Universal background checks for gun purchases have broad support just about everywhere except Virginia's General Assembly.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement officials may soon lose all discretion when it comes to regulating where urban residents can have federally restricted firearms, including machine guns, grenades and short-barrel shotguns and rifles.
Both are part of a long-standing pattern of hostility, in the House of Delegates especially, to even the most modest efforts to keep weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.It should be noted that while they aimed their disgust at the House of Delegates, gun control legislation has met the same fate in the State Senate.
And they don't miss the chance to repeat the misleading statistic that 91% of the public supports unversal background checks. Never mind that so-called "universal" background checks would not have stopped any of the recent high profile shootings in the last year.
The other side always parades "moms" and victims before legislative committees and the media to make their case. We need to see more people like Elaine speaking at legislative committees and to the media about our rights and firearm freedom.
- 1st Place Revolver
- 2nd Place Revolver
- 3rd Place Revolver
- 1st Place Pistol
- 2nd Place Pistol
- 3rd Place Pistol
- Top Female Shooter (In event of a tie, a "shootoff" will be held)
- Top Male Shooter (In event of a tie, a "shootoff" will be held)
- Most Improved Female Shooter-Instructors Choice
- Most Improved Male Shooter-Instructors Choice
A new dynamic has been introduced into the mix however with Democrats taking over the State Senate this week. VSSA's lobbyist told me earlier today that the Senate has changed and not for the better. All House bills will now go to the Senate Rules Committee rather than the Clerk of the Senate for assignment to Senate committees. It is believed this will allow bills passed by the more conservative House of Delegates that the Senate Leadership (or even the Governor) does not like, to die.
Things have changed overnight and it is anyone's guess what the outcome will be. VSSA is watching this very closely and will let members and gun owners know when action is needed.
And gun control bills like SB 520, which was defeated Monday in the Courts of Justice Committee, could also be resurrected with a new, 9-6 Democratic majority on the panel.
That measure, sponsored by Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, would create a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer.
“There definitely are bills that are important to our core constituency,” said McEachin, the architect of Tuesday’s takeover.
Typically, to revive a bill killed in committee, someone who voted on the prevailing side (in this case the side that killed the bill) would have to move to reconsider the vote. Doubtful that any of the Republicans on the committee would do that and the one pro-rights Democrat, John Edwards has been a good friend to gun owners and he is the only Democrat who voted on the prevailing side and could move to reconsider the vote. Though this does not mean there are not other slights of hand the anti-rights Democrats could try.
We'll see if Obama goes the route of "Executive Actions" but it appears there will be no further congressional pushes in the near future.
Let's be serious. When you get to the age range with the most "injuries," the 15-19 age group, you are talking about a lot of gang bangers, as the graphic below shows that the overwhelming cause of injury in that group is assault.
Source: "Pediatrics" journal for February. 1 - Most recent figures available. Age unknown for 112 victims.Janet Loehrke and Anne R. Carey, USA TODAYDoesn't make it any less tragic, but it does put the number in perspective. The fact is, fatal firearms accidents are down 45% since 1993 according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The study was just another attempt to push for gun control using a "Public Health Cost" argument.
Senate Courts of Justice met yesterday and also defeated some bills related to background checks on private firearm sales. Unfortunately, they also all but killed a bill that would have exempted concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders from background checks at the time of a firearm purchase - carrying the bill over to next year. Typically, that is the way the legislature kills bills without having to taking a vote to do so.
Sunday Hunting cleared a major hurdle on Wednesday when HB1237 was reported out of committee on a vote of 12-10. The bill has never made it out of subcommittee in the past. This year it was heard by the full committee. HB1237 would allow Virginians to hunt on private property with the permission of the land owner, but would prohibit the use of dogs for deer and bear, and prohibit hunting within 200 yards of a House of Worship. The bill moves to the full House and will likely be debated Friday or Monday. VSSA knows that this issue divides the hunting community, but HB1237 is a good compromise that allows those who cannot hunt the other six days of the week due to work and family responsibilities, the opportunity to hunt if they have access to private land.
