Firearms; possession prohibited on Capitol Square. (HB1277)

Introduced By

Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Firearms; carrying at Capitol Square. Prohibits the possession of firearms on Capitol Square. Violation of the section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. There is an exception for law-enforcement officers and licensed security guards. For purposes of this section, "Capitol Square" means the grounds in that area of the City of Richmond bounded by Bank, Governor, Broad, and Ninth Streets, and the interior of the State Capitol, the General Assembly Building, and the Patrick Henry Building. Read the Bill »


01/25/2008: Awaiting a Vote in the Public Safety Committee


01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 080707740
01/09/2008Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
01/17/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB1277)
01/25/2008Stricken at request of Patron in Militia, Police and Public Safety (21-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)


Anthony Gattuso writes:

TO what purpose does this bill exsist?

It is already not legal to carry concealed unless you have a permit.

How do we enhance safety by restricting those legally entitled to carry?

Luby's would be a good example of how a law like this actually make people LESS safe.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This bill doesn't address carrying a concealed weapon -- it prohibits carrying a firearm at all. Carrying openly at the General Assembly makes the capitol police (to say nothing of guests and legislators) very nervous, both because any fool can stroll in with a weapon and because somebody else could accidentally discharge an openly-carried gun. The capitol police would tell you that there are enough armed guards at the capitol that having civilians armed is a net security disadvantage.

I suspect this bill was prompted by Del. Jack Reid's accidental discharge of his own handgun within his General Assembly office last year. He was extraordinarily lucky that he fired directly into his own bulletproof vest, hanging on his door. Del. Reid is now retired, and I understand that decision was precipitated in part by his shooting incident.

VACPS, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Withdrawn after HR9 was defeated in full House on 18-77 vote