from the docket of the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.

SB 755 would have allowed a person who has received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within the past five years to petition a court for a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

Currently, Virginians are disqualified from obtaining a concealed weapon permit for five years after receiving residential treatment for mental health or substance abuse problems.

Reynolds said he filed the legislation at the request of Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Bushnell of Henry County.

Reynolds said he was killing the bill after hearing that many people had misunderstood its purpose.

“When I started hearing about the misunderstanding, I contacted Mr. Bushnell and indicated to him that there was a great deal of opposition that had been generated to this measure,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds added that many groups were actively working against the bill and that he does not think he will resubmit it.