The good news is that gun control bills are still being defeated in both the State Senate and the House of Delegates. We will have to wait to see if we can get good bills out of the State Senate and on Governor McAuliffe's desk.
The House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 will take up two bills today - Lifetime CHPs and exemption from background checks at the time of a firearm purchase for CHP holders. VSSA will give live results via Twitter. You can also track the progress of legislation on the VSSA Legislative Tracking Form.
Whether you speak to the legislator, an aide, leave a voicemail or write a letter, be firm but polite. Tell them why you want Sunday hunting, in your own words. And be certain to mention that if the number of hunters continue to decline, the sport will be soon be gone, and that Sunday hunting is the best means available to bring more people into the sport. Get your family and friends to call/email/write as well. It makes a big difference.
Please contact delegates on the committee today!
Urge them to support Sunday hunting!
- Delegate Tony Wilt - Rockingham County, Harrisonburg City
Phone: (804) 698-1026, Email: DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Charles Poindexter - Franklin County, Henry County, Patrick County
Phone: (804) 698-1009, DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Matthew Fariss - Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell and Nelson Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1059, Email: DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Daniel Marshall - Henry County, Pittsylvania County, Danville City
Phone: (804) 698-1014, Email: DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Robert Orrock - Caroline and Spotsylvania Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1054, Email: DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Thomas Wright - Amelia, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Nottoway Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1061, Email: DelTWright@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Edward Scott - Culpeper, Madison and Orange Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1030, Email: DelEScott@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Luke Torian - Prince William County
Phone: (804) 698-1052, Email: DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate R. Lee Ware - Chesterfield, Fluvanna, Goochland and Powhatan Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1065, Email: DelLWare@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Brenda Pogge - James City and York County
Phone: (804) 698-1096, Email: DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Barry Knight - Chesapeake and Virginia Beach
Phone: (804) 698-1081, Email: DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate James Edmunds - Campbell, Charlotte, Halifax, Prince Edward Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1060, Email: DelJEdmunds@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Will Morefield - Bland, Buchanan, Russell and Tazewell Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1003, Email: DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Michael Webert (co-patron) - Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Warren Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1018, Email: DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Margaret Ransone - Caroline, King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland Counties
Phone: (804) 698-1099, Email: DelMRansone@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Jackson Miller - Prince William County, City of Manassas
Phone: (804) 698-1050, Email: DelJMiller@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Ken Plum - Fairfax County
Phone: (804) 698-1036, Email: DelKPlum@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Lynwood Lewis - Accomack, Northampton, Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Phone: (804) 698-1000, Email: DelLLewis@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate David Bulova - Fairfax City and County
Phone: (804) 698-1037, Email: DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Mark Sickles - Fairfax County
Phone: (804) 698-1043, Email: DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Luke Torian - Prince William County
Phone: (804) 698-1052, Email: DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Mark Keam - Fairfax County
Phone: (804) 698-1035, Email: DelMKeam@house.virginia.gov
In 2011, the first year Virginia State Police began tracking gun show transactions, 10.6 percent of the people denied permission to buy firearms were charged with an offense related to being someone legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. That proportion rose to 12.4 percent in 2012 and more than doubled to 27 percent last year.The State Police noted that not all people denied correspond to a previous crime that makes them a prohibited persons.
Some misunderstand what they are required to disclose on the background check form or unknowingly provide false information, others don’t satisfy identification requirements, and a few are accidentally flagged as being prohibited from buying a gun, among various reasons.Not suprisingly, when you look at the actual number of denials, the number is quite small compared to the number of transactions.
The number of denials rose slightly from 359 in 2011 to 380 in 2012, but fell sharply to 263 last year.And when you look at the number os people actually charged, it confirms what the U.S. Department of Justice research arm, the National Institute of Justice found, that very few criminals attempt to get their firearms at gun shows.
