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Founded in 1938. 80 Years of Protecting Virginia's Gun Rights and the Shooting Sports.
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U.S. Supreme Court Continues to Undermine Heller Decision

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:25
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to take a case brought by the Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation challenging a decision by Alameda, a California county that includes Oakland and other east bay cities, to enact a zoning law so onerous it effectively bans gun stores.   By failing to hear the case, the court essentially tells Californians that they have no right to buy guns.  Reason.com has more:
At least Monday's decision serves one useful purpose: It exposes the federal judiciary's willingness to elevate some constitutional rights over others.

If a city enacted zoning laws that effectively outlawed abortion clinics, and a federal appeals court had permitted it, the Supreme Court would have stepped in a heartbeat later. Under precedents going back to Maher v. Roe (1977), any law representing "direct state interference" with abortion is evaluated using strict scrutiny, the most exacting standard of legal review. Few such laws survive. (The 9th Circuit did not apply strict scrutiny to Alameda's law.)

In today's California, even adult movie theaters enjoy greater legal protections than gun stores. In a 1986 decision, the Supreme Court said the First Amendment allows municipalities to restrict such theaters (apparently they were a thing before the Internet) only if zoning laws provide a "reasonable opportunity to open and operate an adult theater within the city."The U.S. Supreme court has not taken any meaningful Second Amendment cases since McDonald.  There currently are not four justices that are willing to vote in favor of hearing cases on the issue.  This is possibly because one or more of the remaining four that voted in the majority in Heller and McDonald are unsure whether they have five votes to find in favor of overruling a gun control law that comes before them.  No one really knows, but what we do know is Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito have expressed frustration that this fundamental right becomes more and more marginalized with each case that is turned down.

The perils of this reverberate across the nation.  As cases like Maryland's so-called "assault weapons" ban, New Jersey's and Maryland's may-issue concealed carry law, and California's numerous onerous gun control laws continue to survive because SCOTUS will not hear them, the gun ban lobby will use such laws to craft legislation in other states.  Virginia is ever so close to turning anti-gun.  All it will take is to flip one seat in each house of the General Assembly for us to turn into California or New Jersey over night.

This is the Peril of Publicly Held Gun Companies

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 14:32
You may have heard that at Ruger’s shareholders meeting last week, a shareholder’s proposal which was basically a call for gun control, passed.  Ruger's Board of Directors had recommended that it be defeated. With its passage, Ruger is required to comply.  They did however fail in another proposal that would have loosened the companies ties to the NRA.

Who were the shareholders that made the proposal? According to the New York Times, a coalition of religious women and health care networks which are members of the shareholder advocacy organization Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, representing the Sisters of the Holy Names and 10 other "faith-based organizations" and Catholic Health Initiative.  Members of the group bought shares in Ruger and Smith and Wesson two years ago hoping to influence the way the companies do business. Ruger's largest shareholder, money management firm BlackRock and Vanguard, another large investor in the company, backed the "shareholder's activist resolution" which is how Ruger described the proposal. John Richardson at the blog No Lawyers, only Guns and Money, has a great breakdown of what occurred.  Ruger's response is below:
"The proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That's it. A report," Killoy said. The company will follow through on its obligation to produce that report, he said.

"What the proposal does not, and cannot do, is to force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do, and cannot do, is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business." One of the shareholders, Rev. J. Michael Solberg — a pastor in Hinsdale, Ill., who is also a leader of the Metro IAF's Do Not Stand Idly By campaign; objected to CEO Kilroy's characterization:
"We are not gun control advocates," Solberg said. "We are not encouraging you not to make certain weapons. We are encouraging you to take the reputational risks of this issue seriously, and engage with those who want to make a difference."While it does not require Ruger to change the way they do business, it does demonstrate the perils faced by publicly held gun companies.  Malcontent shareholders were able to wield more power than the numbers of shares they likely hold would normally have allowed because they were able to convince large shareholders like BlackRock and Vanguard (which have been a target of Parkland activist David Hogg's boycott calls) to support their efforts. The same coalition will be pushing identical efforts at the shareholder meeting of American Outdoor Brands Company (Smith & Wesson) later this year.

