February 13, 2015
RICHMOND, Va-Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) held a a press conference today with Virginia law enforcement officials and representatives of the Virginia Crime Commission to discuss Senate Bill 1230, which pertains to illegal trafficking of cigarettes from Virginia, and the black market sales to funding international terrorism.
SB 1230 seeks to solve the systemic problem of illegal cigarette trafficking. This legislation would place the authority to regulate the distribution and sales of tobacco products to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, and create common-sense licensing requirements that would create a larger burden on traffickers.
The price disparity of tobacco in various other States have aided in creating this black market commodity.The legislation also will create licensing requirements that will weaken the ability for those who seek to profit from the illegal resale tobacco products in more expensive markets, like New York State.
"I am asking for your help today," said Sen. Reeves."In fact I am making a plea to the citizens of the Commonwealth to ask for your support to combat terrorism.Stopping the flow of funds from illegal cigarette transactions and asking for reasonable, prudent, licensing so we know who is legitimately and illegitimately selling cigarettes to the public is critical."
Senator Reeves also called on law-abiding retailers who sell tobacco products to think beyond the scope of single transactions, and focus on the larger issues that follow Cigarette Trafficking. "I find it very hard to believe that any legitimate seller of tobacco wants the proceeds of their sales going to kill our men and women who wear the cloth of our country." Senator Reeves continued by saying, "The last thing I want to do is put an undue burden on our businesses that sell tobacco. Our Mom and Pop retailers are trying to figure out how to scrape together enough to pay for payroll and quarterly taxes, medical care, invoices, payroll and still have some left over to buy gas and groceries."
After its initial reading in the House of Delegates, SB 1230 has been referred to a General Law subcommittee.