Despite last year’s drop in denials, the number of arrests at gun shows continued to climb steadily, from 38 in 2011, to 47 in 2012 to 71 last year.Thomas R. Baker, a criminologist and an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, who did an intensive study on the number of firearm sales over the last six years and crime rates over the same period, believes that the drop in denials can be attributed to the repeal of "one gun-a-month" because people who attempted to puchase a second handgun before the expiration of the 30 days since their last purchase were listed as denials. Handgun rationing was repealed in 2012.
He noted that between 2000 and 2012, rejections based on attempts to purchase more than one handgun per month among all commercial venues (including gun stores and gun shows) was the most common source of denial during that period, larger than even denials for prior felony convictions.While Baker tries to make the case that the numbers should lead everyone to support so-called "universal background checks" the real take away should be when the law is enforced, people who should not be purchasing firearms will be stopped, as they have been increasingly in Virginia.
The proposals, outlined Wednesday at the Capitol, would require background checks for all commercial gun purchases and ban gun ownership for five years for individuals convicted of stalking or violent sex crimes.The proposals are modeled after recommendations made on December 2nd at a gun control consortium presentation at UVA. It's the same old proposals repackaged to look like they are new.
Hat tip Grand View Outdoors.
Gun owners who can are encouraged to attend and should where business attire. VSSA's lobbyist will be in attendance and has been working committee members ahead of the meeting. Check the blog on Thursday for results of the meeting.
Then, in 2012, Newtown happened and Warner was heard distancing himself from Virginia gun owners and NRA members, and when given the chance to say exactly what he was for and against, he could not quite do it.. In the end, in April of 2013, Warner voted for the Manchin/Schumer/Toomey criminalization of private firearm sales but voted against Diane Feinstein's amendment to renew the so-called "Assault Weapons" ban, and voted against Frank Lautenberg's ban on so-called "high capacity" ammunition magazines.
Up until now, only a couple of unknowns with very little experience had come out of the woodwork to challenge Warner as he gears up for re-election this year. He has raised gobs of money and has gobs more in his personal fortune. But columnist Marc Theissen suggests that if former RNC Chairman and lobbyist Ed Gillespie ends up throwing his hat in the ring, Warner may not have the easy campaign he had originally expected:
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is in a lot more trouble than it seems. Despite his ample war chest and approval ratings, only 50 percent of Virginians say Warner should get a second term. And independents, by a margin of 49 to 43 percent, say they would rather have someone new in Virginia’s Senate seat.A candidate like Gillespie will also likely hound Warner on the fact that he was a deciding vote in the passage of Obamacare, which continues to be even more unpopular with each passing day. And last month, former Virginia Democratic Chairman Paul Goldman and Conservative Blogger Norm Leahy noted how the election of Terry McAuliffe could be Warner's worst nightmare.
Our hunch: He learned that voters are surprised when told of Warner’s support for Obamacare. That vote is a huge liability right now among the Virginians whom Gillespie needs to attract to be more than a sacrificial lamb. And should he run, it would mean a major national GOP guru is betting he can use Obamacare to bring someone of Warner’s stature down.Warner is already trying to tar Gillespie with the "high paid lobbyist" label, but as The Hill notes, with McAuliffe's election, that may not work.
Most bets will still be on a Warner victory in November. But, if the Virginia GOP does not commit suicide at it's nominating convention this spring, and instead goes with a nominee that can at least match Warner's ability to raise money and make it a credible race, if the voter mood remains what it it now, Warner may find himself in the fight of his life.
One final note; if your membership is about to expire, please take a moment now to renew so we can continue to include you in our voice to the General Assembly. Because of you, we beat back all of the anti-rights bills last year and even passed a few good bills. We need you to help us again this year. And by renewing now, you will help save VSSA valuable resources that would be used on postage to send a renewal notice.
HB 8 - Fees for concealed handgun permits. Decreases the local law-enforcement background investigation fee from $35 to $10, which includes any amount assessed by the FBI for providing criminal history record information. The total amount assessed for processing an application for a permit is thereby decreased from $50 to $25.
