Bill targets shooting in, across roads

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On the same day a House Bill was introduced that, if passed, would punish hunters for the intentional release of dogs on the land of another without consent from the landowner, Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) of Fairfax County on Friday spearheaded another that would amend the Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-286, relating to shooting in or across a road.

The law already states that if any person discharges a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow in or across any road, or within the right-of-way or in a street of any city or tow, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Senate Bill No. 694 would add that any person who possesses a loaded weapon for the purpose of hunting in the aforementioned areas would also be considered guilty, as well as that the right-of-way is at minimum 50 feet from the center line of a state roadway.

As is, this law does not apply to firing ranges or shooting matches that are maintained and supervised or approved by law enforcement or military personnel in performance of their lawful duties. This bill would add that those who have a concealed carry permit are also exempt.

Sen. Marsden could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, though attempts were made by phone and through email. In a speech on the Senate floor last week, he said that lobbyists should stop obstructing the process of gun control laws.

“I believe the gun lobby’s obstruction of common sense legislation is getting people killed,” Marsden said. “It is time for the gun lobby to join us in helping pass legislation that will save lives.”

His other legislative efforts at the General Assembly include limiting magazines used in military-style rifles to 10 rounds of ammunition; preventing people with restraining orders from possessing guns; and requiring proof of firearm competency to receive a concealed carry permit.

“My job is to protect people, even from themselves,” Marsden said. “As long as I can do that consistent with the Second Amendment, I will.”