Being a public company provides access to capital, but it does come at some price - like activist investors. It's likely most of the time companies are able to beat back such attempts.  This time however nervous large investors like BlackRock and Vanguard helped push these shareholders over the finish line.  Will this give pause to other firearms related companies that are looking to go public?  Only time will tell.

Vote Nick Freitas in the GOP Primary June 12th

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:35
Gun owners have an opportunity to nominate a true champion of the Second Amendment on June 12 to run against anti-gun U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in November.  While all three GOP candidates have responded to the NRA Questionnaire in strong support of our firearms freedom (based on their NRA-PVF ratings), one candidate stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that candidate is Delegate Nick Freitas.  Because of his strong record in the General Assembly, Delegate Freitas has earned the endorsement of the NRA Political Victory Fund and has earned the support of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association.  Readers of this blog may recall earlier this year, we shared a floor speech that Delegate Freitas made in support of our rights during the General Assembly session.  The video of the speech went viral and has had over 16 million views.

Delegate Freitas enlisted in the United States Army after High School. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Nick served two combat tours as a Green Beret in the Middle East. After Nick’s service as a Green Beret, he became Director of Operations for a service-disabled, veteran-owned defense contractor. Nick is currently serving his second term as a Virginia House of Delegates member, originally elected in 2015.   Nick and his wife, Tina, and their three children live in Culpeper, VA.

Gun owners need to do all they can do between now and June 12 to help Delegate Freitas win the primary.  You can find out how to contact the campaign by clicking here.

Yesterday, Delegate Freitas spoke with NRATV host Cam Edwards.  He spoke about the 2017 off-year elections where Virginia went from a two-thirds pro-gun rights majority to a one-vote majority in the House of Delegates. Freitas also said progressives don't want a few "common sense" limitations - they want to gut the Second Amendment. He said it's time to respect the constitutional rights of gun owners. They must stop trying to use the government to disarm us.  You can watch the entire interview below.


Delegate Todd Gilbert: Virginia Gun Rights in Jeopardy

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 08:54
During last weekend's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits,  NRATV host Cam Edwards ran into Virginia House of Delegates Majority Leader Todd Gilbert of the exhibit floor.  Delegate Gilbert talked about how after the 2017 off-year elections, Virginia went from a two-thirds pro-gun majority to a one vote majority in the House of Delegates. With an anti-gun governor, lt. governor, and attorney general, everything is at stake for gun owners. Gilbert said it shows how energized and organized the progressive left is. They hate President Trump so much they turned out while gun owners stayed at home. They want "universal background checks," a firearms registry, one-gun-a-month and outright bans of semi-auto long guns.  He said it's not enough to vote. Gun owners must talk to their friends and family to make sure they turn out to vote for pro-gun candidates in the fall.  If we don't start working now to protect and expand the pro-gun majorities in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, with a snap of the finger, much like the Marvel character Thanos in the current blocker buster movie Avengers Infinity War, Virginia will become California or worse, New Jersey, when it comes to gun laws.



Gun Craft Beer at NRA Annual Meeting.

Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:04
While walking by the DSArms Booth yesterday, I saw this on the table:

It's Gun Craft Beer and according to the booth staff, it is sold in Illinois where it is manufactured, and available online in 34 states.  It appears from the web site that Virginia is one of those states as we were not in the list of states the site specifically said they could not ship.  Those states are:
Alabama Arkansas Delaware Kentucky Massachusetts Maryland Minnesota Mississippi Montana New Jersey Oklahoma Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Dakota Texas Utah. Just one of the neat things you find when walking the NRA Exhibit Hall floor.

Wall Street Journal: Banks, Credit Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:53
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that banks and credit-card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems. According to the Journal, the discussions are preliminary and they note such discussions could be very controversial.
The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants, or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.

