Join Virginia's Oldest Gun Rights Organization and Help Protect Virginia’s Firearms Freedoms
Member Benefits and Services
- Represents Virginia firearms owners;
- Defends the right to self-defense;
- Promotes safe gun ownership & use;
- Sanctions championship and other shooting competitions;
- Protects the hunting and shooting sports; and,
- Keeps you informed through the bi-monthly member publication, The Bullet, through legislative email alerts, and the E-Bullet email update.
- Discounts for selected VSSA Clinics.
With Your Membership in the VSSA You Will:
- Recevie the E-Bullet electronic news letter emailed almost weekly (be sure to sign up for email alerts to receive this benefit).
- Learn about the most recent voting records of political candidates - know who your pro-gun representatives are - it’s your valuable election guide.
- Obtain for Free a copy of your VSSA Member decal and membership card.
- Participate in VSSA supported State competitive shooting events.
- Protect your right to keep and use firearms - for sports, hobby, and peace of mind.
- Maintain your right to self-defense - protect yourself when no one else will.
- Honor America’s firearms heritage - It’s your constitutional legacy.
- Fight fanatical firearms restrictions - Your voice does make a difference.
- Promote and supports organized, competitive and recreational shooting activities.
- Have a full-time, salaried legislative advocate in Richmond during the General Assembly making sure your gun rights are protected.
- Support the only Virginia-based gun rights organization that not only protects your gun rights legislatively but promotes the Second Amendment and the shooting sports to new shooters so the next generation will enjoy the same freedom we currently enjoy.
- Support youth firearm activities such as the Virginia State Games Shooting Events, Junior State Championships and safety training.
Every year VSSA’s lobbying team works to:
- Protect gun shows and your right to sell parts of your privately owned firearms collection to other private citizens;
- Enhance Virginia’s Concealed Handgun Permit Statute to allow storage of your firearm in your car while you are parked in a parking lot at work or other location;
- Pass of “Castle Doctrine” legislation to put into law that you have the right to protect yourself in your home free from the fear that a criminal may sue you for doing so;
- Enhance Virginia’s range protection statute to fight attempts from anti-gunners who attempt to use noise complaints from anti-gun residents; and ,
- Protect Virginia’s pre-emption statute to prevent a patchwork of gun laws from one locality to the next
Other Reasons to Join VSSA
- VSSA joined 41 other state associations in filing one of 47 amicus briefs on behalf of the Respondent Richard Heller in the "D.C. Gun Ban Case" and Otis McDonald in "McDonald vs. Chicago";
- VSSA also promotes hunting. As part of our legislative efforts we work to protect all shooting sports from the anti-gun and anti-hunting crowd;
- VSSA annually sponsors one of the most successful charity shooting events of its type with the proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital;
- The larger our membership, the louder our voice when we go to the General Assembly to protect and secure YOUR gun rights;
- Legislators and elected officials understand numbers and when we tell them we are representing thousands of voters who own firearms and these gun owners vote, it has an impact on those officials;
- Join now and you can add your voice to thousands of Virginia gun owners who have already joined VSSA and help secure your rights for yourself and the next generation; and,
- Remember: VSSA is the firewall standing between your firearms freedoms and those who would take them away. And we need your help to win!
VSSA has been instrumental in:
- Passage of SB154 partially repealing the ban on hunting on Sunday (2014)
- Passage of HB940 and SB323 repealing Virginia's handgun rationing law known as "one gun-a-month." (2012)
- Passage of HB22 requiring localities to pass an ordinance specifically allowing them to engage in compensated confiscation ("gun buybacks") schemes, meaning that citizens will have a say before tax payer money can be spent on such schemes. (2012)
- Passage of HB754 and SB67 repealing the requirement that first time concealed carry permit holders submit fingerprints with their application. (2012)
- Passage of SB335 and HB505 repealing the ban on carrying concealed in restaurants like Applebees and Olive Garden that serve alcohol as well as food. (2010)
- Passage of SB 3 and HB 8 allowing conceal carry permit (CHP) holders to renew their permits by mail. (2010)
- Passage of Virginia’s Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) statute (SB744) of 1995
- Passage of Virginia’s full Pre-emption statue (HB 530)
- Passage of the first partial roll-back (HB404) of Virginia’s handgun rationing statute (one gun-a-month). HB 404 was introduced by VSSA member, Delegate Bill Janis.
