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Updated: 3 hours 15 min ago

Colonial Shooting Academy Virginia Beach Range Opens

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 08:14
Colonial Shooting Academy, which bills itself as the "Nation's Largest Indoor Range" opened its long awaited second range in Virginia Beach last Saturday. The new range is located at 5070 Virginia Beach Boulevard at Witchduck Road, Virginia Beach, VA is in a vacant 50,000 sq. foot furniture store.  The Richmond range that opened in 2012 was also constructed in a vacant furniture store on West Broad Street. 

The Virginia Beach range has 34 shooting lanes and offers training classes, group events and a tactical range.  Regardless of experience, everyone must watch a  safety video once a year to shoot at the range. The Richmond location was NSSF's 2013 Range of the Year.

Categories: News

Armatix Shills for Smart Guns in Washington Post Op/Ed

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:06
Yesterday, the Washington Post published this Op/Ed from Ernst Mauch, managing director of Armatix GmbH.  In the piece, he makes a pitch for why so called smart guns, or at least the ones his company manufactures, are in keeping with America's respect for the right to keep and bear arms and believes gun owners should have the ability to purchase them:
Respect for this freedom to protect your family as you see fit is a major reason I believe that gun owners in the United States should have the right to purchase personalized firearms using high-tech safety features. The reality is that firearm safety has not meaningfully advanced in the past century. Nearly every other industry has transformed its safety features — often multiple times — in that same period. Given how tragic the misuse of firearms can be, guns should be no different.Most of the commentary I have seen from the firearms community on the subject of smart guns believe it should be a market decision too.  The problem is, New Jersey has a law on the books that mandates only "smart guns" may be sold in the state once such technology is available for sale.  It's the mandate that the firearms community opposes and we don't want to see the rights of our brothers and sisters in New Jersey infringed when one manufacturer comes to the market with one caliber of firearm that currently costs two to three times what a similar firearm without the personalized technology would cost.

But, this is also technology that is not ready for prime time.  As Sebastian pointed out last week:
The problem with smart guns are more fundamental than the shock sensitivity of electronics, and have more to do with the limits of biometric identification and radio frequency identification (RFID). The former is unreliable and slow, and the latter is prone to interference and jamming. There’s also inherent mechanical problems with the smart gun that make the technology very easy for a determined individual to defeat. I had a conversation with some of our opponents on this topic, who argued that automobile anti-theft systems became much more sophisticated, but aside from misunderstanding the problem, I thought it was a reasonable point.Then, we learned yesterday that Armatix has also applied for a patent for a remote "kill switch." And some wonder why the firearms community is not warming up to the idea of "smart guns."
Categories: News

First Bloomberg, Now "Moms" Want to Instill Fear

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 09:42
Yesterday, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on CBS' Face the Nation "We need to make the National Rifle Association afraid of us." That is apparently the new talking point for the gun ban lobby.  Today, Womensenews.org reports that Representative Carolyn McCarthy said:
"Over the years, I have had many colleagues tell me that they would like to support my bills but are terrified to do so because the NRA would end their legislative careers in the next election," said McCarthy, a New York Democrat, in a phone interview. "To overcome this logjam, Congress must become more afraid of the moms than the NRA." 

So, these people are about instilling fear, and they think "moms" are the perfect weapon. Apparently they don't know how popular these buttons were during the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis this year.
Or that mom and champion shooter Julie Golob started a social media movement of her own around Mother's Day encouraging gun owners to teach their children about firearm safety.
But most importantly, thousands of women continue to turn our for NRA Women on Target clinics like this one held at VSSA affiliated club, Arlington/Fairfax IWLA a couple weekends ago.
Photo courtesy NRABlog.comI bet there are a lot of moms in that photo.
Categories: News