HB 21 - School boards; employee firearms training. Requires every school board in the Commonwealth to designate at least one qualified person for every school in the district who, upon application with the school board, may carry a concealed handgun on school property. The bill requires all designated persons, including certain school division employees, certain school volunteers who carry valid concealed handgun permits, and certain retired law-enforcement officers, to be certified and trained by the Virginia Center for School Safety or the National Rifle Association in the storage, use, and handling of a concealed handgun. The bill also outlines the training requirements for designated persons as designed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
HB114 - Possession of firearm, etc., on school property; private or religious schools. Eliminates the crimes of possession on the property of a private or religious elementary, middle, or high school; a school bus owned or operated by such school; or any property being used for functions or extracurricular activities sponsored by such school of a stun weapon, knife, or other weapon (currently a Class 1 misdemeanor) or a firearm (currently a Class 6 felony). The bill does not affect the criminal penalties for the possession of such weapons on public school property.
HB127 - Use of muzzleloading pistols. Allows persons to hunt big game with muzzleloading pistols of a caliber of .45 or greater where and in those seasons when the use of muzzlelooading rifles is permitted. The bill authorizes the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to adopt regulations that specify the types of muzzleloading pistols and projectiles and propellants that can be used. The bill contains technical amendments.
HB317 - Prohibition on weapons at airport; exception for concealed handgun. Provides that a person who holds a valid concealed handgun permit may lawfully possess or transport a concealed handgun into any air carrier airport terminal.
HB357 - Concealed handgun permit applicant; access to information. Allows a clerk of a circuit court to disclose information contained in a concealed handgun permit application to the applicant. Currently, the clerk may not disclose such information to anyone except for a law-enforcement officer acting in the performance of his official duties.
HB639 - Concealed handgun permits; residents of the Commonwealth. Allows any resident of the Commonwealth who is otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun within the Commonwealth (commonly referred to as Constitutional Carry).
HB644 - Concealed handgun permits; lifetime permits. Provides for the issuance of concealed handgun permits for Virginia residents that do not expire. Currently, such permits must be renewed every five years.
HB646 - Replacement concealed handgun permits. Provides that no fees shall be charged for the issuance of a replacement concealed handgun permit because the permit holder has changed his address (currently subject to a maximum fee of $10) or to replace a lost or destroyed permit (currently subject to a maximum fee of $5).
HB705 - Out-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.
HB714 - Renewal of concealed handgun permit; no fees required. Provides that a person who has previously been issued a concealed handgun permit does not have to pay any fees to renew such permit.
HB736 - Lifetime concealed handgun permits; Department of State Police to issue; penalty. Provides for the issuance of concealed handgun permits that do not expire to Virginia residents upon payment of a one-time fee of $100, except that the fee for a person currently holding an unexpired permit is $50. Currently, the fee for issuing such permits is $50, and the permits must be renewed every five years with an additional $50 fee charged each time. Such lifetime permits will include a photograph of the permittee.
HB752 - Student expulsion; pneumatic guns. Removes pneumatic guns from the list of weapons that require a school board to expel from school attendance for a period of not less than one year any student whom such school board has determined to have possessed such a weapon on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.
SB368 - Regulation of transportation of a loaded rifle or shotgun. Provides that lawful concealed carry permit holders shall not be subject to the provisions of certain local ordinances that make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess, or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality.
SB396 - Criminal background check for transfer of firearms; exemption for holders of concealed handgun permits. Provides that a licensed firearms dealer does not have to have a criminal background check performed to determine a person's eligibility to purchase a firearm if the purchaser possesses a valid concealed handgun permit and presents a photo-ID issued by an agency of the Commonwealth or the Department of Defense.
HB48 - Possession of firearms following conviction of certain crimes; penalty. Prohibits any person who is convicted of stalking, sexual battery, or assault and battery of a family member that results in serious bodily injury from possessing, transporting, or carrying a firearm or any other weapon for a period of five years following his conviction. A violation would constitute a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides for the forfeiture of any weapon possessed, transported, or carried in violation of the prohibition. Finally, the bill provides for a process by which a violator may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his rights to possess, transport, or carry a weapon. (the pupose of bills like this is to take us down the road to California where some 40 different misdemeanor crimes can cause someone to lose their 2nd Amendment rights).
