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Governor Northam's Gun Confiscation Bill on Militia Police and Public Safety Sub 1 Docket Thursday

VSSA - Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:45
The General Assembly is wasting no time taking up gun bills this session.  The Senate Courts of Justice Committee will hear a number of bills at Wednesday's meeting.  And, it is possible that Governor Northam's big gun grab may not last even a week after introduction of the bill.  On Thursday, House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 will hear a number of gun bills, including HB 2492, Governor Northam's bill to ban the possession, sale, and transfer of  "any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition."  The meeting will take place at 4:00 PM in 400-C Subcommittee Room.  There will also be other gun bills on the docket but HB2492 is by far the big one.  Please contact committee members and urge them to defeat HB2492 and as well as the other anti-rights bills that will heard.

Governor's Bill Bans Possession of "Assault Firearm" as Advertised in Jan. 4 Press Announcement

VSSA - Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:10
House Bill 2492, the Governor's sweeping legislation to ban so-called "assault weapons" in the Commonwealth does indeed ban possession, not just the sale and transfer of the firearms.  It does this by changing the definition of an "assault firearm" as it is currently in the Code of Virginia by including "any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This would affect most firearms on sale in Virginia.

Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon has reported on the legislation and appeared on NRATV's Cam and Company to talk more about the Governor's proposed gun confiscation plan.  He said the Governor's office will not return his calls to answer questions of how they plan to enforce this if the bill passed.
Rest assured that the VSSA legislative team is working to defeat this an all of the gun ban legislation that has been introduced in the legislature.  This bill should be a wake up call to all Virginia gun owners.  If we don't get involved in this year's elections, this is the type of legislation that could pass in 2020.

New Bureau of Justice Statistics Report Confirms Small Number of Criminals Get Guns Through Retailers

VSSA - Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:15
The Crime Report has this story that says there is very little proof that gun background checks cut crime.  They are able to make this statement thanks to a new Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report released yesterday that says Less than 2% of all prisoners obtained a firearm from a retail source and possessed (1.9%) or used (1.3%) it during their crime.
Overall, an estimated 287,400 prisoners possessed a firearm during their offense. Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source. More than half (56%) of prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Fewer than 1% had obtained the firearm at a gun show (0.8%).These numbers are similar to other BJS studies of prisoners.  Now it is possible that after the background check was instituted in 1993 that criminals turned to other sources other than retailers for their guns but those looking to say there is a gaping "loophole" at gun shows where private sales are not required to under go background checks can take no solace from this report.  Less than 1% of the prisoners went to gun shows to get their guns.

Duke University public policy expert Philip Cook did tell the Crime report that it is possible that as state that dedicates resources to enforcing "universal" background checks will have good results but added not all programs are going to be equally effective.

We've already seen in states like Colorado that have "universal" background checks that even when a state dedicates large resources, much of that appropriation goes unused, mostly because the projected surge in background checks never materializes, either due to non-compliance, or more likely, the number of privates sales has always been overstated.

Either way, we have confirmation from the new BJS story that "universal" background checks will not reduce crime.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner Signs on To Feinstein Gun Ban Bill

VSSA - Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:30
No real surprise that Virginia's senior U.S. Senator Mark Warner has come full circle back to his gun ban roots by joining as a co-sponsor on California Senator Diane Feinstein's "Assault Weapon" legislation.  After all, he penned an Op/Ed in the Washington Post last year about why he now supported such a ban after voting against it in 2013.  That Op/Ed generated this response from VSSA.

As that response pointed out, according to FBI Uniform Crime Report data, rifles of all kinds are used in a small percentage of firearm related homicides which means specific types of rifles like AR-15s are used in even less.  But that doesn't matter to the gun ban crowd.  They throw around terms like "military style" to make the general public think that firearms used by the military are for sale to civilians.  They all speak from talking points given to them by the gun ban lobby.

Senator Warner was never a 2nd Amendment supporter.  He simply used a strategy devised by Democratic Strategist Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, to get elected Governor in 2001, and continued to groom that persona while Governor.  It is true Warner signed a number of pro-gun bills during that time but it should also be noted that he worked hard behind the scenes to keep a full repeal of Virginia's "one gun-a-month" law from passing.  He would only sign a bill that allowed concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders to buy more than one handgun in a 30 day period.  Before running for Governor, Warner had supported a ban on modern sporting rifles (1996) and three years before that he supported a five day waiting period to purchase a handgun (1993).  I wonder what Saunders thinks about the Mark Warner of today from what he sold voters in 2001.