Such data could allow banks to restrict purchases at certain businesses or monitor them. The talks, which are informal and might not lead to any action, have occurred against the backdrop of the national debate around guns in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, which left 17 dead.This move comes after both Bank of America and Citicorp announced new policies related to what activies they would finance for gun manufacturers and retailers.  The Journal also spoke to Georgetown University Law Professor Adam Levitin who said concerns raised buy this type of discussion go beyond the gun issue:
“There’s a privacy angle here,” said Adam Levitin, professor of law at Georgetown University. “There’s the slippery slope danger if it’s guns today maybe it is pornography tomorrow and the day after it’s right-wing literature.”There are already divisions inside the banking industry with BOA and Citi setting out restrictions while Wells Fargo has said it is not up to them to decide what products Americans can buy.  Citicorp CEO Michael Corbat seems to think he gets to decide who are responsible gun owners and who aren't:
CEO Michael Corbat said at that bank’s annual meeting that the policy “is intended to preserve the rights of responsible gun owners like myself, while relying on best sales practices to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.”    So, since Citi adopted a new code of conduct for gun dealers and manufacturers that includes retailers restricting sales for buyers under age 21, I guess Corbat does not believe anyone 18-20 can be a responsible gun owner, but they are responsible enough to serve in the military or vote.

Read the entire WSJ article.  While these discussions are preliminary, there are some very specific policies being discussed like one large bank discussing with lawmakers potential legislation to require merchants to share information about specific gun-related products consumers are buying with their cards, and credit card companies making specific codes for gun retailers but not for retailers like Walmart which sell other products as well as firearms and ammunition.

The Non-existent Link Between Gun Ownership and Homicide

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 11:07
You have probably heard from the gun ban lobby more times than you can count that states with higher gun ownership also have higher homicides committed with firearms.  They trot out studies to "support" their claims and the media regurgitate the talking points created.  There is a great article that explains the fake science behind these studies and provides us with the facts to refute the claims.  It is long, but well worth the read.  In short, here is how the gun ban lobby comes up with their findings:
One: They’re sneaking suicide in with the data, and then obfuscating that inclusion with rhetoric. This is the biggest trick I see in the media, and very few people seem to pick up on it. Suicide, numerically speaking, is around twice the problem homicide is, both in overall rate and in rate by gun.

Two: They’re cooking the homicide data.The author goes on to fully explain both tactics and how it affects the numbers.  Then he wraps it all up by illustrating how they use the tainted data to come up with their claims.  Go click the link to the article above and read the entire piece.  It's well worth the time it will take.

Hat tip to Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned.

Will the Focus on Guns Hurt Democrats in Mid-terms

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:15
A poll released last week seems to indicate that the extreme focus on guns has hurt Democrats as they seek to take control of the House and Senate in November's mid-term election.  The Washington Post has the story:
The poll finds that the gap between support for Democratic vs. Republican House candidates has dropped by more than half since the beginning of the year. At the same time, there has been a slight increase in President Trump’s approval rating, although it remains low. Measures of partisan enthusiasm paint a more mixed picture of the electorate in comparison with signs of Democratic intensity displayed in many recent special elections.

One potentially new factor in the mix of midterm issues is gun policy, which has emerged as a major voter consideration two months after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. More than 4 in 10 registered voters say it is extremely important that ­candidates share their views on gun issues. Fewer voters say it is critical that candidates share their views on Trump or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), leaders who are most likely to be targets in partisan messaging this fall.According to the Post, white voters are responsible for closing the gap.
The survey shows the GOP making a more pronounced shift among white voters, who now prefer Republicans by a 14-point margin over Democrats, up from five points in January. Republicans lead by 60 percent to 31 percent among white voters without college degrees, slightly larger than an 18-point GOP advantage three months ago.Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned posed the rhetorical question "what issue could that demographic possibly care about that could account for this?"

The Post noted that the renewed gun-control debate is a "wild card" in the midterm election. Several polls have shown increased support for restrictions aimed at curbing violence involving firearms following February’s Parkland school shooting.  But as is usually the case, support for gun control jumps after events like Parkland, then subside.  The same is true this time as a new Gallup Poll shows that those mentioning gun control as the most important issue facing the country has dropped by over half in April.  Gun control however still continues to be one of the highest-ranked issues named by Americans -- ranking fourth behind dissatisfaction with government, immigration and race relations.

