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Sun Gazette: Hope Again Zeroes in on Restricting Weapons Around Va. Capitol Print


Created:  Monday, December 31, 2012

Del. Patrick Hope again this session will wade into the tricky waters of controlling weapons allowed in Virginia's Capitol and General Assembly Building.

Hope has introduced legislation to prohibit the possession of weapons in legislative buildings, but includes a number of exemptions, including for those who have a permit to carry a handgun.

The 2013 version of the legislative, Hope acknowledges, is a "watered-down" version of his 2012 bill, which would have prohibited all but legislators, their staffs and law enforcement from carrying weapons in the buildings.

That measure died a quick death in the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.

The new measure is "a compromise version, because there is just no hope to pass an outright ban on guns," said Hope (D-47th).

"I recognize we can't prevent every violent act from happening, but we can take steps to prevent some of them, and we can take steps to limit their magnitude," he said.

Hope's measure also would exempt members of the General Assembly from the prohibition on weapons, but it would require legislative staff, the media and lobbyists to be screened at checkpoints leading into the Capital and nearby legislative building.