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Ben Shapiro Trashes Biden's New Background Check Rules

VSSA Blog - Fri, 04/12/2024 - 15:18
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) submitted its proposed gun dealer licensing rule for publication. The rule sets out what will determine when somebody selling firearms from their personal colletion must get a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and adds a few new ones. Biden said the changes were designed to force more gun sellers to conduct background checks before the sale can be completed. The rule points to several specific steps for determining if somebody is selling guns “predominantly for a profit” as a business. But it is still not specific on how many guns somebody can sell or how much money they can make before needing a license.
Stephen Gutsowski wrote over at The Reload (behind the pay wall) that it will likely impact how Americans sell guns, but not in the way most people probably think.

But, despite the fanfare and claims of the Biden Administration, it doesn’t significantly change the ATF’s position on who needs a license. Nor does it outlaw private sales by unlicensed people at gun shows or elsewhere.

It’s true the rule says there’s no specific number of sales that determines who needs a license. It says it doesn’t matter where a sale takes place. It says renting a table at a gun show could indicate somebody is engaged in the business.

But that’s what the ATF has been saying for a very long time. None of this is new. If you look back at a similar move under the Obama Administration in 2016, you’ll find many of the same talking points at play. One of the big talking points at the time was even those selling a single gun could have to get a license–something repeated in this rule.

“ATF will make clear that whether you are ‘engaged in the business’ depends on the facts and circumstances,” White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said at the time. “On factors such as: whether you represent yourself as a dealer, such as making business cards or taking credit card statements. Whether you sell firearms shortly after they’re acquired or whether you buy or sell in the original packaging.”

The ATF’s 2016 guide to determining whether you need an FFL hits all the major factors included in the new rule, too.

Podcaster Ben Shapiro addressed the issue today on his show and he said this is just one more piece of the radical Democrat agenda, and that it won't have any impact on crime.  Shapiro, a gun owner, said the rule is likely to be challenged in court like most of the other gun related rules the Biden Administration has released.



Governor Youngkin Vetoes 30 Gun Ban Bills

VSSA Blog - Fri, 03/29/2024 - 11:36

On Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin blocked a batch of 30 bills that had passed the gun ban controlled General Assembly this year.  He also amended another six bills.  If the General Assembly does not approve of the amendments, the Governor could end up vetoing those bills after the re-convened session in April.

The bills the Governor amended include:
HB 861/SB 515 Weapons; carrying into hospital that provides mental health services.
Under current law, firearms are banned from public hospitals and private hospitals have the ability to ban firearms. The Governor’s recommendation focuses on criminals who transfer firearms to a person receiving mental health treatment at a hospital.

SB 363. Firearm; removing, altering, selling, etc., or possessing w/removed, etc., serial number, penalty.
The amendment aligns the bill with federal law and federal definitions for serial numbers.

HB 173/SB 100 Plastic firearms and unfinished frames, etc.; manufacture, import, etc. prohibited, penalties.
The amendment establishes a knowledge standard for manufacturing, importing, selling, transferring or possessing any plastic firearm and introduces mandatory minimum sentences for the subsequent use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

SB 225 School bd. policy; parental notification of responsibility of safe storage of firearms in household.
The amendment directs the Department of Education to convene a workgroup to create a comprehensive list of the parental rights and responsibilities and develop an efficient method for distributing such list to parents. The Governor previously offered the same recommendation for HB 498.

The full list of bills vetoed are below:
HB 2/SB 2 - creates new penalties for transferring and possessing the most common firearms (so-called manufactured and sold in the nation based on certain components.

HB 454/SB 383 - criminalizes an individual’s possession of a firearm in a building owned or operated by a public institution of higher education

HB 585 - criminalizes home-based firearm dealers who maintain their place of business at their residence within one and a half miles of an elementary or middle school.

HB 637 - directs the Department of Criminal Justice programs to create a Substantial Risk Order Training Program.

HB 797 - amends the requirements for concealed handgun permits by requiring the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to become the exclusive certifying agency for courses essential to prove competence for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.

HB 799 - requires fingerprints to be submitted with an application for a concealed handgun permit or a renewal of such a permit.

SB 258 - would increase risk factors and considerations for "red flag" orders.

HB 1195/SB 273 - requires a waiting period to purchase a firearm.

HB 183/SB 368 - requires specific storage of firearms where a minor or person prohibiting a firearm is present and would limit individuals' access to firearms in their homes..

HB 1462/SB 447 - penalizes law-abiding Virginians for leaving a firearm in their vehicle, regardless of any other circumstances, punishing victims of crimes committed by another individual.

HB 318/SB 491 - ttargets the firearms industry with lawsuits that would put them out of business

HB 939 - prohibits possession of a firearm within 100 feet of locations used for certain voting-related and elections-related activities.

