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Updated: 12 hours 7 min ago

McAuliffe Vetoes Bill Protecting Concealed Handgun Permit Holders

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 14:24
As expected, today Governor Terry McAuliffe two firearm related bills, including one that would have prevented law enforcement in states that do not have concealed permit reciprocity with Virginia from having access to the information on those permits. From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
The vetoes, detailed Wednesday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, include a rejection of several gun bills that would have let concealed handgun permit holders drive with loaded shotguns or rifles in their vehicles, and would have prevented the state from sharing permit holder information with any other state that does not have a firearms reciprocity agreement with Virginia.The bill protecting concealed handgun permit holder information, SB948, in no way endangers law enforcement.  In fact, there is evidence that concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding people in the nation.  All this bill does is protect Virginia CHP holders from fishing expeditions that law enforcement in states like Maryland and New Jersey typically take when they learn someone they stop for routine traffic violations is a gun owner and concealed carry permit holder.

The other bill he vetoed is Senator Tom Garrett's bill (SB1137) that would allow concealed handgun permit holders to have a loaded rifle or shotgun in their vehicle.

The General Assembly will take up the Governor's vetoes and amendments on April 15.  Be sure to contact your State Senator and urge him or her to vote to override Governor McAuliffe's vetoes on SB948 and SB1137.
Categories: News

Second Gun Bill Likely to Be Vetoed by McAuliffe

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:01
The Washington Post reports that another gun related bill is likely to be vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe is also expected to veto several bills intended to expand gun rights, including one that would allow anyone who holds a concealed handgun permit to transport a loaded shotgun or rifle in a car on any public roadway.The bill mentioned by the Post is SB1137 sponsored by State Senator Tom Garrett.  Governor McAuliffe told WRVA today that he will hold a news conference Friday to announce all of his vetoes and amendments.  Check this blog tomorrow for more information related to the remaining pro-rights bill awaiting action by the Governor.
Categories: News

McAuliffe May Veto at Least One Gun Bill

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 10:40
The Times Dispatch reports this morning that among the bills on Governor McAuliffe's possible veto list is a bill that let felons who had served their time and had their rights restored in other states, possess firearms in Virginia.  HB 2286, which was sponsored by Delegate Michael Webert, passed the House 65-35.  It passed the Senate on a vote of 24-16.  If vetoed, it would take 27 votes in the Senate to override it.  Governor McAuliffe has until midnight Sunday to complete his action on legislation.  The General Assembly reconvenes on April 15 for a one day session to take the Governor's amendments and vetoes.

I had the chance to talk with Cam Edwards of Sportsman Channel's NRANews Cam and Company about the gun bills that have been signed and what's left.
Categories: News

Gun Free Zone Documentary Debuts April 1

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 08:43
The topic of “gun-free zones” and campus carry is facing the glare of the national spotlight with lawmakers in 10 states promoting bills to permit licensed carriers who are 21 or older to bring their firearms on college campuses. Safety/security (sexual assault and mass shootings) and constitutional-rights concerns are driving the discussion.  So it is timely that the Outdoor Channel's Safe Haven Documentary hosted by Fox News contributor and Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich debut's April 1.
According to the Outdoor Channel media release:
"Safe Haven" takes a critical look at the history of gun-free zones in the United States and their effect on crime prevention through a series of interviews with law enforcement, industry experts and survivors, among others. The documentary explores how effective, or perhaps ineffective, these gun-free measures have been and offers possible solutions that would better protects schools, businesses and the public at large.The program airs at 4:30 ET on April 1.
Categories: News

Restaurants Where You Can Carry In Nashville During the NRA Annual Meeting

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 08:54
For those who will be attending the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Nashville in April, Dr. John Lott's Crime Prevention Research Center interviewed restaurant managers to determine which venues would welcome patrons carrying concealed.  The post has a list of restaurants that post "no firearms" signs and those that don't.  One restaurant had NRA decals in the window.  I guess it's safe to say gun owners carrying are welcome there.
Categories: News

Christian Science Monitor: Departure of ATF Chief Victory for Gun Rights Groups

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:39
The Christian Science Monitor has this story on the announced resignation of ATF Director B. Todd Jones:
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has never been a favorite with gun rights groups or their champions on Capitol Hill. To put it mildly.

The departure of ATF Director B. Todd Jones this week was “to pursue other opportunities in the private sector,” as the official announcement declared – reportedly to a newly-created senior position with the National Football League (NFL).

