- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Virginia state Senate panel on Wednesday advanced a modified version of a bill that would prevent people convicted of domestic abuse crimes from possessing or transporting a gun.

The vote came two days after a disputed vote ultimately rejected another version of the bill and snuffed out what gun control advocates had initially tallied as a modest win.

As it stands, the Courts of Justice Committee passed the bill from state Sen. Barbara A. Favola, Arlington Democrat, on a 10-4 vote, sending it to the Senate Finance Committee. Similar legislation passed the full Senate last year but died in the House.

In the version that advanced Wednesday, the crimes that could result in the revocation of gun rights were specified to those committed against family members. A person convicted of such a crime also could petition a court for reinstating his or her rights one year after the conviction, rather than the original five years.

Mrs. Favola said the bill “is a commonsense reform that protects women and keeps firearms out of the hands of dangerous offenders.”

“I am relieved that my Republican colleagues have decided to put partisan politics aside and report the bill,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Virginia Senate panel shoots down gun control bills

Wednesday’s vote followed a strange turn of events Monday in which advocates originally thought they had won a victory with the bill’s passage.

After calling for a show of hands Monday, committee Chairman Thomas K. Norment Jr., James City Republican, said the bill was reported, but later said he must have “misspoke,” according to the Daily Press.

The Virginia legislative information system later showed the bill had been defeated.

The Courts of Justice Committee also had shot down a number of other gun control bills, including a measure to close the so-called “gun show loophole” by expanding background checks on purchases at private shows, and another to reinstate Virginia’s ban on purchasing more than one handgun per month that the legislature repealed in 2012.

It also advanced several bills that would loosen gun restrictions, including one to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns on school property after normal school hours and another to allow for the issuance of lifetime concealed carry permits, rather than requiring holders to renew them every five years.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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