SB 338 - directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the social, physical, emotional, and economic health effects of gun violence.
HB 175/SB 99 - prohibiting the carrying of so-called "assault firearms" in public areas.

HB 1174/SB 327 - prohibits any individual under the age of twenty-one from purchasing a handgun or assault firearm, two broad categories of commonly used firearms.

HB 798 - prohibits the purchase, possession, or transportation of a firearm following a misdemeanor conviction of assault and battery or stalking.

HB 466 - would end reciprocity with other states regarding concealed handgun permits.

HB 362/SB 642 prohibits the purchase, possession, or transportation of a firearm following a misdemeanor conviction of assault and battery. 
HB 351 - requires firearm locking devices or certifications to sell, purchase, or transfer firearms to individuals in households where minors reside.

HB 1386 - restricts localities’ ability to adopt workplace rules for firearms.

HB 916 - establishes a "Red Flag" order Reporting System.
You can read the Governor's full veto messages by clicking here.  He offered very succinct reasons for each veto and you can use the information in those messages as you contact your Delegate of State Senator and urge the to support the Governor's vetoes.  

2024 Norman J. Sieger Devil’s Brigade Memorial Championship Match

VSSA Blog - Fri, 03/29/2024 - 10:14
By Viesturs LenssFRGC Precision Pistol Match Director

On Saturday, March 16, 2024, the Farifax Rod and Gun Club (FRGC) held the 2024 Norman J. Sieger Devil’s Brigade Memorial Championship in honor of the memory of long-time Fairfax Rod and Gun Club member Norman J. Sieger, who passed away in 2022 at the age of 98 years. This match also honors the memory of the First Special Service Force, also known as the Devil’s Brigade, of which Norm was a member during his service during World War II.

Norm Sieger and the Devil’s Brigade
Norman joined the Army at eighteen in 1942 and fought as a member of the famous joint USA and Canada First Special Service Force. Norman served in the Army with distinction for twenty-nine years, after which he settled in Northern Virginia. His service spanned three wars – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. One of his favorite hobbies was pistol shooting, and he enjoyed many years being a part of the US Army pistol team. He was instrumental in the construction of the pistol range at the Club which is named in his honor. Norman served as the Club’s pistol match director for many years and was also a past president of the Club.

The First Special Service Force (FSSF) was formed in 1942 as a top-secret unit made up of US and Canadian soldiers. The FSSF spearheaded the Italian Campaign, taking on the impossible task of clearing the Nazis from the mountains of the Winter Line. They entered combat on December 3, 1943 with a strength of 1,800 men and completed their mission on January 17, 1944 with fewer than 500 men.

The Force’s success in clearing the mountain tops was crucial to the control of the main north/south highway to Rome. The FSSF was then moved to the Anzio beachhead, where it was assigned over 8 miles of the right flank with fewer than 1,100 men, facing a full division of 10,000 enemy soldiers. For 99 days the Force conducted continuous patrols and night raids into enemy territory at a cost of 106 killed or missing and over 300 wounded. During the Battle of Anzio, the Germans dubbed the First Special Service Force the "Devil's Brigade" because of their blackened faces and stealth in combat.

The Force was the tip of the spear on the drive to Rome and is credited with being the first Allied patrol to enter the city on June 4, 1944. Following the liberation of Rome, the Force was given the assignment of leading the landing invasion in southern France – fighting their way to the Franco-Italian border. In 251 days of combat, the Force suffered 2,314 casualties, 134% of combat strength, captured over 30,000 prisoners, won five US campaign stars, eight Canadian battle honors, and never failed a mission.

The First Special Service Force was arguably the most capable and deadly infantry organization in the Allied forces during WWII. The modern American and Canadian special operations forces trace their heritage to this unit. In 2013, the United States Congress passed a bill to award to the First Special Service Force the Congressional Gold Medal.

In cooperation with the Montana Military Museum and the First Special Service Force Association, this match offered a variety of Devil’s Brigade themed awards and prizes as pictured below.

Match Format
This match featured the Civilian marksmanship Program (CMP) 1400 Pistol Aggregate course of fire along with a Service Revolver Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) match. The CMP 1400 match combines individual matches fired using metallic sights with a 22 rimfire pistol along with a service pistol of a type suitable for use in a general duty scenario (i.e., military or law enforcement). The 22 Rimfire and Service Pistol EIC matches were included as part of the CMP 1400 Pistol Aggregate championship. For additional information on CMP pistol rules, refer to: 2024 CMP Pistol Rules

Match Winners
The weather for match day was picture perfect, so much so as to coax the cherry blossoms surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. into peak bloom the very next day! As can be expected, with such ideal weather came some great scores.

