Moms Demand Illegal Mayors, or whatever the two merged groups are called these days, are declaring total victory in the Facebook/Instagram policy statement that any reported post featuring an offer to sell any regulated product privately will generate a reminder to sellers that they shouldn’t violate the law. But the Brady Campaign swiftly sent out a letter to their supporters highlighting that the anti-gun groups didn’t get anything they demanded at all, and this is not in any way a victory. The thing is, the Brady Campaign is right on this, at least coming from a gun banner’s perspective.So desperate to claim victory is MAIG and their satelite orgainzations, that they take a notice that those posting items for sale (in this case firearms) on Facebook/Instagram should not violate the law, as a smack down to gun owners. As Bitter points out, in this case, Brady is right.
As originally introduced, the bill included provisions that would have made it a felony to randomly discharge a firearm into the air, hitting or killing someone, and a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail if no one is hurt. It has a companion Senate bill, SB65, sponsored by anti-rights Richmond State Senator Henry Marsh.
Both Bills emerged in a different from when they passed their respective chambers. HB810 had been changed to a malicious wounding bill, making it much more palatable. The operative language in HB810 as it passed the House is:
A1. Any person who handles any firearm in a manner so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment is guilty of a Class 6 felony.SB65 as amended on the other hand was almost as bad as the introduced version.
When HB810 got to the Senate, it was conformed to SB65, but that was rejected when the bill was sent back to the House of Delegates for approval an the bill went to conference. The Conference Committee recommended rejection of the Senate substitute and approval of the bill as it passed the House of Delegates. That report was approved by the House yesterday. SB65, which was amended by House Courts of Justice to mirror HB810, emerged from the House Appropriations Committee yesterday and should be taken up today or tomorrow in the House.
Update: The House passed consideration of the Governor's amendment by for the day. It will be on the Calendar again tomorrow (Thursday).
Please contact your member of the House of Delegates and urge them to reject Governor McAuliffe's Amendment. If the amendment is rejected, McAuliffe's options are to sign the bill as passed or to veto it.
There is no evidence that gun control research fell when restrictions were put on federally funded research. Indeed, whether one looks at the number of total articles or total pages, firearms research has been as high or higher than when the restrictions were enacted. In 2013, well before federal funding could have any impact on publications, there was an explosion in firearms research in medical journals.The mainstream media falls all over itself to repeat the talking points of the gun ban lobby. Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been among the loudest making the claim that there is a lack of research on firearms. CPRC concludes in it's study:
Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns appears to be so anti-gun that they have been willing to manipulate their data to get their desired results. Unfortunately, data manipulation is appearing to be a consistent pattern Mayors Against Illegal Guns reports, and the misrepresentations can be seen in their studies from shootings in gun-free zones to the number of school shootings since Newtown.Hat tip to Dr. John Lott.
Now Gross would likely respond that the 49% figure supporting gun control is higher than it was in 2011, but the numbers continue to slide as the time after the Newtown shooting increases.
But, facts never have meant very much to the gun ban lobby.
Hat tip to AWR Hawkins and Breitbart News.
Why is this such a special event, please read the note below from the event's founder, Steve Canale.
A special message from VSSA's Crush'n Clays founder, and former VSSA President, Steve Canale:
Hero's Like You Can Help Hero's Like ThesePediatric medical centers, like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital work miracles. If you've ever lived it, you'd know. Though not a St. Jude's patient, several years ago, I introduced you to Finn. Finn has a serious congenital heart defect, severe aortic stenosis. Because of the wonderful doctors at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC., he is now a thriving 2 year old. But now, Finn needs a mitral heart valve replacement. His heart is so enlarged that they'll may need to replace it with an adult size, artificial heart valve.
Finn doesn't know he is sick, at home, he smiles, loves attention, wants to be tickled, and chases the dogs around the house. “Believe” is the motto of Children's National Medical Center.
Finn is also part of the of the Arlington-Fairfax IWLA family. His father, Ian Gillespie and his grandfather, Dan Gillespie are IWLA members who compete in the Winter Shotgun League and are regulars at Crush'n Clays.
Finn is also my grandson. Every Crush'n Clays event is, now, more meaningful.###
We hope you can join us for this fun and special event. Below is a little more about the event and what has been accomplished in the first 15 years of the event.
