Virginia guns on local government lots bill advances

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Senate committee has endorsed legislation to allow most local government employees to bring guns to work as long as they keep them locked in their vehicles.

The Courts of Justice Committee voted 9-6 Monday to send the House-passed bill to the Senate floor.

The measure prohibits localities from banning employees from keeping guns their cars on publicly owned parking lots.

The bill exempts public schools, jails and juvenile detention centers. Republican Del. Brenda Pogge of James City County said her bill clearly doesn't affect colleges because it only deals with local governments.

But the committee amended the bill anyway to specifically exempt colleges and universities.

Pogge said the bill is intended to curb the erosion of law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.