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Councilman on proposal to fine gun owners for failing to report stolen weapons: “I have no illusion that it’s going to go very far”

Posted at 11:31 PM, Oct 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-22 06:46:26-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - A controversial request is part of the city's annual "legislative agenda" - a list of proposals to the General Assembly.

It calls for gun owners who do not report a stolen or lost weapon within 48 hours to be fined.

That penalty was downgraded from a class 1 misdemeanor only after a NewsChannel 3 investigation into the proposal last month.

Councilman Jim Wood sponsored the recommendation.

"It's all strictly about personal responsibility. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would not want to report a firearm that's stolen,” says Wood.

The request cites a national gun-theft estimate from 1994. It never mentions any gun-theft numbers from Virginia Beach or the state.

Wood says the city's request will face a long road ahead with state lawmakers.

"I have no illusion that it's going to go very far, but at least it starts a dialogue," says Wood.

Related: 

Virginia Beach Council reverses on controversial gun request

Could a new law actually target legal gun owners?

Gun owners say proposed law targets them, not thieves