A quick look at the VSSA Legislative Tracking Form tells the story. A number of pro-rights bills were either carried over to next year (a soft way of killing a bill) or were killed out right in the State Senate after the anti-rights crowd took control of Senate Courts of Justice mid way through the session. For instance, HB 878, a bill that would have improved the process for purchasing firearms and accessories covered by the National Firearms Act (NFA) passed the House, but was killed by the new anti-rights majority on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Lifetime concealed handgun permits made it out of the Senate on a bi-partisan vote but has been stalled in the House because of concerns with the State Police handling the application process.
On the bright side, all of the anti-rights bills have been defeated. Thankfully, most of the bad bills went through Senate Courts of Justice before the power shift. There are two minor bills (companion bills) HB 810 and SB 65, dealing with so-called "Celebratory Gun Fire" that are still hanging around. It's not that VSSA supports the practice, but the fact that there are already laws dealing with negligent discharge and the fact that unless you see the individual violate the law, exactly how will it be enforced? HB 810 had been significantly neutered to a bill dealing with the original issue, was amended to address malicious wounding. It passed the House but was amended back the the version of Senator Marsh's bill (SB 65) when it got to Senate Courts of Justice. The House of Delegates rejected the amendments and it is now headed to conference. The House has amended SB 65 to the way HB 810 left the House of Delegates and is currently in the Appropriations Committee. It is likely to meet the same fate as HB 810 if it gets back to the Senate, and both bills may be killed for lack of action by a conference committee.
Also on the positive side, working with the NRA, NSSF, and other pro hunting groups, we were able to pass a bill allowing Sunday hunting on private property. This is a win for property rights while balancing the interests of those who wish to use public land on Sundays for the purpose of hiking, horseback riding, or biking. A spokesman for the Governor indicated he would sign the bill. That has not stopped opponents from trying to gut the bill however. A move is underway to encourage local Board of Supervisors to pass resolutions encouraging McAuliffe to amend the bill with a provision making it a local option allowing Sunday hunting on private land. Supporters of Sunday Hunting should contact Governor McAuliffe and urge him to sign HB 1237.
With one week left, the general assessment of the 2014 Session is that we are ending about as we expected - with the status quo. For all his bluster late in the campaign, McAuliffe has not lifted a finger to help pass the large number of gun control bills introduced. The gun ban lobby's attempt to push bills like SB 510, part of a new strategy that would take away a person's civil rights for certain misdemeanor conviction, failed. Rest assured they will be back next year, and this time they have a willing majority in Senate Courts of Justice with which to work..
A Bitter notes on Shall Not Be Questioned, we should not be relying on the courts anyway. We need to make sure that we elect the right people on election day.
Last week, Del. Barbara J. Comstock voted for a bill that would make it easier for teachers to bring guns onto school grounds. Democrats pounced, accusing the Fairfax County Republican of being “reckless” and out of step with Northern Virginia. The next day, Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William) joined the race for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, and he immediately accused Comstock of doing “nothing” to lead on gun rights and other issues important to conservatives.
The attacks from the gun ban lobby are to be expected, but exactly what is Delegate Marshall talking about? Complicating matters is the fact, according to the Washington Post, people in the district that are associated with the Tea Party have pegged her as being the "Establishment" candidate. So, let's look at Comstock's record on Second Amendment issues.
Delegate Comstock was elected in the tidal wave of 2009 that swept Bob McDonnell into the Governor's Office. Since that time, she has had the opportunity to vote on some important pieces of legislation affecting Virginia's gun owners. A quick search of the Legislative Information System shows since 2010, Delegate Comstock has been on the right side of important votes including repeal of the ban on carrying concealed in family restaurants like Applebee's and Olive Garden that serve alcohol as well as food, repeal of handgun rationing, bills that allow the transporting of firearms in vehicles for those who chose not to get a concealed handgun permit, and a host of other pro-rights bills, and a host of others. During last year's election, the gun ban lobby targeted Comstock late hoping to pull off an upset.
It could be that Delegate Marshall is measuring her commitment based on the number of pro-rights bills she has introduced. A better measure on where she stands on our firearm freedom is whether we can count on her when the going gets tough, as it did during last year's campaign. By that measure, she passed because she did not back down on her previous votes protecting the rights of Virginia's gun owners.
