Handguns; prohibits possession of firearm in Capitol and General Assembly Building. (HB1813)

Introduced By

Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Possession of handguns in legislative buildings.  Prohibits the possession of a firearm in the Capitol and the General Assembly Building. The bill also allows a person who is lawfully carrying a handgun to check the handgun with the Capitol Police when entering the Capitol or the General Assembly Building. The prohibition would not apply to members of the General Assembly or to law-enforcement officers. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2011Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11103600D
01/11/2011Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
01/24/2011Assigned MPPS sub: #1
01/27/2011Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/08/2011Left in Militia, Police and Public Safety


Sean Thompson writes:

I would like to hear from the delegate exactly how banning firearms from ANYPLACE will make anyone safer as I assume this is the intent. Text on paper and signs on walls NEVER keep someone from doing harm. Obviously killing other people or violently attacking them is already 'banned' yet it happens every day. No one is safer because violence is banned. The desire to 'DO SOMETHING' leads to this type of bill, which may make people feel safer, but they will not BE safer.

George writes:


This bill was simply for banning firearms on the premises of the Capitol and General Assembly Building.

This bill simply stipulates that those persons lawfully carrying any weapons check them in while on the premises. You don't pack heat when you board a plane, do you? You don't light up cigarettes at the gas pump do you? Why would this bill be any different?

JTC writes:

@ George - So, by extending your logic, simply carrying a firearm (on the grounds of the capitol or the general assembly building) endangers you and everyone around you of being the unwitting casualty of an accidental discharge?

Banning hanguns on airplanes hasn't stopped hi-jacking?
Banning smoking at gas pumps hasn't prevented pump-side explosions. These are simple bet-hedging strategies. There's nothing that intrinsicly "makes sense" about it, it only makes sense to sentient, law abiding citizens, but they are not perpetrating the crimes (or smoking around gas fumes).

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It does strike me as strange, every time I go through the metal detectors at the GAB or the capitol, that if I were carrying a gun, they'd just hand it back to me and I could stroll on through. It raises the question of what purpose that the metal detector even serves.

As another data point, I should remind everybody that it was just five years ago that Del. Jack Reid discharged his handgun in his office at the General Assembly Building. He claimed that it occurred while he was removing the clip, but the fact that the round happened to hit a bulletproof vest hanging on office door raised questions about the legitimacy of his story. No matter what actually happened, Del. Reid was extraordinarily lucky that didn't kill anyone. He retired shortly thereafter.