Seven months is an eternity in politics.  Much can change between now and November.  The best way to make sure that the gun ban lobby does not win in November is to get active for pro-rights candidates in this year's campaign.

Take a Woman Hunting Week

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:01
From the National Wild Turkey Federation:
April 21-28, during the 2018 Virginia Spring Gobbler Season, The Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is promoting our 3rd annual statewide “Take a Woman Hunting Week” with the purpose of encouraging hunters and mentors to introduce women to hunting and share our hunting heritage.

By registering for this event, both the mentor and the woman hunting will be entered into a drawing for a shotgun. In addition, the woman will receive her choice of a custom turkey box call to commemorate the hunt, or a Women in the Outdoors event t-shirt. Registration is limited to Virginia residents.  You can find more information about the event at the above link.

The Future of Deer Hunting in Virginia

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:18
The Virginia Gazette has this article titled "Deer Hunting is Endangered."  The point of the article was lack of access will ultimately kill deer hunting in Virginia:
As autumn approaches, Ray Respress gets busy clearing paths, building tree stands and gathering gear for the upcoming deer hunting season. His routine is on hold this fall until his Flat Iron Hunt Club learns if it will have anyplace place to go.

"We don't have a contract on it to date," Respress said about the last James City tract of land that the hunt club can lease. Usually the yearly contract is firmed up by July. "We don't want to go in there and spend three or four days cutting trails and removing brush if we aren't going to have the land," he said.

The situation is a byproduct of growth, as landowners look to more tightly control their lands, often with an eye toward development. For various reasons, hunting has declined by 4% nationally in the past five years, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The tracts are drying up.

"We've lost them all," lamented Andy Priestley, owner of Headhunter's Headquarters in Toano, an official station for hunters to gauge their catch. He said at least 20 hunt clubs have disappeared in the past five years. He can count only five left in the county. His own club, Grove Kennel, disbanded seven years ago after losing its hunting tract in Stonehouse. Years ago most hunting agreements were verbal, between old friends. But as the original landowners died, the land often passed to their children, some of whom were less willing to honor the agreements.The article focused on hunt clubs but lack of land access for private hunters is also a problem.  The state's public wildlife management areas are not always a good option.  With localities ever growing hunger for tax revenue, more and more undeveloped land is being sold to developers.  There was a time when it was relatively easy for a hunter to gain access to prime private hunting land simply by asking.  Today, this is less and less the case.

In an article earlier this year, Outdoor Life addressed the nation's declining hunting numbers and pointed out the larger problem is demographics:
Hunting participation peaked in 1982, when nearly 17 million hunters purchased 28.3 million licenses. Hunter numbers have steadily declined since. We lost 2.2 million hunters between 2011 and 2016 alone, according to the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife-­Associated Recreation, a report issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2016, just 11.5 million people hunted. That’s less than 4 percent of the national population. Outdoor Life looked at the demographics of the hunting population.  They noted that baby boomers make up the largest portion of the nation's hunters, and that they have already begun to age out of the sport.  Outdoor Life went on to point out that in the next 15 years, most will stop buying licenses entirely, and when they do, the hunter ranks could plunge by 30 percent.  The major downside to this is that with a reduction in the number of hunting licenses purchased also brings with it a plunge in critical funding for wildlife management as well as hunting advocacy because those fees go directly to wildlife conservation and management. 

The Outdoor Life article goes on to discuss how to reverse the trend and discuss some models that work.  For those of us who enjoy hunting and want to see it continued for future generations,  the trends are not promising, but, the Outdoor Life article says we turn it around, if we change the way we recruit new hunters.