- Passage of legislation (HB2282) to make it harder to close a gun range for noise. Again it was VSSA member Delegate Bill Janis that introduced this bill.
- Passage of legislation (HB 1302) abolishing provisions regulating sales and purchases in contiguous states.
- Passage of legislation prohibiting (HB 1150) a local government from adopting an ordinance governing the storage of firearms or ammunition
- Supreme Court Decisions in Heller vs. DC and McDonald vs. Chicago as a participant in the State Associations' Amicus Brief
Bills Supported by VSSA:
A substitute to Senate Bill 1335. The substitute to S.B. 1335, amended by the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, protects the confidentiality of all concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders in Virginia.
Senate Bill 1363 and House Bill 2317 are companion bills that provide that residency for members of the armed forces shall include both the member’s permanent duty post and the nearby state in which the military personnel resides for the purposes of firearms purchases. Drafted by the NRA, both S.B. 1363 and H.B. 2317 passed unanimously in the Senate and House of Delegates.
A substitute to House Bill 1582 permits armed security officers licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to carry firearms onto private or religious school property if the officer is hired by the private or religious school to provide protection to students and employees. This bill also prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting any regulations that would prevent a child day center from hiring an armed security officer.
House Bill 1833 creates separate sections to address the general criminal prohibition against carrying concealed firearms; the requirements for applying for a concealed handgun permit; the process the circuit court follows in reviewing, issuing, and denying permits; the appeals process procedures for nonresidents to obtain permits; the renewal process disqualifications; and other procedural issues. H.B. 1833 passed unanimously in the House and the Senate.
Senate Bill 1378 increases penalties for individuals who knowingly assist prohibited persons in illegally obtaining firearms.
Bills VSSA Helped Defeat:
Senate Bill 785 would have dictated how one must store firearms in their own home and imposed criminal penalties for noncompliance.
House Bill 2207 would have prohibited certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than twenty rounds from being imported, sold, bartered or transferred.
House Bill 2327 would have reenacted the repealed “one gun a month” (gun rationing) statute.
Senate Bill 1228 would have repealed state firearms preemption, thus allowing localities to adopt and enforce ordinances to regulate firearms and ammunition that are stricter than the state level.
House Bill 1662 would have allowed localities to adopt ordinances to prohibit firearms or ammunition in libraries.
House Bill 1326 would have eliminated certain firearms safety courses that currently fulfill the resident and non-resident requirement for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
House Bill 1693 would have removed exceptions for possessing certain unloaded firearms or knives in or upon a motor vehicle located at any elementary, middle or high school from the list of exceptions for possessing a weapon on school property.
Now we have to pay for our lobbying efforts and we hope you will help by making a donation to the War Chest.
Repeal of Handgun Rationing in 2012
In 2012, after 19 years, we finally repealed Virginia's gun rationing law known as "one gun-a-month. VSSA also helped repeal the requirement that first-time concealed carry permit applicants submit fingerprints with their application. Additionally, VSSA beat back another attempt by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to more than triple the cost of big game tags for hunters who pursue all three big game species in Virginia (deer, bear, and turkey). VSSA has successfully protect the rights of Virginia gun owners for the last 74 years. Your generous donations will help us to continue our past success.
Bills that Became Law with the Help of VSSA Include:
House Bill 1552 - Amends the language relating to the issuance of de facto concealed handgun permits. Current law states that if a court does not issue a permit or find that the applicant is disqualified, within 45 days of receipt of the application, the clerk is to certify the application and send it to the applicant. The certified application then serves as a de facto permit until the actual permit is issued or the applicant is found to be disqualified. The bill states that the clerk must mail or e-mail the certified application to the applicant within five business days of the expiration of the 45-day period.