Congratulations to Gregg Miller as the Open Champion winner with a score of 1265-23x!

As the Open Winner, Gregg received a challenge coin award along with a bottle of Willie’s Distillery Devils Brigade Whiskey. Being a Virginia resident, Gregg is also the 2024 Virginia State CMP 1400 Pistol Aggregate Champion and will receive a plaque from the Virginia Shooting Sports Association.

Other class winners include:
First Master: Ben Lassiter with a score of 1256-23x
First Expert: Richard Martinez with a score of 1194-17x
First Sharpshooter: John Dowell with a score of 1190-12x

First Marksman: Theodore Weber with a score of 885-5x
Match winners (left to right) Rich Martinez, Ben Lassiter, Gregg Miller, John Dowell, and Ted Weber
The Open Winner and all Class Winners names and scores will be engraved on the new Norman J. Sieger Devil’s Brigade Memorial Championship plaque. This is the inaugural year for the plaque, and subsequent championship winners will also have their names engraved on the plaque in future years.

Excellence-in-Competiton (EIC) Matches
For the CMP Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) events, leg points were awarded in each category. Match winners are as follows:

22 Rimfire EIC
Overall Winner: Gregg Miller with a score of 277 - 3x
Highest Non-Distinguished: Ben Lassiter with a score of 274 - 5x (6 leg points)*

Service Pistol EIC
Overall Winner: Gregg Miller with a score of 273 - 6x

Highest Non-Distinguished: Rob Croxson with a score of 252 - 3x (6 leg points)*

Service Revolver EIC
Overall Winner: Ben Lassiter with a score of 349 - 4x
Highest Non-Distinguished: Ben Lassiter with a score of 349 - 4x (6 leg points)*
*Leg points awards are pending CMP approval of the EIC match.

Bounties
Bounties were earned by being the first shooter to achieve a minimum qualifying score (depending upon classification) on any slow fire target. Bounty awards were US Mint issued bronze coins that were replicas of the Gold Medal awarded to the unit. Winners of the class bounties are as follows:

Master: Don Dixon
Expert: Rich Martinez
Sharpshooter: John Dowell
Marksman: David Jensen

Prize Drawing
Congratulations also to the winners of the prize drawing for the following items:
• The Supercommandos: First Special Service Force, 1942-1944 An Illustrated History hardcover book
• Willie’s Distillery Devils Brigade Whiskey bottle (750ml)
• Böker Plus V-42 Replica Dagger

Volunteers
A special thanks to the volunteers for this match, including John Hollingshead (CRO), Carrol Kisser (LO) and Dave Jordan (LO, Range Setup). Without them, matches such as these would not be possible. THANK YOU!!!

Legislative Update for February 25

VSSA Blog - Sun, 02/25/2024 - 14:38

We are fast approching the end of the 2024 Session of the General Assembly.  On Thursday, several gun control bills passed the second house for consideration and are headed to Governor Youngkin.  Only one of the bills have taken the next step prior to arriving at the Governor.  Each bill has to be "Enrolled" then the text of the bill has to be printed as it passed both houses, so now is the time to contact the Governor and urge him to veto these bills.  You can contact Governor Youngkin at glenn.youngkin@govenor.virginia.gov .  The bills that are now headed to Governor Youngkin are:

SB 273: This bill would impose a mandatory five-day waiting period for all firearm purchases in Virginia.

SB 100: This bill would end the ability of individuals to build a firearm for personal use without government interference, something that has been done for centuries. The "scary" term “ghost gun” is an invention of gun ban advocates to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. Criminals are prohibited from owning a firearm regardless of how the firearm is made. This means that whether that possessed firearm was made in a factory, or using a kit, it does not change the fact that possession of that firearm is a criminal act.

SB 368: This bill would created mandatory storage requirements for firearms and ammunition.

SB 491: This bill would subject firearm manufacturers and dealers to frivolous lawsuits by creating a civil cause of action for violations. The legislation requires industry members to establish and implement controls based on vague and unenumerated standards of conduct. A suit against a manufacturer or dealer could be brought by the Attorney General or a local county or city attorney for a perceived violation of these "standards of conduct".

HB 498: This bill would requires local school boards to develop and implement a policy for distribution by the local district to inform parents about firearm safety and storage laws in the commonwealth. This mandate could be used as a gun ban propaganda tool funded by tax payer dollars.

Please contact Governor Youngkin and politely urge him to veto the above bills. It is best to send an email yourself rather than use a pre-written email system. Emails in your own words will have a greater impact on the Governor and will be viewed as being sent by the sender rather than by an automated service.

