It is well known what happened when a New York newspaper published an interactive map of concealed carry permit-holders on their website: criminals used it to their advantage and law-abiding gun owners were harassed. But what’s even more disturbing is that these lists sometimes disclose the new addresses of victims of domestic violence and others who have a very good reason not to want their contact information in public view.
The problem wasn’t limited to New York. Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1335, a list of the names and addresses of concealed handgun permit holders has been, and will be until July 1, available for the asking from any clerks’ office.
In 2007, the Roanoke Times published a database containing the names and addresses of all concealed carry permit holders in Virginia, later pulled when they realized that they had inadvertently disclosed the new addresses of victims of domestic violence who owned firearms for their own protection. The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star continues to publish the name of individuals issued a CHP in the paper's circulation area.
With the enactment of this legislation, Virginia will join the majority of states in providing for the confidentiality of concealed handgun permit holders. The list will still be available to clerks’ offices, members of law enforcement, and other government officials entitled to access, but the list will no longer be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
This isn’t a gun bill; it’s a public safety bill. The patron worked with the Virginia Court Clerks’ Association, and with clerks across the Commonwealth, on this important bill.
That New York newspaper treated law-abiding gun owners like criminals and, what’s worse, it put people in danger. That shouldn’t be allowed to happen here in Virginia – and with the enactment of SB1335, it can’t anymore.
When Tim Kaine was Governor, he signed a bill sealing these records with the State Police, but that legislation did not address clerks’ offices, which also have copies of these records. Senate Bill 1335 closes that loophole, and VSSA thanks Governor McDonnell for signing this bill into law. His action is good news for all Virginians, but especially Virginia concealed handgun permit holders, some of which are victims of domestic violence who should not have to worry if their abusers have access to their address and other personal information.
On Saturday, March 23, Congressman Rigell will be hosting a town hall meeting at 10:00AM in Gaines Theater on the Christopher Newport University campus, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, Virginia. Please come out and express your support for his efforts to crack down on the traffickers who threaten the safety of our families and communities by putting guns into criminal hands.
We need 2nd Amendment supporters to attend this meeting and urge Congressman Rigell to stand up for our rights. If you live in the area, please plan to attend this meeting to show the the overwhelming majority of his district support the rights of law abiding Virginians.
Some of the provisions in question have been adopted in the president’s budget year after year, after having originated as legislative riders to spending bills on Capitol Hill. But gun-control advocates are focusing on the practice as part of their broader strategy of confronting the NRA. President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal is scheduled to be released early next month, and the new focus on budgeting minutiae in the already emotional debate over the nation’s gun laws could create a flash point between Obama and his allies on the left. By raising the riders issue, liberals also hope to put the NRA on the defensive, forcing the group and its lobbyists to publicly defend the practice of attaching riders on appropriations bills, while also fighting off fresh legislation to limit gun violence introduced in the wake of the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The strategy is outlined in a new report from the Center for American Progress that claims that pro-rights groups have "debilitated" enforcement of federal gun laws through the use of restrictive funding riders.
The group really does not like the rider that prohibits DOJ from conducting inventories of FFLs. That would become permanent under the current continuing resolution that is being considered to fund the government for the rest of the year. The gun ban lobby is hoping that with the Newtown shooting, they will be able to convince the Obama Administration to delete the riders from the 2014 budget. Obama's team is remaining mum on what they plan to do. The administration is late introducing their budget for the forth year in a row.
Still unclear is whether all of the gun legislation reported by the Judiciary Committee will be considered on the Senate floor and whether it would come up as a package or in individual parts.
Reid has to figure out how to bow to the President's desire, repeated yesterday, that the victims of recent shootings "deserve a vote" while protecting his vulnerable members up for re-election in 2014.
Many beleive the so-called "assault weapons" ban is dead on arrival. But the bill includes a ban on standard capacity magazines, referred to as "high capacity" magazines. Some think if that part was split off into a separate piece of legislation, that it might garner the necessary 60 votes to clear a filibuster and pass.
During Thursday’s markup, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., floated the idea of splitting Feinstein’s bill into two in order to boost the prospects for getting close to the 60-vote threshold needed to thwart a filibuster in the Senate.
The duo voiced support for holding a separate floor vote on the ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines contained in Feinstein’s bill. They suggested that the measure could garner sufficient support if untethered from the larger proposal to reinstate and expand the federal assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004. And that is just one danger still ahead for gun owners. The more we hear that the so-called "assault-weapons" ban cannot pass, the greater the concern is that complacency will set in. This fight is not over until it is over. And folks, it has only begun. Now that we have the bill numbers on which to focus, we must redouble our efforts to defeat them all. Please reference the specific bill numbers in your letters, emails, and phone calls to congress.
