If you live in Virginia, there’s a new bill that may make renting a firearm from the shooting range a lot more difficult. Virginia’s state legislature is considering a new bill introduced by Democratic senate member, Creigh Deeds. It’s called SB 1250 and gun rights groups aren’t happy about what it requires.
What Is SB 1250 All About?
SB 1250 is the first bill that would require background checks at all gun ranges if someone wants to rent a firearm to use there. This bill is pointless considering when someone rents a gun from a shooting range, they aren’t legally owning it and taking the gun home.
This would be a major problem for the law enforcement officials with the Virginia State Police that would have to run all those pointless background checks. The cost and resources are considerable in money and time for the police to have to go through all this extra work. They estimate this would add at least 200 extra background checks per day. In 2019, almost 800,000 background checks were performed.
Their Reasoning Behind the Bill
Virginia Democrats came up with the bill in response to a very rare occurrence. There were a couple of deaths by suicide at gun ranges in the state. Both of these tragic incidents took place at the same firing range in Hanover County. The parents of both men were ostensibly part of creating the bill that will head to a vote in the coming months.
Keep in mind that shooting ranges do have policies in place to help prevent suicides. Firearms are used in suicides less than one percent of the time according to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center. Most shooting ranges require that a person who rents a gun comes with another person and isn’t alone. Others require that the person has a concealed carry permit or a certificate of safety training.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) believes that the shooting ranges are doing enough to prevent these rare tragedies from happening. Mitchell Tyler, who is the owner of Safeside Tactical, has the two ranges he owns in Virginia make sure to train his staff to be aware of signs that someone who entering the range is going through a mental health crisis. They partner with Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare to make sure that this training is effective.
SB 1250 is just one of many gun control bills going through the Virginia legislature at this time. Currently, there is no federal or state law requiring background checks for firearm rentals at shooting ranges.