Bloomberg: We Need to Make the National Rifle Association Afraid of Us

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 14:52
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared on CBS's Face the Nation today to talk gun control.  The Hill has the report here.  Bloomberg continued his usual twaddle about how the NRA instills fear in elected officials:
“We need to make the Congress understand that the vast preponderance of the public does not want criminals, minors or people with psychiatric problems to be able to buy guns,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And we've gotta make Congress understand that and vote that way.”What Bloomberg needs to understand is that gun owners have no desire for criminals or anyone else who shouldn't have a firearm to get them.  The problem is, nothing that Bloomberg and his gun ban pals have proposed would prevent those people from getting access to firearms.  Then, Bloomberg said this:
“We need to make the National Rifle Association afraid of us,” he has said.Finally, he trotted out the talking point about how 80% of the public, including gun owners want more gun "regulation."
“Not control, not banning, just regulation. And this is true of gun owners as well as non gun owners. Eighty percent of all gun owners think we should do this,” he said.I wouldn't exactly say that gun owners are "afraid" of Bloomberg, but we certainly know that he is a threat to our rights.  That's why we need to make sure we continue to tell our elected representatives that we oppose any legislation that infringes our rights.  And, while we're at it, we need to invest a little of our money to counter a lot of Bloomberg money by joining or renewing our NRA membership, and joining or renewing membership in our state associations that are on the front lines in state legislatures.

Categories: News

Sussex County Sunday Shooting Ban Repealed for 60 Days

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 18:35
The Sussex County Board of Supervisors held their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 15.  During the meeting, County Attorney Mike Packer discussed the concerns raised by gun owners and hunters related to the ban on Sunday target shooting passed as part of a larger noise ordinance change on April 17th.  He said that if an emergency ordinance is approved, the board can "repeal" the section dealing with Sunday shooting (Section 5). He also said the matter would have to come back before the Board within 60 days because an emergency ordinance would expire in 60 days. Any permanent change would require a public hearing.  There was some discussion about how the Board exempt gun noise and not loud music but Vice Chairman Robert Hamlin responded  that loud music and gunfire noise is not the same.
I don't own a gun but I have a problem restricting a person's right to use their gun.Maybe someone should ask Mr. Hamlin why it took a public outcry by gun owners and hunter to figure that out since he voted for the ordinance in question.

Sussex-Surry Dispatch reporter Mike Campbell reported live via his Twitter feed that Board Chairman Eric Fly once again confirmed this was a direct attack on Sunday hunting.
Board Chairman: Not sure how we can just "snatch out" the gunfire section of the ordinance. Goes back to Sunday hunting concerns by county.
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 16, 2014
Fly: Noise ordinance was created to keep people from shooing next to houses on Sundays. "If removed, how are we gonna protect people?"
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 16, 2014 After discussion closed the Board voted by emergency ordinance to repeal the section of the noise ordinance that banned shooting on Sunday.  That repeal is in effect for 60 days and the Board has that long to hold another public hearing on permanently repeal that part of the ordinance.  VSSA will continue to monitor this situation and keep members and gun owners posted.

Hat Tip Mike Campbell with the Sussex-Surry Dispatch.
Categories: News

Fashion Designers Taking Notice of Women Gun Owners

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 14:47
WRIC TV 8's web site had this story about how fashion designers are taking notice of the increasing number of women who own firearms for self-defense and are designing clothing to allow them to carry their firearms.
No matter where you stand on state gun laws, there does appear to be a market for women looking to tote their guns around. Karen Bartuch, a former Chicago police officer and president of the Women's Tactical Association in Illinois translated her love of guns into her own company, AlphaGirls, which sells jewelry and hair accessories that double as self-defense weapons and also offers gun-training classes. "We are girly girls who like fashion, but we like guns too," Bartuch told the Chicago Tribune.Bartuch was also interviewed on NRANews' Cam and Company yesterday.

Bartuch is not the only designer incorporating women gun owners' needs into their business:
Another designer, Sarah Church, presented an entire collection of gun-hiding garments at the Firearms & Fashion Show. One hooded dress with a zipper down the front (pictured above) allows for quick and easy access to a gun holster beneath the garment. "This is a dress you could wear anywhere, anytime. You can use high heels to dress it up or boots to dress it down," Church said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "And when you're carrying a gun underneath, no one will know it." The dress retails online for $165.With stories like these, it becomes even harder for the gun ban lobby to paint gun owners as not mainstream.
Categories: News

Wall Street Journal: Poll Shows Why Gun Control Looks Impossible

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 16:37
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that a new poll shows while some specific measures may have polled well on the gun control side after the Newtown school shootings, there was never a true national out cry for new federal restrictions. It appears that those ever important "moderates" that Republicans are told they need to appeal to are part of the reason for this:
The vast majority of all Americans – 93% of liberals, 84% of moderates and 72% of conservatives — favor expanding background checks, which now are required for guns purchased from licensed dealers but not in private sales or at most gun shows. But 58%of  self-described moderates still say existing gun laws are sufficient to keep their community safe.

