On March 27, 2024, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia vetoed multiple anti-gun bills passed by the Virginia legislature, including HB 2, which would have prohibited the sale, purchase, import or manufacture of so-called “assault firearms” and “large capacity feeding devices” in Virginia. The bill defined “large capacity feeding device,” as any “magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device” that has the capacity to hold or can be converted to accept “more than 10 rounds of ammunition. . .” In vetoing the proposed law, Governor Youngkin correctly declared that the Constitution “precludes the Commonwealth from prohibiting a broad category of firearms widely embraced for lawful purposes, such as self-defense.” In addition, Governor Youngkin vetoed other bills that would have replaced some private training programs used for certification to obtain a concealed pistol permit with mandatory state-provided training (HB 797), prohibited the sale of firearms from a home less than 1 ½ miles from an elementary or middle school (HB 585), prohibited firearms from being possessed on college campuses (HB 454), and imposed a mandatory 5-day waiting period for all firearm purchases (HB 273).

Governor Youngkin, however, signed into law two new firearm statutes. One of the two proposals signed into law is HB 36, which makes it a felony for a parent or guardian “responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 whose willful act or omission causes or enables that child to gain possession of a firearm (i) after having received notice of a preliminary determination, pursuant to relevant law, that such child poses a threat of violence or physical harm to self or others or (ii) when such parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of the child knows or reasonably should know that such child has been charged with, either by warrant or petition, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent of a violent juvenile felony.” The other bill signed into law, HB 22, prohibits the sale, possession, or manufacture of the so-called “auto-sear,” a device used to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm.

In addition, Governor Youngkin offered amendments to several other proposed measures concerning firearms. For example, he proposed changes to SB 363, legislation that would criminalize knowingly possessing or selling a firearm with an altered or missing serial number, to better align the language of the bill with current federal regulations and federal definitions of serial numbers. He also proposed amendments to HB 173, legislation prohibiting the manufacture, import, sale, transfer or possession of any “plastic firearm,” to include a knowledge standard as a predicate for violation of the proposed new law.

Renzulli Law Firm will continue to monitor firearm legislation in Virginia and across the United States. If you have any questions about new firearm legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.