But the real reason Mr. Jones’ tenure at the controversial ATF finally came to an end had to do with an attempt to ban certain armor-piercing bullets used in AR-15 assault-style weapons. For the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-gun groups, controlling ammunition is just as objectionable as regulating gun ownership.The announcement was applauded by pro-rights advocates from the NRA to House Judiciary Chairman and Virginia 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.  At least one anti-rights Democrat also piled on Jones:
“This was sloppily handled and as a result the outcome was surprising, disappointing and even confusing,” Rep. Steve Israel, (D) of New York, told The Hill newspaper. “I hope under the new leadership the ATF can have a more transparent and responsive process.”Our opponents in Congress want to pick up where Jones left off however.  Israel is backing legislation that would prohibit all forms of so-called "armor-piercing ammunition."   On the pro-rights side, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, (R) of Wisconsin, is pushing legislation that would eliminate ATF.
Categories: News

VSSA Affiliated Club Spends Quality Time with National and World Champion Shooter Julie Golob

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:02
National and World Champion Shooter and Team Smith and Wesson member Julie Golob was in Virginia Beach recently shooting a commercial for Federal Premium at Colonial Shooting Academy's Virginia Beach location. While she was there, she spent some quality time with VSSA Affiliated Club 757 Ladies Packing Heat:
Julie is the most successful female shooter to ever compete in Practical Shooting. I've had the opportunity to speak with her at NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis and Indianapolis and she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  She is also a strong advocate for firearm safety.

Thanks to 757 Ladies Packing Heat's Kathie Gerber for passing along the video.
Categories: News

ATF Director First Casualty of Ammo Ban Fiasco

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 11:24
The Hill reports that ATF Director B. Todd Jones is resigning following the fiasco that led to the agency temporarily pulling the "green tip" ammo ban proposal:
Jones, who in July 2013 became the first ATF director to be confirmed by the Senate, is departing shortly after the agency dropped a controversial attempt to ban certain armor-piercing bullets used in AR-15 rifles.

The episode was the latest in a series of flaps that has put the Obama administration's ATF at odds with many congressional Republicans. In recent weeks, GOP lawmakers have introduced legislation seeking to tamp down on the agency's authority — and to abolish the ATF altogether.

Attorney General Eric Holder lauded Jones for his service and "groundbreaking" law enforcement initiatives, including an effort to strengthen ballistic imaging technology that recently played a critical role in the investigation of the shooting of two police officers.Townhall's Katie Pavlich had a great idea on the subject when she posted this comment on Twitter:
Instead of wasting everyone's time confirming a new director, now would be a great time for Congress to abolish ATF http://t.co/2m99ttGH0S
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 20, 2015

Categories: News

Governor McAuliffe Signs Two Pro-rights Bills

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 11:10
Governor McAuliffe has signed Senator Tommy Norment's SB1191 and Delegate Buddy Fowler's HB1666

SB1191 amends the statute that makes it a crime to possess a firearm, stun weapon, knife, or certain other weapons on school property by requiring that the person knowingly possess the firearm or other weapon before they can be charged.

HB1666 permits a nonresident of the Commonwealth prohibited from possessing a firearm, ammunition, or a stun weapon because of a felony conviction or a juvenile adjudication of delinquency of certain offenses to petition the circuit court where his last felony conviction or adjudication of delinquency occurred for restoration of his right to possess, transport, or carry a firearm, ammunition, or a stun weapon. Current law does not provide for venue for a nonresident's restoration petition.

Governor McAuliffe has until March 30 to act on the remaining bills on his desk.
Categories: News

Crime Prevention Research Center Event at NRA Annual Meetings

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 08:17
Dr. John Lott's Crime Prevention Research Center is holding two events in conjuction with the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville on April 10 and 11th.  Confirmed special guests include Katie Pavlich and Dana Loesch, among others:
On Friday, April 10th, the Crime Prevention Research Center will be having Desserts and Coffee/Tea at the Hilton Nashville Downtown from 6 to 9 PM.  For those attending the Dessert and Coffee/Tea from 6:45 to 9, the cost is $50.  For those attending both the dessert and the much smaller stand up dinner, the cost is $200.  The Hilton is adjacent to the Nashville Convention Center, which will be hosting the NRA National Convention at that time.  On Saturday, April 11th, you have a chance to go shooting with your favorite celebrity at Tennessee’s 5-star range, The Nashville Armory (just a 12-minute car ride from the Hilton).  The event will go from 8:30 to 10 AM. Funds from the event will be used to finance the Crime Prevention Research Center.If you plan to be in Nashville for the Annual meeting, you may want to RSVP for this event
Categories: News

Looks Like That Ban on Firearms in Post Offices Really Works - Not!