And when asked if there should be more government regulation of gun purchases, just 53% of moderates agree. For liberals, the figure is 78%.The Journal notes that the poll is skewed toward Democrates because:
Only 26% of Republicans consider themselves moderate – just ask former Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.) – while 37% of Democrats use the label.That's a good thing.  We need Democrat voters to support gun rights too if the next generation is to have the same rights we now enjoy.
Categories: News

Is Brat's Challenge to Eric Cantor More Symbolism than Substance?

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:55
That is what is inferred in the last paragraph of a recent Jeff Schapiro article in the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Brat acknowledges that defeating Cantor is the longest of long shots. Turning out 600 people for a district convention is one thing. Turning out 6,000 voters in a district-wide, open-to-all primary is quite another. Brat’s people do believe they can deeply wound Cantor, by holding his majority in the primary to the low double-digits. That would be fighting fire with fire.

For all the talk that "conservatives" think Cantor has strayed off the reservation, he still has an American Conservative Union score of 84 for 2013, which is the second highest score in the Virginia delegation.  Cantor also had an A+ rating from the NRA-PVF in 2012 and he has done nothing in the last two years that would likely change that (the NRA-PVF has not posted ratings for the June 10th Primary as of this writing).

But, if those who have an axe to grind with Cantor could "wound" him by holding his vote total below say, 60% (the % of the vote he usually wins in a general election) then they could claim a "moral" victory and hope to find a candidate in two years who could raise money and give Cantor a real run for his money.  The last time that happened was in 2000 when he won the nomination against an under-financed State Senator Steve Martin.  Unlike Brat however, Martin had worked the district hard for years expecting Cantor's predecessor, Thomas J. "Tom" Bliley would retire at some point.  That primary was the last time Cantor had a close race.

The anti-Cantor forces scored a small victory this past Saturday when the chairman of the 7th Congressional District Republican Committee was defeated for re-election.  It adds to the number of local committees taken over by the Tea Party since 2012.  Their next battle will likely be to change the nominating process from primary to nominating convention.  That task will be as difficult as taking out Cantor in a primary since state law gives the incumbent the say in how he will be re-nominated.

There is a lesson in this for gun owners.  No one expected the incumbent chairman to lose.  Bearing Drift noted after Saturday's 7th District Republican Convention that he lost because "status quo" conservatives were sitting on the sidelines.  The Tea Party folks were energized enough and showed up on a beautiful Saturday in Richmond to win a narrow victory.  Gun owners can never get complacent lest we meet the same fate.
Categories: News

Free Treestands

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 08:17
VSSA just received an email that a Virginia sportsman has three ladder treestands and a ground portable stand that I would like to donate to a hunting  or shooting club.  These are located on a farm in Winchester, VA. and he is willing to meet the interested party to help with the dismantling.  Interested parties can email Drew.

Update: Drew has informed VSSA that the stands have been spoken claimed.
Categories: News

Snark in Economist Editorial on New Pro-Gun Law in Georgia

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 20:56
If it were not for the first paragraph in this Economist story on the new Georgia pro-freedom legislation just signed by Govenor Nathan Deal, it would be a mostly balanced article.
HAVE you ever stood in a steamy, crowded bar, jostling other patrons to catch the bartender’s attention, and thought: “This would be more fun if everyone here were armed”? If so, Georgia is the state for you. On April 23rd Nathan Deal, the governor, signed a law which, he said, “gives added protections to those who have played by the rules”. The National Rifle Association (NRA) called it a “historic victory for the Second Amendment”. Critics call it the “guns everywhere” bill.I also have to question how they determine if a state has "strentghened" or "weakened" its gun laws.  Virginia is listed as one of the 17 that has stengthened its gun laws since January 1st, 2013.  Virginia has not passed a gun control law since 1993 (handgun rationing) and that one was repealed in 2012.  I don't think most pro-rights activists consider laws that make it harder for mentally ill inviduals to get firearms, gun control in the sense that most of us view it ( i.e. laws that make it harder for law abiding people to exercise their rights).  Laws improving the way that mental health information is reported to NICS passed in 2008 after the Virginia Tech Shooting.  Additional mental health legislation passed this year in the wake of the sad incident where State Senator Creigh Deeds' son stabbed his father then shot himself.  Other than that, not sure to what the Economist is referring.
Categories: News

How Friends of NRA Helps the Shooting Sports in Virginia

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 20:41
NRA Field Director David Wells was on Sportsman Channel's NRANews Cam and Company yesterday talking about how the Friends of NRA program helps the shooting sports in Virginia.

