SEARCH SITE

VIRGINIA LAW PORTAL

SEARCHABLE DATABASES

ACROSS SESSIONS

Developed and maintained by the Division of Legislative Automated Systems.

2018 SESSION

18101637D
HOUSE BILL NO. 1145
Offered January 10, 2018
Prefiled January 10, 2018
A BILL to amend and reenact 19.2-386.29 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 18.2-309.1, relating to prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines; fine.
----------
Patron-- Convirs-Fowler
----------
Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
----------

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 19.2-386.29 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 18.2-309.1 as follows:

18.2-309.1. Sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines prohibited; penalty.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Large capacity magazine" means any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 20 rounds, or any conversion kit, part, or combination of parts from which such a device can be assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person, but does not mean (i) a feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than 20 rounds, (ii) a 22-caliber tube ammunition feeding device, or (iii) a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

B. Any person, corporation, or other entity that manufactures, imports, possesses, purchases, sells, or transfers any large capacity magazine shall be subject to a fine of $250.

C. The provisions of subsection B shall not apply to (i) any government officer, agent, or employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States, to the extent that such person is otherwise authorized to acquire or possess a large capacity magazine and does so while acting within the scope of his duties; (ii) the manufacture of a large capacity magazine by a firearms manufacturer for the purpose of sale to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth for use by that agency or its employees, provided that the manufacturer is properly licensed under federal, state, and local laws; (iii) the sale or transfer of a large capacity magazine by a licensed dealer to any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or to a law-enforcement agency for use by that agency in the Commonwealth or its employees for law-enforcement purposes; or (iv) any individual who lawfully possesses a large capacity magazine if he is the lawful owner of a firearm for which no magazine that holds 20 or fewer rounds of ammunition is compatible, if both the magazine and the firearm were obtained prior to July 1, 2018. Such magazine may be possessed solely for use with the firearm, and no individual may possess more than three large capacity magazines.

D. Any person who, prior to July 1, 2018, was legally in possession of a large capacity magazine shall have 120 days following July 1, 2018, to (i) remove the firearm or large capacity magazine from the Commonwealth; (ii) sell the large capacity magazine to a licensed dealer; (iii) surrender the large capacity magazine to any law-enforcement agency for destruction; or (iv) if eligible, register possession of the large capacity magazine in accordance with subsection E.

E. Any person seeking to register or reregister possession of a large capacity magazine shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law from possessing ammunition, immediately register his possession of no more than three large capacity magazines with the Department of State Police and dispose of any remaining large capacity magazines in his possession pursuant to this section. A registered owner of a large capacity magazine shall (i) safely and securely store the large capacity magazine pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of State Police; (ii) possess any registered large capacity magazine only on property owned or immediately controlled by the person, or while on the premises of a licensed firearms dealer or of a licensed gunsmith for the purpose of lawful repair, or while engaged in the legal use of the large capacity magazine at a duly licensed firing range, or while transporting the weapon or magazine in compliance with 18 U.S.C. 926A; and (iii) report the loss or theft of a large capacity magazine to any law-enforcement agency no more than 48 hours after the discovery of the loss or theft was made.

F. The Department of State Police shall provide a means by which persons seeking to register in accordance with subsection E may register possession of a large capacity magazine. At the time of registration, the Department of State Police shall permanently mark such magazine for the purpose of identification and maintain records regarding such identification information.

G. Registered large capacity magazines may not be purchased, sold, or transferred except for transfer to a licensed dealer, transfer to a licensed gunsmith for the purpose of lawful repair, or transfer to the appropriate law-enforcement agency for the purpose of surrendering the firearm or large capacity magazine for destruction pursuant to subsection D.

H. Persons acquiring a large capacity magazine by inheritance, bequest, or succession shall, no more than 120 days following acquisition of title, (i) surrender the large capacity magazine to any law-enforcement agency for destruction or (ii) transfer the large capacity magazine to a licensed dealer.

I. Any large capacity magazines that are the subject of any violation of this section shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and may be seized by a law-enforcement officer as forfeited and disposed of as provided in 19.2-386.29.

19.2-386.29. Forfeiture of certain weapons used in commission of criminal offense.

All pistols, shotguns, rifles, dirks, bowie knives, switchblade knives, ballistic knives, razors, slingshots, brass or metal knucks, blackjacks, stun weapons, and other weapons used by any person in the commission of a criminal offense and any large capacity magazine that is the subject of any violation of 18.2-309.1, shall, upon conviction of such person, be forfeited to the Commonwealth by order of the court trying the case. The court shall dispose of such weapons as it deems proper by entry of an order of record. Such disposition may include the destruction of the weapons or, subject to any registration requirements of federal law, sale of the firearms to a licensed dealer in such firearms in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22.1 ( 19.2-386.1 et seq.) regarding sale of property forfeited to the Commonwealth.

The court may authorize the seizing law-enforcement agency to use the weapon for a period of time as specified in the order. When the seizing agency ceases to so use the weapon, it shall be disposed of as otherwise provided in this section.

However, upon petition to the court and notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth, the court, upon good cause shown, shall return any such weapon to its lawful owner after conclusion of all relevant proceedings if such owner (i) did not know and had no reason to know of the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture and (ii) is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the weapon. The owner shall acknowledge in a sworn affidavit to be filed with the record in the case or cases that he has retaken possession of the weapon involved.