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Guns rights bills killed in House by Virginia Democrats

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RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- House Democrats have shut down several gun rights bills filed by Republicans.

The Roanoke Times reported that the subcommittee of the House Public Safety Committee had been known for killing Democrats' bills in the past, but this year the tables were turned as Democrats have control of both the House and Senate.

RELATED | 3 gun bills, including one handgun a month law, pass Virginia Senate

Democrats defeated 11 bills within about two hours Tuesday.

Two of the bills filed by representative Christopher Head, R - Botetourt, included HB 1470 and HB 1471, which would help landowners who have land in multiple localities with different firearms ordinances.

Other bills defeated include one that would increase the mandatory minimum sentences for use or display of a firearm and Wendell Walker's bill allowing those to carry a weapon in a place of religious worship.

Walker said Democrats would not allow members of the Committee on Public Safety to discuss the bill after hearing from faith-based groups "implore their government to allow them to secure their places of worship."

Another failed bill would allow any person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a resident concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun openly within the Commonwealth.

One Republican, Delegate Carrie Coyner, from Chesterfield, voted with Democrats to table two bills including the conceal carry without a permit and HB 162, which would have allowed localities, designated as a "firearm free-zone", immunity if there were any injuries to a person.

Governor Ralph Northam has a package of gun legislation that he's pushing for that include prohibiting all individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms, requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours, and creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order.

Other legislation that has been filed includes banning indoor shooting ranges at offices where there are more than 50 employees. That would include a shooting range at the NRA headquarters, which is located in northern Virginia.

That bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety.

Republicans and gun-rights groups have pledged stiff resistance.

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More than 100 counties, cities, and towns have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and vowed to oppose any new "unconstitutional restrictions" on guns.

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