Legislative Update for February 16

VSSA Blog - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 12:37

We are now on the downhill side of the 2024 legislative session with the House and Senate now only considering bills from the other side.  This morning House Public Safety met at 8:00 AM and considered several Senate gun control bills with no public comment as all of the bills on the docket were either identical to or very similar to bills already passed by the House.  This really isn't unusual as they believe they heard all of the arguments during the first half of the session and there is a time crunch to finish the work before the session adjourns.  VSSA's focus now will be on the Governor's office as it is likely that gun ban bills that passed one house during the first half of the session are going to be passed by the other house.  The worst bills (it's almost hard to pick just one but these House and Senate companion bills rate at the top of the list) that are still moving are HB2 and SB2:

HB2/SB2, Introduced by Delegate Helmer and Senator Deeds would ban the purchase, possession, sale, transfer, transport, import, or manufacturing of "assault-style" weapons. It also prohibits a person who violates this from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for 3 years after the date of conviction. The legislation would also ban the sale of a "large capacity" ammunition feeding device and prohibits people younger than 21 from importing, selling, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, transporting, or transferring a firearm. During debate on SB2, Senator Surovell argued that absolute rights do not exist - and that they all exist with some underlying restriction or regulation (ex. freedom of speech and hate speech); therefore the 2nd amendment should not be treated as an absolute right. The bill ultimately passed in the Senate on a party line vote and is now headed to the house (and HB2 is headed to the Senate) where both will most likely to pass as well.


The Governor will have to use his veto pen on them!

There was some small pieces of good news during the first half as a couple of really bad bills did not make it out of the house of origin before crossover.  A couple aren't completely dead as they were carried over to next year, but they are currently on life support.  Those bills are:

HB 270 - Sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms and firearm magazines; Virginia Firearm Buy-Back Program and Fund established; penalties. This is an omnibus bills that includes semi-auto and magazine bans, waiting periods, and more.  This bill was carried over to 2025.

HB 319 - Firearms instructors and safety programs; National Rifle Association and United States Concealed Carry Association. This bill removes references to the National Rifle Association (the NRA) and the United States Concealed Carry Association from the Code that allow the organizations to certify ranges and instructors and for courses offered by them to serve as proof of demonstrated competence in firearms safety and training for the purpose of obtaining a concealed handgun permit or receiving training as a minor in the use of pneumatic guns.  This bill was carried over to to 2025 (HB 797 which does the same thing and also requires 10 rounds of live fire as part of the training did pass however).

HB 602 - Virginia Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention; Virginia Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention Fund; creation; This bill creates a government agency, the Virginia Center for Firearm Violence and Prevention that would make grants to push gun control responses to crime involving firearms.  This bill was carried over to to 2025.
The below bills were defeated:
HB 113 - Possession, purchase, or transportation of handgun by persons convicted of certain drug offenses and operating a boat or vehicle while intoxicated prohibited; penalty. This bill would have taken away gun rights for misdemeanor drunk driving. 
HB 791 - Pneumatic guns; penalties. This bill would have made it  a Class 6 felony to possess a pneumatic gun ( BB gun or air rifle/air pistol).  It is interesting to note that this bill was reported out of Public Safety and referred to Appropriations.  Appropriations added language that changed the prohibitions for day care and private schools which only applies to when these schools are in session to a complete prohibition unless it is part of a program.  When it came up on first reading in the full house it was re-referred to Public Safety.  Because this was done the day before the last day to consider legislation in committee, it died because there was not time for both Public Safety and Appropriations to reconsider the bill.
You can see the complete list of bills that passed and have crossed over by clicking here.  VSSA will alert members when bills have passed both Houses and have been sent to the Governor so that you can contact Governor Youngkin and politely urge him to veto the bad bills.

Lafayette Gun Club 2024 Yorktown Cup

VSSA Blog - Thu, 02/15/2024 - 07:34
Lafayette Gun Club will hold the 2024 Yorktown Cup on May 4-5 and May 25-26. Relay time is start of sighters on all four days. Call to the line is 15min prior to sighters.

Relay time is start of sighters on all four days. Call to the line is 15min prior to sighters. Relay 1: 8:00am (12 competitors max)
Relay 2: 10:15am (12 competitors max)
Relay 3: 12:30pm (12 competitors max)
Relay 4: 2:45pm (12 competitors max)

The current CMP 2022-24 3PAR Rules will apply.  Rule 3.2.2.c for Teams. Teams can have a maximum of five designated competitors. Teams must be designated prior to first shot of any team member. Organizations can have more than one team but each team must be declared prior to any junior from that organization shooting. The competition is open to current high school juniors. Rule 3.1
For more information, contact Jason Bradley Stout (ret.) at navgunner92@live.com.  You can download the match program by clicking here.