Washington Post Profile of Texas AR-15 Owner

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 11:20
Sunday's Washington Post had this profile of Fabian Rodriguez, a Texas gun owner who just purchased his first AR-15.  Given it is the Post, the article has a few things to quibble with (noted below) but it mostly did not put Rodriquez in a bad light given how vociferously anti-gun the editorial page is on the subject.  The author, Abigail Hauslohner, did infer that people who purchase or own AR-15 are mostly people who support the military but didn't serve, and that owning an AR-15 allows them to connect with that service without serving.  This inference was reinforced by the former ATF agent turned gun control proponent, David Chipman, who now works for the Gabby Giffords gun ban group.  He told the author that owning an AR-15 was a way to "kind of act patriotic without having to do it."

For his part, Rodriquez represented the gun owning community well.  He has been a shooter since he was eight and purchased his first gun when he was 18.  He explained why he wanted an AR-15:
But this is a gun that Rodriguez has wanted for a couple of years now, a gun that he thinks has been unfairly maligned because of a few people’s bad actions, and a gun that he believes is his right to own. He’s here this weekend not because he worries about an imminent ban, but because he just sold his Mustang and finally has the cash.

Rodriguez is among the sprawling population of American gun enthusiasts who own or aspire to own an AR-15, the semiautomatic weapon that the National Rifle Association has designated “America’s rifle.” Some say the weapon can be useful for hunting or home protection. For others, like Rodriguez, the sleek, easy-to-use design and customizable features make the high-powered rifle simply fun to own.Of course Hauslohner showed that she knows little about firearms herself with the description of the AR-15 as "high-powered", and later in the article when she described it as a "a gun that can fire 45 high-velocity rounds per minute, bullets that travel so fast that their shock waves mimic an explosion as they enter a body."

If there is one thing that should give us pause, it is Rodriquez's acceptance of some gun control proposals that give many pro-rights proponents concern.  It is likely he is not the only gun owner willing to give up some of his freedom:
“I’m a law-abiding, gun-owning citizen,” Rodriguez says. “If there was a procedure that said I have to go to a class and learn, I’m going to do it.”

If the government said he needed to produce a character witness, provide access to his Internet search history or submit to a home visit or a rigorous mental-health evaluation, he’d comply.

“If it takes a little more to have it, that’s fine,” he says.We've all seen the recitation of "poll results" that show a large majority of gun owners, including NRA members (these have to be self identified because the NRA does not sell it's membership list) support background checks.  It's likely because we've all gone through them for over 25 years that is the case.  But, it is also probably true that if you start detailing what is entailed in the various "universal" background check proposals that the numbers would significantly decrease.  I also don't think I should be required to have my home searched or undergo a "rigourous mental-health evaluation" to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

Overall however, it is an article worth reading.

North Carolina Pro-rights Activist Garners National Attention

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 14:46
Greensboro resident Mark Robinson takes his Second Amendment rights very seriously.  Last week, we shared a video in the eBullet of his speech before the Greensboro City Council. In a polite, respectful, fact-based but passionate response, he debunked the talking points of anti-gun activists and asked when they were going to start standing up for the majority, the law-abiding. Since those remarks, he has been featured on Fox News Fox and Friends morning show as well as all of the live NRATV programing, including NRANews Cam and Company.  He told Cam Edwards that he went to the meeting because it was time to stop being a Facebook advocate for the Second Amendment. Robinson also said People need to get out from behind their computer screens and get involved.  You can see that interview below.

NRA Carry Guard Expo Coming to Richmond

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 19:00
The National Rifle Association has announced that the next NRA Carry Guard Expo will take place Sept. 14-16, 2018, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The NRA Carry Guard Expo is a three-day educational and interactive experience dedicated to individuals interested in increasing their knowledge and skills of personal protection, concealed carry and home defense. This event will equip novices and experts alike with the products, skills, knowledge and mindset necessary to be prepared to respond when a threat arises.

The NRA Carry Guard Expo’s exhibit hall will features leading firearm and accessory companies showcasing their most advanced guns and gear designed for self-defense and concealed carry. The expo will also conduct a live product demo show in which concealment clothing and gear designed for men and women will be modeled.

Visitors can attend more than 120 seminars and workshops featuring the best personal protection and concealed carry practices taught and demonstrated by leading experts and instructors from across the country, including NRA Carry Guard, the nation’s most comprehensive coverage and training for those who carry a gun.

