RICHMOND, Va. — Gun control bills are a big topic at the General Assembly this year, prompting thousands of Virginians to stand up against them. But, there's another firearms-related proposal you may not have heard about that's gaining criticism quickly.
House Bill 567 comes from freshman Democrat Delegate Dan Helmer of District 40 in Northern Virginia.
According to his Twitter, this proposal is about workplace violence.
The bill would make it so that all indoor shooting ranges in the Commonwealth must be owned or leased by the state or federal government to lawfully conduct business unless they meet one of two criteria:
- They have less than 50 employees in the building.
- At least 90 percent of the people using the range are law enforcement officers, who then must prove they are an officer and give their full contact information to the range.
On Twitter, Helmer said the bill would impact a few ranges in Virginia and that shooting ranges don't belong in populated workplaces.
Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond disagrees with both statements.
"Dan Helmer has said that the purpose of this bill is to prevent mass shootings. Gun ranges are some of the safest places you can go," Peyton Galanti with Colonial Shooting Academy said.
On his very active Twitter account, Helmer specifically referenced the NRA's headquarters in Fairfax, which has an indoor shooting range, and a 2017 incident in which an NRA employee accidentally shot himself at that range.