The bills in question are: "Assault weapons" bill (S 150), "Gun trafficking" (S 54)" and Schumer's bill criminalizing private sales (S 374).
Bloomberg Businessweek now has this piece title "Why Gun Makers Fear the NRA." The story goes like this; gun manufacturers don't want to cross the NRA because they exact punishment on the wayward groups much like happened to Smith and Wesson in the '90s. The problem with that is NRA never encouraged the boycott of S&W. In fact S&W had booth space at the 2000 NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte. That however allowed members to express their displeasure with the company for going along with Clinton's gun ban schemes.
Paul Barrett, Businessweek Assistant Managing Editor, talked to Bloomberg TV about the article.
One point about the line of questioning. The media likes to focus on NRA's money but it is not the money, it's the voters that NRA can turnout that makes a difference.
There are 53 Democrats plus two independents who generally side with them. Republicans seem ready to oppose the ban overwhelmingly, and Feinstein can't count on a half-dozen Democrats from Republican-leaning states who face re-election next year. That means that it will likely not muster the 60 votes required to get a vote and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may be happy with that so he can protect his most vulnerable members ahead of the 2014 mid-term election.
The main threat has always been criminalizing private firearm sales. This is where we must focus our energy in the coming month when Senator Chuck Schumer's bill may come to the floor.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley pointed out just how tables have turned on Chucky.
“We’re told that there’s such a widespread support for universal background checks that a bipartisan bill would be on its way to passage,” Grassley said Tuesday. “Instead, three out of the four senators involved in those discussions do not endorse the bill that is now before us.” Schumer noted he was still working to find support from Democrats as well as Republicans. Don't hold your breath Chuck. It appears the NRA, thanks in no small part to DOJ's National Institute of Justice, has done a good job pointing out that the only way for "universal" background checks to work is to have a national registry of gun owners.
“Mass shootings will continue to occur despite universal background checks, and criminals will continue to steal guns and acquire them illegally to circumvent the requirement,” Grassley said. “When that happens we will be back again debating whether gun registration is needed, and when registration fails, the next move will be confiscation.” Keep up the pressure. Schumer said that background checks was considered the "sweet spot" of measures that could pass after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Doesn't look so much like that any more. The longer this goes, the more our efforts to educate our elected leaders will make a difference.
There is one thing more dangerous than an arrogant, highly educated person, and that is an arrogant, ignorant person, because he doesn’t know he’s ignorant. I realize that in a democracy we are doomed to usually elect people just a little bit more informed than the voters; perhaps the voters are getting a lot less informed.
“Given the current political dynamics in Virginia, the prospects of an Independent campaign were very appealing to me, and based on the positive feedback I had received from business leaders, community leaders and citizens all across our state, I am confident that I could have run a credible and competitive campaign and made a positive contribution to the public debate. In many ways I would have enjoyed participating in such a campaign a great deal and I think it could have been good for Virginia.
“However, after a great deal of consideration I have decided that I will not be an Independent candidate for Governor this year. There were many factors that influenced my decision to forgo such a campaign. He goes on to talk about the large amount of money that would be required and how he looks forward to finishing his work with Governor McDonnell. But, we will not have a spoiler campaign and can focus on electing a pro-rights Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General to continue leading Virginia.
“The Clinton administration really was helpful in getting the votes and working the issue. There’s no question about that,” Feinstein said. “I would certainly welcome [Obama] taking a leaf out of Clinton’s book and really engaging. I think that would make a difference.
“He’s got a bully pulpit that none of us have,” she said. Obama rolled out his plan and made a plea for it during the State of the Union but has largely left it to Vice President Joe Biden to push the issue in Washington and in at least one state. The Administration has said Obama will get more involved if legislation hits a wall in congress. But with pundits and more than a few in the pro-rights community openly saying all but maybe the background check legislation will be defeated, one has to wonder if Obama is really serious about this or if it was just one more item on the list to check off as done. Note, while many are predicting that a renewed so-called "assault weapons" ban will not pass, we should not take that for granted. I have heard from a number of VSSA members that they have contacted their senators and congressman and some have event shared the response they received. Keep it up! Obama may not personally be pushing the issue but his Super Pac is and so is Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “The polls all show the American people want something done. Unfortunately Congress sometimes doesn’t listen to the American people,” McCarthy said.