The NRA Carry Guard Expo is the firearms education event of the year. Seminar topics will include Emergency Preparedness, How to Interact with Law Enforcement while Carrying, Handgun Fit & Function for Women, Perfecting Practice on the Range and at Home, The Concealed Carry Lifestyle, Making Your Own First Aid Kit, Creating a Home Defense Plan and many more.

To learn more about the NRA Carry Guard Expo, visit the event website at www.nracarryguardexpo.com. Check back regularly to view updates on announcements, training opportunities, and seminars scheduled for the event. Learn more about NRA Carry Guard by visiting www.nracarryguard.com.

VSSA Affiliated Club Raffle to Benefit Youth Airgun Programs

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:55
The Arlington/Fairfax IWLA, a VSSA affiliated club, is raffling a Model 1885 Low Wall .243 Centerfire Rifle. Proceeds benefit the club's youth air gun programs. Raffle tickets are $20 plus $1 for processing (costs of mailing tickets etc). The drawing will take place after 300 tickets have been sold. The winner need not be present to win. To purchase tickets, simply go to the club's web site at http://afc-iwla-sillsairrange.org/.  For more information simply download the raffle flyer by clicking here.

Liberty University Opens Campus Shooting Range

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 13:24
Fox News has the report here:
The lower part of the 600-acre, state-of-the-art gun range has rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope, and at the top has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities.

Liberty is now the only campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports and it hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world once the project is fully completed.One student, Landon Dalton, a sophomore, told Fox News that he was introduced to a whole new world through the university's competitive shooting program.

The range will open to the public and to law enforcement following commencement.  Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., was on NRATV's Cam and Company Wednesday to talk more about the new facility and said there's still some final work to do, but it's already seeing a great deal of use. During the interview Falwell also discussed school safety.  He said Liberty University has set a standard for the country to provide a safe educational environment for our children. The K-12 school that shares the property where Liberty U. is located, Liberty Christian Academy, has one door in and out. Armed security officers are supplemented by faculty members that carry concealed. The campus has installed magnetometers and brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to increase security. President Falwell notes that licensed concealed carry permit holders are allowed through security onto what, in his opinion is the safest campus in the country.

California Style Gun Control Introduced in Congress

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:49
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz wants a federal law that would require background checks for people who buy ammunition. This is just like one of the new laws that went into affect statewide in California in January of this year.  That law was part of new gun laws that passed in 2016. The law requires anyone selling ammunition to have a license from the Department of Justice. Ammunition purchased over the internet must go through a licensed ammunition vendor. And buyers have to pay a $1 fee to pay for the background check.
“I really think it’s important to underscore that without bullets a gun is just a hunk of useless metal, and a would-be killer lacks the means to actually kill or maim,” she said Monday.Just to show you how some of these people think, she continued later in her remarks:
“You do not have the right to bear bullets,” Wasserman Schultz said at a news conference at the Pembroke Pines Police Department, where she was joined by political leaders, a police representative and teachers and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.It is legislation and comments like this that shows just how important this year's election really is.

Dave Kopel: Gun Ban for Young Adults Would Be Wholly Unconstitutional

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:37
Dave Kopel, Research Director at the Independence Institute, and Joseph Greenlee, a fellow at the Millennial Policy Center in Denver, had this op/ed at www.TheHill.com yesterday making the case that banning 18-20 year-olds from buying rifles and shotguns is unconstitutional.  Beyond laying out why such proposals are unconstitutional, Kopel and Greenlee profer this question:
Some young adults 18 to 20 are married with children. These families deserve to protect themselves as much as any family does. If these adults are not mature enough to be trusted with firearms, then logic would suggest that they are not mature enough to marry in the first place.

For that matter, perhaps they are not mature enough to vote If they cannot be trusted with a squirrel rifle, how can they be trusted to elect leaders who wield nuclear weapons?Kopel was on NRATV's Cam and Company yesterday and talked in more detail about the article.  Read it at the above link.  It makes some great points.  We'll see if those points come up in the NRA lawsuit against Florida's new law.