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 06:17
From CBS 6:

Post Offices are among federal buildings where firearms are not allowed inside.
Categories: News

Gun Ban Groups Keep Distance from ATF Bullet Ban Proposal

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:51
The Hill reports that two gun ban groups, Everytown for Gun Safety and Gabby Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions, deny having any part in the ATF proposal to ban 5.56 M855 ball ammunition commonly used AR-15 rifles:
"We have sent dozens of recommendations to the administration on what they can do to prevent gun violence — this ammo proposal has never been one of them," Lamb told The Hill.

Meanwhile, the gun safety group linked to Giffords, Americans for Responsible Solutions, also said it is not interested in any such bullet ban.

"We are focused on keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people and protecting the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners, not banning bullets or other forms of hardware," spokesman Mark Prentice told The Hill.ATF's facade of transparency began to crumble over the weekend when reports surfaced that the agency had already removed the exemption for the ammunition from their new regulation guidebook.  They have since claimed it was a publishing error.  In the end, the weight of the over 80,000 comments submitted and the questions related to the missing exemption in the new guidebook was more than the agency could handle. 
Categories: News

ATF Temporarily Shelves Ammo Ban Proposal

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 13:43
Fox News and The Hill are reporting that the ATF has decided to shelve the controversial proposed ban on green tip ammunition commonly used in AR-15 rifles. From The Hill:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) said it will not seek to issue a final framework for the rule “at this time” after receiving more than 80,000 comments on the proposal, the “vast majority” of which were negative.

"You spoke, we listened," the ATF tweeted.You spoke, we listened. @ATFHQ plans more study on the proposed AP Ammo exemption framework. See more http://t.co/SmRKMYvw7J
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 10, 2015This comes on the heels of Katie Pavlich's article over the weekend pointing out that the new regulations released showing the green tip ammo was already removed from the list of exempted ammunition.  ATF then called that a "publishing error."

While this is good news for now, the ATF release says that the proposal deserves "further study," meaning it may be back at some point in the future.
Categories: News

Clayton Cramer on Constitutional Carry

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:47
Historian and Second Amendment advocate Clayton Cramer had a good piece yesterday in the Idaho Statesman:
The wonderful thing about federalism is that each state is effectively a public policy experiment. If an idea works in some states you can see it as evidence that the idea is valid. The results of the experiment are now in; repealing the license requirement does not endanger public safety; quite the opposite. In Alaska, murder rates for the period 1993 through 2003 (when Alaska had a concealed weapon permit law similar to Idaho) averaged 7.0/100,000 people; after passage of a law similar to HB 89 murder rates for 2004 through 2012 averaged 4.6/100,000. Similarly, Arizona and Wyoming passed laws similar to HB 89 in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Wyoming's murder rate fell from 2.6/100,000 (for 2002-2011), to 2.4/100,000 (for 2012). Arizona's murder rate fell from 7.4/100,000 (for 2001-2010 ) to 5.8/100,000 (for 2011-2012). In the case of Alaska and Wyoming, murder rates fell faster than the national murder rate.Cramer also pointed out that early carry laws were passed to disarm specific groups of people.  But we already knew the racist origins of gun control.

Categories: News

Giffords Back on Capitol Hill Pushing Background Checks

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 14:00
Former Representative Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly were back on Capitol Hill yesterday pushing for expanded background checks for private sales.  But, as the Washington Post notes, the chances of getting a bill through congress is not so good.
The new House bill, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, has bipartisan support. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) appeared Wednesday with the Democratic authors of the bill, and three other Republicans -- Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Peter T. King (N.Y.) and Pat Meehan (Pa.) -- are also authors.

But Dold and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), the bill's lead author and chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, offered little besides blind hope that the bill would make it through committee and through House leadership to the floor.This appears to be slightly different than the 2013 proposal that was defeated in the Senate.  That bill applied to all private transfers.  But as Dave Kopel has testified, expanded background checks on private sales are unenforceable without gun registration.  Further, while such checks are promoted as allowing transfers among family members, it would have prevented transfers without background checks between friends, "significant others", roommates, gun club members, or extended family members (i.e. cousins, uncles, etc).  The bill unveiled yesterday would impact private transfers at gun shows and those posted on the Internet by a private individual seeking to sell from their private collection.  Background checks are already required for sales on the Internet from popular sights like AuctionArms.com, and Gallery of Guns.