House Bill 1856 - Allows a concealed handgun permit holder to obtain a replacement permit in the event that the original permit is lost or destroyed. The permit holder would be required to submit a notarized statement to the clerk of the court that the permit was lost or destroyed and pay a fee not to exceed $5, and the clerk would be required to issue a replacement permit within 10 business days. The replacement permit will have the same expiration date as the original permit.
House Bill 1857, Clarifies that a member of the military may provide permanent orders assigning him to the Pentagon for purposes of providing documentation of residency when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. This bill corrects a problem caused by the federal government where some military personnel who are attempting to purchase a firearm in the Commonwealth are being turned away because their permanent duty orders have assigned them to the Pentagon, which lists its official address in Washington, D.C., despite being located in Virginia.
Senate Bill 1213/House Bill 1501 - Provides that the State Board of Elections, in cooperation with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will make mail voter registration application forms available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. This bill is identical to HB 1501. This bill incorporates SB 1346.
House Bill 1422 - Adds one firearm, not to exceed $3,000 in value, to the list of items that every householder shall be entitled to hold exempt from creditor process. This bill incorporates HB 1471, HB 1494, and HB 2428. This bill is identical to SB 839.
Senate Bill 757 - This important legislation prohibits a locality from adopting an ordinance that prohibits the shooting of pneumatic guns on private property, with permission of the owner of the property, if reasonable care is taken to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property. The bill also invalidates any existing local ordinances that conflict with the provisions of the act.
In addition to the successfully lobbying for passage of the above bills, VSSA helped defeat the following bills:
Senate Bill 868 - This bill would have eliminated the current provision in state law that requires officials from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) to investigate and confirm claims of crop damage before issuing deer and bear agricultural kill permits to landowners. It would also have added elk to the list of species that may be killed pursuant to these permits. The bill was introduced as a response to the elk restoration program the VDGIF approved last year. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation vehemently opposed the reintroduction effort and knows that this legislation would have ensured the failure of the program by allowing the killing of reintroduced elk without government oversight.
HB 1553 –This bill would have established separate big game licenses for deer, bear and turkey hunting. If passed, the bill would have increased the cost of hunting for many by as much as 100%. Many hunters currently hunt all three species of big game in Virginia and pay a flat $18 for big game tags that include all three species in addition to $18 for a state hunting license ($36 total). If passed, the bill would have established separate fees for deer and turkey that could not exceed the cost of the state hunting license, and set a fee of $25 for bear tags (a total of $79 if all three tags were purchased in addition to the state hunting license).
HB 1669 - The annual "gun show loophole" bill. This bill would have added a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also adds a definition of "promoter" and requires that the promoter of a gun show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal background check.
HB 2343 - This was a solution in search of a problem. This bill would have created a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person carrying a handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and prohibits a person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit for five years following such a conviction. The prohibition would apply regardless of whether the person is carrying the handgun openly or concealed with a concealed handgun permit. Current law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but does not speak to openly carrying a handgun while under the influence.
HB 2524 - This bill would have prohibited any person from selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold 20 or more rounds of ammunition.
2010 A Big Year for Gun Rights
2010 was the most successful legislative year for gun owners since 2004. After a 15 year hard fought battle, we finally repealed the ban on carrying concealed in restaurants (SB 334/HB505), like Applebees and Olive Garden, that serve alcohol in addition to food. Virginia’s concealed handgun permit holders (CHP) can now carry their personal protection firearm with them when they take their families to full service restaurants.
There were other positive CHP reforms passed into law in addition to repeal of the restaurant ban. Senate Bill 3/HB 8 allows a person who previously has been issued a Virginia CHP to submit an application to renew the permit via the United States mail..
Another bill that passed is HB 1191,which will allow a circuit court judge to authorize the Clerk of Court to issue concealed handgun permits in instances where the application is complete, the background check does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified, and, after consulting with the local sheriff or police department, there are no other questions or issues surrounding the application.
Also passed this year was HB1217, which allows local school boards to offer firearm safety education programs in the elementary grades. The bill requires that the program objectives incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program.