The Fight Against Governor Northam's Gun Control

VSSA - Thu, 01/10/2019 - 09:48
Democrat Governor Ralph Northam started off 2019 with a slate of new gun-control legislation that would fundamentally change gun ownership in Virginia. In addition, other gun ban legislators have proposed additional restrictions beyond what Northam laid out last Friday. For instance, Senator Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) has introduced a bill to raise the age for purchasing a long gun from 18 to 21. Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with fellow Virginian and NRATV host Cam Edwards, to talk about the plausibility of stricter gun control laws being signed into state law.

You can catch the latest 2nd Amendment news from Cam on NRATV's Cam and Company every weekday at 5:30 or anytime on demand.

General Assembly Convenes Today - VSSA Legislative Tracking Page Up

VSSA - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:20
With the General Assembly convening at noon today, the VSSA Legislative Tracking web page is updated and available for gun owners to check the status of legislation affecting your firearm freedom.  In addition to the legislative tracking page, VSSA will post committee meeting updates live on our Twitter and Facebook pages.  VSSA's legislative team will be on the ground at the GA every day of the session working for Virginia's gun owners.

TRS: Governor Northam's "Assault Weapon" Ban Would Include Rifle That is Favorite of Boy Scouts

VSSA - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:19
The Republican Standard blog has this piece that points out how Governor Northam's "common sense gun safety" proposals would prohibit rifles that are standard for Boy Scout marksmanship training.
Among the bills in the sweeping proposal is one which the governor said, according to his announcement, “modifies the definition of assault firearm to any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”

Northam’s proposal would “ban the sale, purchase, possession, and transport of assault firearms in the Commonwealth,” according to the announcement.

The measure is not the same as a magazine capacity restriction, which bans possession of the magazines themselves, depending on capacity. Similar magazine bans were introduced by lawmakers in previous years, and may resurface in 2019.

Detachable magazines are interchangeable on semiautomatic firearms. Consequently, any firearm which accepts detachable magazines is equipped to fire more than 10 rounds in a detachable magazine of varying size, and would be banned.

Detachable magazines are used in common firearms, from the AR-15 to the 10/22, the common .22 rifle used by scouting groups and other youth, which even comes in an edition officially licensed by the Boy Scouts of America.Also note that Northam's bill would ban not only the sale, but also the possession of, so-called "assault rifles" in the Commonwealth. This means that the Governor would expect the hundreds of thousands of Virginians that own the rifles to turn them in.  Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax campaigned on a platform to confiscate firearms in 2017 so it would not be out of the whelm of possibility for the Governor to pick up that mantle.

In related news, VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney Steve Halbrook told Dana Loesch yesterday that Governor Northam's gun ban proposals are just one more step of trying to "Californacate" Virginia.

If this is not enough to prove that the 2019 General Assembly elections will determine if Virginia's gun owners begin to face what California and New Jersey gun owners already face, nothing will.

Governor Northam Outlines Gun Control Policy For General Assembly

VSSA - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 10:27
On Friday Governor Ralph Northam rolled out the gun control bills he will be pushing in the 2019 General Assembly. WHSV in Harrisonburg has the story here.
Included in the package of seven bills is a so-called "universal background check" bill with the goal of prohibiting the private sale of firearms, firearm confiscation without due process via so-called "red flag law", reinstate Virginia’s handgun rationing law, prohibit individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms; ban modern sporting rifles; prevent children from accessing firearms; and require individuals to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.  All of these proposals have failed in the past.  But Virginia's once strong pro-rights majority in the House of Delegates is down to a one member majority with the same in the State Senate.  It is not certain if Republicans will remain unified in opposing the "red flag" bill.  A similar measure was passed by the Republican majority legislature in Florida and signed by Republican Governor Rick Scott after the Parkland school shooting.  The 2019 General Assembly gavels into session on Wednesday January 9th.

It's All in the Wording

VSSA - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 13:02
This article in Bloomberg that talks about Brazil's new president pushing to restore his citizen's right to keep and bear arms uses a familiar tactic of the gun ban lobby when it comes to talking about the number of people who die due to firearms.  You see, they don't talk about gun related homicides in the U.S. because if they did, that would pretty much cut the number of U.S. firearm related deaths in half.  They talk about "Gun Deaths" which include suicide.  This is not to say that we should not be concerned with those who would use a firearm to end their own life, but it is a completely different problem than criminal uses of firearms.  But it's how the gun banners can fool the public into believing that the U.S. is at the top of the list and the media gladly uses their talking points.  So, the next time you hear that the U.S. has the highest or second highest number of "gun deaths", be sure to remind those people that the statistic they are using is misleading and needs more explanation.