She hopes members of Obama’s inner circle, who have set up a new 501(c)(4) advocacy group to promote his agenda, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an advocacy group funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will put pressure on lawmakers to embrace the ban. Bloomberg has gobs of money but grassroots can trump money, but only if we are active. Keep up the pressure.
...Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America. This subject came up on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk program yesterday. Without speculating any conspiracy, Gresham noted that one problem is the federal government requires federal law enforcement to practice with the ammo that they carry. That means hey are forced to practice with the more expense hollow point ammo they carry rather than less expensive ammo. How's that for being fiscally responsible?
DHS explains their purchase this way:
Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.” At 15 million rounds a year (which sounds like a lot to this writer as it did to the Forbes author), 1.6 billion rounds would last well into the next century. It begs the question though, given we are being told because of the "sequester" we should expect long lines at TSA airport checkpoints, just why is DHS purchasing such a rediculously large amount of ammo that it's various agents could not be expected to expend for almost 100 years?
For all his recent moves to the middle on Medicaid and transportation, Bolling’s record is closer to Cuccinelli’s than it is to Democrats’ — a point Bolling and Cuccinelli had highlighted before their intra-party parting.
Bolling stood with Senate Republicans in 2011 when they pushed through legislation that ignited debate over proposed regulations to compel abortion clinics to conform to standards for new hospital construction.
More recently, he cast the tie breaking vote to pass a bill that would require all registered voters to present photo identification at the polls. On issue after issue, including the Second Amendment, Bolling has voted the same way as Cuccinelli as a state senator more times than not. Casting tie-breaking votes as Lt. Governor, Bolling has voted conservative right down the line. And even "establishment" GOP officials are asking Bolling to set his personal ambitions aside for the greater good of the Commonwealth. This from a letter to Bolling from Henrico State Senator Walter A. Stosch:
“The stakes are too great for us to create additional divisions among Republicans at a time when the real threat to the great progress made during your tenure is the possible election of an untested and unknown Democrat candidate,” said Stosch, referring to McAuliffe, the McLean-based, self-made millionaire businessman and former Democratic National Committee chairman who has never held public office. So, by the end of this week we will know whether we will have a two-way race for Governor, or a three way race where the third candidate will more likely play spoiler than have a real shot at winning.
“That’s more the NRA’s issue,” Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), said in an interview. “From the commercial side, we’re already there, and we’ve been there, and we were the ones that have been the strongest proponents of an effective, complete background check.” The Post notes that a group of mayors have used this opportunity to write gun manufacturers Monday, warning that their governments may begin using black mail to win support for increased regulation, including an extension of background checks. The mayors, whose cities spend gobs of money on firearms and ammunition each year for their police departments have decided to tell manufacturers that they will only spend their money with companies that support the mayors' agenda.
The NRA for their part is pushing back. In a statement released Monday:
“Unfortunately,” ...the National Instant Criminal Background Check System “is currently incomplete and has inaccurate data. Rather than focusing on improving the quality of information contained in NICS, gun control proponents are advocating a significant expansion of a system that has gaping inadequacies.” It appears that pro rights organizations may also not be of one mind on the issue of UBCs.
In Washington state last month, the head of a gun rights group offered to support mandatory background-check legislation for most firearm sales in exchange for a state commitment not to maintain gun records. It’s not clear whether the proposal will succeed but it has drawn support across the divide of the gun debate.
“This is a good compromise with real give-and-take,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. But just how much can we trust such promises?
Schumer argues — and gun control groups agree — that records must be kept to ensure background checks are conducted before private transactions. Otherwise, any expansion of background checks would be unenforceable, they assert. But Coburn worries that such a paperwork requirement could lead to a national gun registry, which gun rights groups staunchly oppose, according to Senate sources familiar with the talks. This should convince even the most skeptical that the ultimate goal of those pushing for background checks on the private sale of firearms. But it gets better: “It’s the fundamental building block of any serious gun violence prevention system,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Horwitz said Coburn’s opposition to requiring records for private background checks calls into question whether the GOP lawmaker really supports expanded checks.
“It’s such a non-issue to me, the whole thing seems like a big stall tactic,” he said. “Saying there shouldn’t be a record, to me, is not negotiating in good faith.” Despite evidence to the contrary, those pushing the UBCs still throw out the "40% of firearm sales do not undergo background checks" to show the importance of UBCs. The actual number is actually closer to 10% and if that number were well known by the public, it would likely reduce the support for requiring background checks on sales between friends or fellow gun club members.