VSSA can't speak to other issues on which Delegate Comstock has voted since 2010, but on the issue that is the mission of this association, Delegate Comstock is counted among our true friends, and attacks on her record on Second Amendment issues are baseless.
The last two governors said they supported Sunday hunting on private land, but candidate McAuliffe stated in our interview with him last October that he favored the status quo. Sources, though, say a veto would be unlikely.The news of the bill's passage cheered the pro-Sunday hunting folks who have been working on this for years, but really stepped up their lobbying this year. This victory was achieved when they were able to get the bill assigned to the House Agriculture Committee instead of the killing field of the subcommittee that had deep-sixed the bill the last several years. The News and Advance caught of with one hunter that will be impacted by the bill and he sounded happy about the vote:
The vote cheered hunters in the Roanoke Valley, including Daniel Hartman, 16, an avid baseball player who was looking at guncleaning supplies at Roanoke’s Sportsman’s Warehouse on Tuesday evening with his father. “Once I started playing travel ball, I noticed I wasn’t getting much hunting time,” said Daniel, who lives in Roanoke County and does much of his hunting on family land.There is possibly another benefit this new law will have not only for hunters, but all Virginians, courtesy of Mark Holmberg at CBS6 back in November..
According to the FBI report:
HB878 requires that when certification of a chief law-enforcement officer is required by federal law for transfer of a firearm, as defined in the National Firearms Act, such certification must be provided within 30 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. If the applicant is prohibited by law from receiving the firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee shall provide written notification to the applicant stating the reason for the prohibition. That bill was defeated on a party line vote, which included the usually pro-gun State Senator John Edwards voting against gun owners.
Finally, HB705 would eliminate certain requirements for an out-of-state concealed handgun permit to be recognized in Virginia and provides that such a permit authorizes the holder of the permit to carry a concealed handgun so long as the permit holder carries a valid government-issued photo identification and presents that identification to any law-enforcement officer upon request. Again, on a party line vote, this bill failed, with Senator Edwards turning his back on gun owners again.
Vehemently anti-rights and co-chairman of the committee, State Senator Don McEachin (D-Richmond) resorted to hyperbole to describe the actions of the Democrats:“Pro-gun advocates keep saying: enforce the laws on the books. Today, we acted to keep some of the protections we already have in Virginia from being chipped away. After all, if we have a high standard for the legal sale of bombs, grenades, or rockets, why make it easier to buy them?” said Senator McEachin of the Committee’s votes today. “Once again, Democrats chose commonsense, pragmatic governing as opposed to adherence to a rigid ideology.”
We’ve had a generation or two of lawmakers – at first in both parties, then increasingly concentrated in the Democratic Party – who believed that the Second Amendment was optional. Increasingly, courts are informing them otherwise.And it is interesting to note that the two judges on the side of gun owners are Clinton appointees. If judges on the infamous 9th Circuit get this, how long before other circuits who have ruled against gun owners on the same issue of carrying outside the home will come around to this way of thinking? Heller figured prominently in the decision released yesterday. California Second Amendment attorney Chuck Michel also talked about the importance of the case with Cam Edwards on NRANews' Cam and Company yesterday.
During the past deer season 242,734 deer were reported killed by deer hunters in Virginia. This total included 106,230 antlered bucks, 20,082 button bucks, 116,304 does (48%), and 118 “unknown” deer. The fall 2013 deer kill total was up 13% from the 215,241 deer reported killed last fall. It is also slightly above the last ten-year average of 232,600 (up 4%).Muzzleloader hunters accounted for almost 1/4 of the kills (22%) over 3/4 of all hunters checked their deer by using the department's automated phone check-in service. DGIF also noted that the state deer management plan has called for an increase in the number of doe kills, especially on private property, and those numbers have increased for eight consecutive years.
Bedford County had the most deer kills, and also saw an increase from 2012 numbers. Loudoun County came in with the second most deer taken but that locality actually saw a minor decline (15) in 2013.
Hat tip to NRABlog.