You can find out about FNRA events near you by clicking here.
Categories: News

House Appropriations Subcommittee Defeat Amendment by Anti-gun Moran

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 13:02
During the mark-up of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill yesterday, Virginia anti-gun Congressman Jim Moran offered an amendment requiring federally licensed firearm retailers to run background checks on their employees.  The amendment is unnecessary as even Moran admits that many retailers already voluntarily run background checks on employees.  The amendment failed on a party-line vote.
Categories: News

NSSF Honors Matt O'Brien for Efforts for Helping Make Sunday Hunting a Reality

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 13:32
From the Free Lance-Star:
Last week, NSSF honored O’Brien’s dedication and commitment at a reception in Richmond that included many of the Sunday hunting supporters who worked so hard for passage.

“This was the first time NSSF has given such an award. Matt’s work was what made me want to find a way to recognize him. The only other award we give each year is Legislator of the Year. I envision this to become a yearly award for a very worthy recipient,” McGuigan said, adding “I’m not totally sure we will have someone each year to measure up to what Matt did.”Congratulations Matt, and all Virginia hunters who now have the option to hunt on Sunday if they own or know someone that will allow them to hunt on private property.

Categories: News

Virginia Now Has Mutual Recogition of Concealed Carry Permits with Kansas

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 11:56
The Witchita Eagle reports that the Kansas attorney general’s office announced yesterday Virginia has agreed to recognize Kansas’ concealed carry gun licenses.  A quick check of the Virginia State Police web site shows that Kansas is returning the favor.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/05/07/3443523/virginia-washington-state-will.html#storylink=cpy
Categories: News

Home School Students Go to the Range in Chesterfield

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 13:33
WTVR has the story.  They went to the Dominion Shooting Range in Chesterfield County to learn about firearms, ammunition and gun safety.  Don't think you would see a trip like this in public school.
Categories: News

Hillary Clinton Thinks we Have Too Much Firearm Freedom

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 14:37

National Journal has the story here.  Hat tip to Dave Hardy.

Categories: News

Sussex County Sunday Shooting Restriction Update

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:30
Sussex County Board Chairman Eric Fly held his quarterly constituents meeting at the courthouse last night and did he get an ear full from gun owners and hunters in attendance. The meeting lasted for just over two hours, much of it dedicated to the noise ordinance. 

As background, on April 17th, the Board was able to slip through a new noise ordinance that all but bans target shooting on private property on Sundays.  It should be noted that Sussex is a very rural county with a few small towns scattered throughout.  It became even more clear during the meeting that this was driven by forces opposing Sunday Hunting:
HUNTER: "Sunday, all day, gunfire is not allowed?" FLY: "We don't think so. This is addressing a problem we think the GA has created."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) April 30, 2014 Chairman Fly also claimed that he had been told by Sunday Hunting lobbyists that the county would see an increase of memberships in hunt clubs:
FLY: "We were told (by lobbyists) that we would see huge increases in hunt club membership with the passage of Sunday Hunting."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 1, 2014 Not really sure why that was relevant as hunt clubs in that area hunt with dogs and that practice is not allowed for Sunday Hunting.  But the most damning statement against the new ordinance came from the Sheriff:
Sheriff Raymond Bell: There is no way for me to enforce this aspect of the noise ordinance. "Sees no way in hell for me to enforce this."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 1, 2014 The aspect to which the Sheriff is referring is section 5 which states:

...that discharge of any firearm between the hours of midnight and 10 p.m. on any Sunday in such a manner as to permit sound to be heard inside the confines of the dwelling unit, house or apartment of another person or as to be plainly audible at a distance of 200 feet or more from its source is not allowed.
Fly stated that he supported the ordinance as written but would discuss Section 5 and two other sections with the County Attorney.  VSSA will continue to monitor this and will let gun owners know if they need to plan to attend the May 15th Board meeting to show opposition and to let the Board know their action will be remembered at the next Board election if the ordinance is not repealed or changed to remove the Sunday shooting restrictions.
Categories: News