As the Washington Post accurately predicts, don't look for this bill to go very far.
Categories: News

Why We Need Campus Carry

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:52
With campus carry on the agenda in several states this legislative season (it died without even a hearing in Virginia), and the issue of campus sexual assault a hot topic in the media and with the current administration in Washington, thought it would be a good time to share this NRANews profile of campus rape victim Amanda Collins from 2011.
Categories: News

Goodlatte Wants Answers from ATF on Ammo Ban Proposal

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:20
Katie Pavlich reports that Virginia 6th District Congressman, and House Judiciary Chairman, Bob Goodlatte wants answers from ATF Director B. Todd Jones on the agency's proposal to ban on commonly used AR-15 ammunition.
Last week on behalf of the bipartisan House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte sent a letter to ATF Director B. Todd Jones demanding answers about a pending ban on commonly used AR-15 ammunition, better known as 5.56 M855 ball ammunition. ATF recently proposed the ban and broadly cited law enforcement officer safety as its justification, saying the ammunition is "armor piercing," but provided zero evidence to back up their endangerment claim. As has been pointed out by numerous sources from gun bloggers to the NRA, this proposal is nothing short of rendering the nation's best selling rifle useless. Obama can't get legislation to ban modern sporting rifles so he is doing the next best thing, making sure they can't be used due to lack of ammunition.

Rep. Goodlatte spoke with Fox News about this issue late last week.
If you live in the 6th Congressional District, please take a moment to thank Congressman Goodlatte for standing up for your rights.  Also, if you have not already done so, please comment on the proposal before March 16th by contacting ATF at APAComments@atf.gov, or by fax at (202) 648-9741. Comments can also be sent through the mail to:
  • Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments. 
Update: AmericanRifleman.org reports this morning that the Fraternal Order of Police opposes the proposed ban.
Categories: News

Congress Pushing Back on Obama Ammo Ban

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 13:54
The Hill has the story here.  Rep. Tom Rooney introduced the Protecting Second Amendment Amendment Rights act on Friday which "would prohibit the ATF or any other federal agency from issuing or enforcing any new restriction or prohibition on the manufacture, importation or sale of ammunition in the United States."

Knowing how slowly legislation can move through Congress and the fact the it would have to secure 60 votes in the Senate to advance, the more prudent action would be to attach it to "must pass" legislation as and amendment and then dare Obama to veto it.
Categories: News

Wayne LaPierre at CPAC (Live Stream 1:20 PM EST)

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:26
VSSA will be live-streaming Wayne LaPierre's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today at 1:20 PM EST.

This will play the speech live when it happens and then play as a recording after the event.  Click on the graphic to play video.
UPDATE: From the CPAC Facebook page: **IMPORTANT SCHEDULING NOTE** The CPAC schedule is running 30 minutes late. Stay tuned for more updates.
Categories: News

Former Columbine High School Student Promoting Concealed Carry for Educators

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:45
NPR has the story here.  Patrick Neville is a Republican in the Colorado State Legislature but, in 1999, he was a 15 year-old student at Columbine High School on his way to lunch when two fellow students armed with firearms and pipe bombs started the carnage that resulted in the killing of one teacher and 12 students. He believes that if someone in the school had been armed, more of his friends might be alive today.
"They're just easy targets ... for a criminal, a terrorist or anyone intent on doing harm," Neville says. "I wake up every day and send my kid to school on blind faith that she's going to return home safe when there's really no safeguards for our schools."

A poll done last year by Quinnipiac University found that 50 percent of Coloradans supported the idea of arming teachers in schools, while 45 percent opposed.There is a similar effort in the Wyoming legislature this year.  There, not only is there an effort to allow carry in schools, but also to provide funding so that school staff who carry are prepared should they have to act.

In Colorado, the effort faces long odds of becoming law with the House and Governor's office controlled by Democrats.  But, as the photo in the article illustrates, it has support among educators.  The photo was of educators taking part in concealed carry courses in Englewood, CO.  It hopefully won't be long before legislators start listening to those educators and school staff who wish to be armed to protect the children in their charge.  And, hopefully, Virginia will stop ignoring the bills introduced on the subject and actually allow debate on the topic.
Categories: News