After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, horror and outrage prompted lawmakers in Connecticut, Maryland, New York and a handful of other states to implement tough new gun restrictions. But since its own tragedy seven years ago at Virginia Tech, the commonwealth has gone in the other direction. Over the six full legislative sessions since Seung Hui Cho’s rampage left 32 dead, it is gun rights, not gun restrictions, that have grown stronger. Gilbert, a former Shenandoah Valley prosecutor and the deputy majority leader in Virginia’s House of Delegates, is a big reason why.Delegate Gilbert approaches the issue from the perspective of a former prosecutor who believes you take the guns out of the hands of the bad guys and keep them in the hands of the law abiding.“All the members of this place try to oversimplify everything all the time. I know it’s a complicated issue,” Gilbert said. “But I’ve just never seen how disarming law-abiding people made anybody safer.”The Post also touched on an issue that seems to be a favorite of those reporting on Virginia gun laws, and at the same time misreported - online safety courses that qualify applicants for concealed handgun permits (CHPs).“I think I’ve said this every year since I’ve been here,” Goddard began. “I got a permit. I shouldn’t have a permit. I’ve never held a handgun. I should have had training. I went online and answered some questions that I could have answered if I hadn’t watched the silly little movie in advance. I shouldn’t be allowed to have a permit to carry a handgun in public until I know how to handle it and know about the laws.”The Post refers to the online course under the requirement that the applicant has a "demonstrated competence with a handgun" from the CHP statute without also listing all of the different courses that qualify. There is no range time requirement in the Code and some of the examples given as acceptable courses do not include instruction on a handgun. It has been a long time since I took a hunter safety course (which is one of the acceptable courses listed in the Code) but I did not have any handgun instruction in that course. What no one in the media seems to understand is that Virginia's requirement is a basic safety course. Anyone serious about carrying concealed should (and likely does) take a lot of different training that includes subjects like situational awareness, drawing a firearm in various senarios, just to name a couple. But to qualify for the permit, you simply have to take a basic firearm safety course. But Gilbert makes an excellent point:“While this is couched as a reasonable extension of public policy, it really just nibbles away at that basic proposition that we shouldn’t have to go get the government’s permission to go protect ourselves and our families as we see fit,” Gilbert said. “Free citizens, acting as Mr. Goddard does, will choose to carry a firearm or not carry a firearm. Criminals will choose to do it or not do it — without regard for any of these laws.”The article ends with a discussion of how we may be entering a period of a stalemate as the Governor's office and the State Senate are now controlled by the Democrats. If this session is an indication, the Post may be right on that point.
H.B. 705 Concealed handgun permits; eliminates certain requirements for an out-of-state permit.Patron: GilbertOut-of-state concealed handgun permits. Eliminates certain requirements for an out-of-state concealed handgun permit to be recognized in Virginia and provides that such a permit authorizes the holder of the permit to carry a concealed handgun so long as the permit holder carries a valid government-issued photo identification and presents that identification to any law-enforcement officer upon request.
H.B. 878 Firearms, certain; certification by chief law-enforcement officer within 30 days of request.Patron: LaRockLaw-enforcement certification of certain firearms. Requires that when certification of a chief law-enforcement officer is required by federal law for transfer of a firearm, as defined in the National Firearms Act, such certification must be provided within 30 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. If the applicant is prohibited by law from receiving the firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee shall provide written notification to the applicant stating the reason for the prohibition. The definition of "firearm" includes machine guns, rifles and shotguns of a certain length, weapons made from certain rifles or shotguns, silencers, and destructive devices.A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 18.2-295.1, relating to law-enforcement certification of certain firearms.
H.B. 962 Concealed handgun; carrying in a secured container or compartment in vehicle.Patron: ClineCarrying concealed handgun; secured container or compartment in vehicle. Provides that for purposes of the exception to the prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon in a secured container or compartment in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel, the term "compartment" includes a console, glove compartment, or any other area within or on the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed. The bill also provides that the term "secured" does not require that a container or compartment be locked, but merely closed.
It is important that you contact members of the committee now and urge them to vote to report the bills. The committee make-up is much different than when some pro-rights Senate bills were reported earlier this session. Now, the committee is co-chaired by two vehemently anti-rights Senators from the City of Richmond. Contact information for the committee members can be seen by clicking on the names below.
Marsh (Co-Chair), McEachin (Co-Chair), Saslaw, Norment, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Puller, Obenshain, McDougle, Petersen,Stuart, Vogel, Stanley, Wexton