Sussex County Attorney Comments Infer Noise Ordinance Shooting Restrictions Aimed at Sunday Hunting

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:27
Yesterday this blog inferred that the new Sunday shooting restrictions in Sussex County's new noise ordinance was aimed at Sunday Hunting.  It appears from an article on the proposed ordinance in the April 9th Sussex Surry Dispatch (SSD) that at least one person may have had that in mind.  When asked by the reporter whether the shooting restrictions were a way for the County to get around the Sunday Hunting law, County Attorney Michael Packer said that he did not see the ordinance conflicting with it because state law governs hunting.  He then followed up with this comment:
The folks that feel they have a need to hunt on Sunday would have to figure out a way to do it in a way that does not bother other people, from a noise point-of-view," Packer commented.
Now, as a county attorney, he should know that the county does have some limited powers that allow them to place some restrictions on hunting, like, the kind of firearm that can be used.  But, his comment gives the hint that he helped craft an ordinance that would make it all but impossible to hunt on Sunday, unless of course people used a bow. The SSD article also mentioned that the Board had previously passed a resolution opposing Sunday hunting.

The last time the issue of shooting restrictions for noise came up in Sussex was 2012.  At that time the Board heard from gun owners that the proposed restrictions were not acceptable and the Board sent the proposal back to the Planning Commission.  It never came back up, until now, and the Board was able to slip it through with little notice from gun owners and gun rights groups on April 17th.  A backlash has now ensued.  Board Chairman Eric Fly is holding his quarterly constituents meeting tonight at 7 PM at the Sussex County Courthouse.  He is likely to get an earful.
Categories: News

SCOTUS Says No to Drake

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 13:58
Probably the best case for a hearing on the issue of carrying firearms outside the home will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The story is here. In a one line order, the Court declined to hear the case without further comment. For those not familiar with the case, it was brought by John Drake, who said he needed to carry a firearm because of his job restocking ATM machines. Other plaintiffs included a reserve sheriff's deputy, a civilian FBI employee and a victim of an interstate kidnapping, all of whom were initially denied permits. In New Jersey, permit applications have to be approved by local police and then a state Superior Court judge.

In a 2012 ruling upholding New Jersey's law, U.S. District Judge William Walls wrote that the alternative to the state's "justifiable need" requirement would be granting permits to carry a gun to anyone who felt "the subjective need based on nothing more than 'general fears' to go about their daily lives prepared to use deadly force. Judge Walls said the risks associated with a judicial error in discouraging regulation of firearms carried in public are too great"

The 3rd Circuit upheld Walls' ruling in a 2-1 decision. Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman decented saying in the Heller decision, the Supreme Court recognized that the Second Amendment extends beyond the home and "protects an inherent right to self-defense."
Categories: News

Bloomberg Backlash

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 12:28
S.E. Cupp has the story here.  Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a big splash shortly before the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits, announcing he was consolidating two groups, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, under one umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety, and was going to put $50 million into the campaign to out muscle the NRA. He named an advisory board that included former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.  But news came yesterday that Ridge was parting ways with the group after only 10 days:
“When I signed on as an adviser to Everytown,” Ridge said, “I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans. After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work.”That comes on top of the comments of numerous mayors who had joined MAIG then quit after they learned Bloomberg's real agenda:
Rockford, Ill., Mayor Larry Morrissey: “The reason why I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said: against ‘illegal’ guns. The focus should not be against law-abiding citizens. We should be focusing our enforcement on folks who have no right to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise."

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Mayor John Tkazyik: “It did not take long to realize that MAIG’s agenda was much more than ridding felons of illegal guns . . . MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens.”

Sioux City, Ia., Mayor Bob Scott: “They’re not just against illegal guns, they’re against all guns.”

Danbury, Ct., Mayor Mark Boughton: “I joined because I believe enforcement of existing gun laws is preferable to creating new gun laws. It is clear in recent months, however, that Bloomberg’s mission has changed from law enforcement to simply increasing gun regulations.”Finally, while it was no surprise that the NRA was not going to take Bloomberg's challenge lying down, they unveiled a very smart response at the Annual Meeting last weekend.
Categories: News