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Virginia House Bill HB2078 - major move against digging and selling relics in Virginia
Date: January 23, 2005 11:20AM
Please email today - goes to committee on Mon.
Appears several legislators in there wisdom, have drafted legislation to impose rather onerous sanctions against digging and selling relics in Virgina. Whether you reside in VA or not, this could ultimately impact you. I'd appreciate your support in defeating this legislation.
Here's the legislation:
Here's what you can do:
1. If a Virginia resident, write your delegate. You can find them at:
2. If not a Virginia resident, send a note to either the Speaker of the House or the Majority or Minority House leaders. Here they are:
William J. Howell
Speaker of the House
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1028
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Constituent Viewpoint: (800)-889-0229
Room Number: 635
H. Morgan Griffith
Majority Leader
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1008
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Constituent Viewpoint: (800)-889-0229
Room Number: 607
Franklin P. Hall
Minority Leader
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1069
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Constituent Viewpoint: (800)-889-0229
Room Number: 614
Below is a draft letter that you can feel free to use. Send me a private email on questions.
Cory Rind
Dear Delegate,
As a Civil War history buff and metal detectorist, a proposed piece of legislation, Virginia House Bill HB2078, has me extremely concerned. This bill seems destined to take away my ability to readily look for Civil War artifacts (with permission) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, should I choose to sell or buy artifacts, it appears I could easily be in violation of the law without having extensive documentation on source of the artifact.
I strongly recommend that you vote against this legislation for the following reasons:
1. Laws are already in place in Virginia regarding trespassing, grave robbing and
destruction of property.
2. A Federal law, Archeological Resources Preservation Act of 1979 (ARPA), has
already been enacted and covers most of the concerns HB2078 deals with.
3. Having dealt with many landowners, most have no need for written permission -
they are either going to give permission to detect/use their land or they will not.
An additional piece of paper accomplishes nothing.
4. Definition of a site is vague. This definition could cover most any piece of land.
5. If one engages in the sale or purchase of "objects of antiquity", how is one to
document that the item complies with the law?
6. "Object of antiquity" is a pretty vague term. This could be stretched to cover
most anything a zealous prosecuting attorney might desire.
7. Why should a landowner have anything to do with anyone's right to engage in
free commerce or trade?
Should you wish to further discuss this issue, please feel free to contact me.

Email today or you may be arrested for digging
Date: January 23, 2005 01:08PM
The bill is in committee this week and may become the law if the legislature votes it through as is.
The bill requires written permission for digging even on private land and it is a misdameanor if you get caught without. You could get a criminal record just for searching or for digging.
Selling a relic worth over $200 without written permission is a felony. Want to be a felon?
So is offering a relic for sale without written permission. How will @#$%& react when they are warned in a letter from the state archaeologist? There goes @#$%&.
Please email today.

I sent mine to all on the list.
Dan MI
Date: January 23, 2005 08:12PM
Honorable Mr. XXXX,
I am writing to urge you to consider the consequences of HB2078 carefully. This bill, if passed may impact the Virginia economy in a negative way. Detecting as a hobby is very popular and gaining in popularity all the time. It is not uncommon for someone in the hobby to spend several thousand dollars on a trip with detecting as the primary objective. This bill will likely take Virginia off the list of destinations for them.
I am nearing retirement age and have been looking for a new place of residence where I could enjoy a milder climate than Michigan and be able to actively pursue my hobby of metal detecting. I was seriously considering Virginia until learning of this bill. As much as Virginia has to offer, the restrictions on detecting this bill will create will cause me to look to another state for recreation and or retirement.
Metal detecting is a very enjoyable hobby. For most people it is not done to "cash in" on the items found but rather to display them. Often items of historical value are donated to local museums by the finder. If detecting is banned, which is what HB2078 will effectively do, these artifacts will eventually be lost forever due to corrosion or development (covered by parking lots).
I hope you will see that this is a bad bill for the state of Virginia and will work to prevent it's passage.
Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this message.

Re: ME TOO I sent mine to all on the list.
Date: January 23, 2005 10:14PM
Thanks to both.
Date: January 24, 2005 05:59AM
Thanks to all who have written VA legislators!
Date: January 24, 2005 10:28AM
Status Notification (Failure)
Date: January 25, 2005 10:10AM
This is what I recieved back from some of the e-mail that were sent to the legislat
Status Notification (Failure)
Imagin that

Re: Virginia House Bill HB2078 - major move against digging and selling relics in Virginia
Edward in Prague
Date: January 25, 2005 10:53AM
Glad I got out of Lynchburg just in time! Relics galore here, beautiful Czech women, French wine, German sausage, the life! Edward

Sent mine to Plum ! Haven't heard anything back.
Bob in Ohio
Date: January 25, 2005 11:04AM
I'd like to see the response.
Date: January 25, 2005 12:34PM
What I sent to Plum---Think its direct enough ??
Bob in Ohio
Date: January 25, 2005 02:26PM
Subject: HB 2078
I don't live in your fair state,but I do vacation there quite often.I'm at a
loss to understand why Va. would go to such extremes as HB 2078.I've read
statements about how a small number of metal detector users are"pilageing all
the historical treasures of Va".We "detectorests" that do metal detecting as a
HOBBY would never think of searching/digging a protected historical site.There
are laws on the books already covering this subject.Why arn't they being
enforced??I and a lot of other MD,ers spend quite a bit of time and money in
Va. on vacation and pursuing the hobby.What good is"protecting"everything from
the past if its just going to rot in the ground.It would be different if this
stuff was thousands of years old and could tell how people lived then.But this
stuff is,at most,250 years old.You could get more information asking someones
grandmother/grandfather.I hope you will give this matter a little bit of
consideration instead of yeilding to special interest groups. Thank you for
your time

No response yet from any of the messages I sent.
Dan MI
Date: January 25, 2005 08:55PM
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