2018 General Assembly Ends With Mixed Results on Guns

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:00
The 2018 General Assembly adjourned Saturday, March 10, but it will return for a special budget session soon as it was not able to come to agreement by Saturday.  Work on all other legislation has been completed. Of the 87 firearm related bills (both good and bad) that were introduced this session, only one HB287, a bill that the gun ban lobby put in to create a "Stop Gun Violence" license plate, was approved by the Assembly.  That bill includes a special annual $25 fee in addition to the annual license cost.  For each $25 fee collected in excess of 1,000 registrations, $15 will be paid into the state treasury and credited to the a special non-reverting fund known as the Stop Gun Violence Fund established within the Department of Accounts. These funds will be paid annually to the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Fund and used to enhance and ensure for the coming years the quality of care and treatment provided to individuals receiving public mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services in Virginia.  That bill is now before the Governor for his signature, possible amendments, or veto.

All of the gun ban bills were defeated before Crossover.  Unfortunately, the two good bills that made it out of the State Senate, one that would do away with the "good and sufficient reason" requirement to carry in a church during regularly scheduled services, and one that would have allowed firefighters and EMTs to carry on the job, both died in the House. No pro-rights bills made it out of the House of Delegates, even with a one vote pro-gun majority. Elections do have consequences. When you look at the list of bills introduced this year by the gun ban lobby, it is easy to see how quickly Virginia would have become almost identical to New Jersey or California if the pro-rights majority that is currently in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate became an anti-rights majority because Governor Northam would have signed every one of those bills.

It is more important than ever to be a VSSA member.   Gun owners are under attack, organized, orchestrated and very well funded.  You have the "National March Against Gun Violence" that is being heavily orchestrated, by the gun ban lobby and progressives.  You need to be involved in your state association because the same gun ban laws are being circulated and distributed to gun ban legislators in every state.  What we saw introduced in Virginia this year mirrors what has already passed in states like California, Oregon and Washington State.  They are written by the Bloomberg folks and they provide all the support material behind it like talking points etc., and they bring people in to speak in support of the bills.  We need to be able to do the same.  If gun owners show up in larger numbers at committee meetings than the other side, legislators will take notice.  If the other side shows up and we don't legislators will notice that too.  Make no mistake, the other side is energized like never before.

How do you make your voice heard?  Join your state association.  Some states have a state association as well as other gun rights groups.  Join all of them, but especially the state NRA affiliated association.  State associations are full service organizations.  Not only do they lobby for our rights, they are promoting the shooting sports to the next generation so that we have people to follow us as advocates for our freedoms.   State associations are the tip of the sword at state legislatures. NRA State Liaisons cover multiple states and can't be in two places at one time. VSSA has a legislative presence everyday of the session. If you know a gun owner who isn't a member, please urge them to join today.

House Kills Last Pro-gun Senate Bill on House Floor Today

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 13:41
Today, the House of Delegates defeated SB715, a bill that allows any firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel to carry a concealed handgun while engaged in the performance of his official duties, provided that such firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel has been approved to carry a concealed handgun by his fire chief or emergency medical services chief.  The bill was defeated on a vote of 35 - 62.  This bill had previously passed the State Senate 22-18.

House of Delegates Kills Senate Bill Allowing Carrying Concealed During Worship Services

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 13:26
Yesterday, the House of Delegates effectively killed SB372, a bill that repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without "good and sufficient reason" to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes.  This bill simply freed churches to make their own decisions on security 24 hours a day, while current law limits options during a service.  SB372 was left in committee on the last day to hear legislation before the end of the Session, which is Saturday.   SB372 had passed the Senate while a companion House bill was killed earlier in the Session after it was re-referred to committee from the House floor just before Crossover.  The State Senate is considered to be more "moderate" than the House, even with the House GOP majority being greatly reduced after last year's election, yet this bill was approved (along party lines) in the Senate.

As noted in an earlier post, word is, Democrats intend to reverse former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion that self-defense is a "good and sufficient reason" to carry in a church during a regularly scheduled service.

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