Crime panel backs cigarette retailer licensing

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia State Crime Commission has endorsed licensing of cigarette retailers as a way to combat illegal trafficking. The panel voted 8-5 Tuesday to recommend the proposal to the 2015 General Assembly. The legislation would give enforcement duties to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department. A commission staff report says retailers will have more incentive to obey laws if they can lose their license to sell cigarettes. Opponents of the measure argued that more regulation is not the solution to the trafficking problem. The panel also backed several measures to improve the effectiveness of search and rescue efforts, including hiring more people to coordinate such operations. The commission postponed until next year a decision on whether texting of sexually explicit photos by teenagers should be a specific crime.

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