HB61 - Firearms; purchase and sale of rifles or shotguns; penalties. Prohibits the sale of any rifle, shotgun, or assault rifle by a federally licensed firearms dealer to any out-of-state resident. Under current law, out-of-state residents may purchase rifles, shotguns, or assault rifles from licensed dealers in the Commonwealth provided certain background checks have been passed. Also, the bill moves language regarding driver's license designations from Title 18.2, Crimes and Offenses Generally, to Title 46.2, Motor Vehicles, with no substantive change to the language. The bill contains technical amendments.
HB129 - Explosive material; method of ignition. Adds high impact velocity to the methods of ignition contained in the definition of "explosive material." It is a Class 5 felony to possess materials that may be used to manufacture explosive materials or to manufacture, transport, distribute, possess, or use explosive materials. (You may be asking why? Because this would make a substance commonly used in exploding targets illegal. Exploding targets are used safely by many shooters).
HB535 - Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Adds 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 requires that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.
HB695 - Concealed handgun permit; firearms safety course; nonresident permits. Makes various changes to the types of training courses permitted to satisfy the requirement to display competence with a handgun to obtain a resident or nonresident concealed handgun permit, including (i) requiring that a National Rifle Association (NRA) or Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) course focus on the use and handling of a concealed handgun; (ii) requiring that a law-enforcement course be a handgun training course rather than a firearms safety course; and (iii) requiring that online NRA or DCJS training courses be synchronous. The bill also requires that applicants for a nonresident concealed handgun permit possess a valid concealed handgun permit from their state of residence and provide a copy of that permit with their application.
HR7 - Rules of the House of Delegates. Prohibits firearms on the floor of the House of Delegates.
SB39 - Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Adds 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. In order to be a "firearms show vendor" the person must have paid or given other thing of value to the promoter for the opportunity to sell guns at the gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show provide vendors access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check.
SB65 - Brendon's Law; celebratory gunfire; penalty. Provides that any person who willfully discharges a firearm with no discernible or designated target within or into the limits of any city or town or within two miles of any occupied building and such conduct results in the death of another person is guilty of an offense punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years. The bill also provides that such conduct that does not result in the death of another but does result in bodily injury to another person is a Class 3 felony. Finally, the bill provides that such conduct that does not result in the death or bodily injury to another is a Class 6 felony. (This bill is a response to the tragedy that occurred on July 4th where some idiot apparently fired into the air and the bullet came down and struck a young boy walking to a fireworks show. It is already against the law to discharge a firearm in an unsafe manner such as occurred in Chesterfield that night).
SB287 - Transfer of firearms; penalty. Provides that any person who sells or otherwise transfers a firearm to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by state or federal law is guilty of a Class 6 felony if the transferor does not obtain a background check from a licensed firearms dealer. (It is already illegal, and a felony to "willfully and intentionally" sell a firearm to a prohibited person. The bill also creates a registry of firearms similar to what Manchin, Schumer, Toomey did by basically cooercing private sellers to go through an FFL for a background check in order to protect themselves - and requires the licensed retailer to list the purchase in his records similar to what is required of FFLs by ATF).
SB377 - Firearm transfers to dealers; penalty. Requires firearm dealers to go through a process administered by the Department of State Police to determine whether a firearm that is being transferred to the dealer by a person other than a dealer, importer, or manufacturer can be lawfully transferred. The bill has an effective date of January 1, 2015.
This year is the long session (60 days) so while legislators have a little more time to take up legislation, things will still move fast. This year is expected to be as busy as last year with the anti-rights lobby turning to states to try and do what they could not do at the federal level.
Virginia legislators who lawfully carry concealed handguns at the state Capitol can't bring them to Virginia's inauguration Saturday due to stricter U.S. Secret Service security protocols due to the attendance of Bill and Hillary Clinton.There will also be a restriction on umbrellas, but depending on the weather (rain is forecast as of today), that restriction may be lifted.