Massachusetts Episcopal Diocese Wants to Influence Smith and Wesson Business Practices

VSSA - Wed, 01/02/2019 - 11:19
Mass Live has the story here.
Determined to address gun violence from within the firearms industry, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts voted last week to buy 200 shares of stock in American Outdoor Brands, the Springfield-based parent company of Smith & Wesson.

“So that we might have a voice at the table and work with some other church groups to see what we can do to lessen the public health crisis of gun violence,” said Bishop Douglas J. Fisher. “It’s born out of frustration.”

Two hundred shares is the minimum number needed to place an initiative question on the ballot before shareholders at American Outdoor Brands' annual meeting.You may recall that last year a group of nuns was successful in pushing through a shareholder ballot initiative forcing Smith and Wesson to to "give an accounting of how the company monitors gun violence and what it's doing to make safer products and keep firearms away from those who shouldn't own them."  It appears Smith and Wesson might want to consider increasing the minimum number of shares required to put a question on the ballot at a stockholder meeting.  At the current price of American Outdoor Brands (Smith and Wesson's holding company) that amounts to only having to fork over $2600 in order to create mischief.  These people aren't interested in protecting an investment, they want to harm the company and by extension, gun owners.

Firearm Related Bills Slow to be Introduced at General Assembly

VSSA - Fri, 12/28/2018 - 14:07
With the General Assembly scheduled to begin on January 9th, there are only a few bills that have been introduced related to firearms so far.  Most of those are the usual bills to reinstitute handgun rationing, prohibiting carrying certain firearms in public, and the now popular "red flag" laws.  A complete list is below.

  • HB 1616 Firearms; use or display during commission of a felony, killing or injuring police animals, penalty.
  • HB 1654 Prohibited public carrying of certain firearms in public areas; penalty.
  • HB 1656 School security officers; employment by private or religious schools, carrying a firearm.
  • HB 1691 Manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of undetectable firearms; penalty.
  • HB 1763 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk of injury to himself, etc., penalties.
  • SB 1008 Firearms; mechanical devices designed to increase rate of fire, penalty.
  • SB 1034 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
  • SB 1048 Auxiliary law-enforcement officers; purchase of service handguns or other weapons.
  • SB 1078 Protective orders; possession of firearms, penalty.
  • SB 1084 Firearms; use in commission of crime, civil liability for negligent gun storage.
  • SB 1096 Minors; allowing access to firearms, penalty.

Just A Couple of Days Left to Get Your Gun A Week Calendar from FNRA

VSSA - Fri, 12/28/2018 - 14:02
There are only a couple of days to get your 2019 Friends of NRA Calendar that gives you a chance to win a gun every week.  You can have the chance to win multiple times and there are only 2500 calendars that will be sold.  You can order online by clicking here.

VA SASP Teams Dominate In Virtual Match Series

VSSA - Wed, 12/19/2018 - 14:47
Virginia’s Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) teams dominated the rimfire pistol divisions in the SASP National Virtual Match Series for the 2017-2018 season. The Virtual Match Series is open to all 235 SASP teams across the country whose athletes compete both as individuals and in squads. The competitions take place locally but the rankings are tallied nation-wide.
SASP was created by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation in 2013 and consists of youth ages 10 – college competing in pistol and rifle. Athletes shoot at five steel targets that are arrayed in four different stages while timed. SASP began in Virginia in 2015 when Team LoCo Motion (Round Hill) was established. In 2016, the Winchester Izaak Walton League established the WIWL Blue Ridge Bullets. Both teams received significant support from Friends of the NRA/NRA Foundation. Currently in the Commonwealth, three new teams are being established, two of are sponsored by the Young Marines and one by the US Naval Sea Cadets.

SASP teams compete in squads of four athletes but individual results are also recognized. In the Rimfire Pistol Intermediate (Middle School) Division, the WIWL Blue Ridge Bullets squad took first place with the Team LoCo Motion squad taking second. In the Rimfire Pistol Senior (High School) Division, the Blue Ridge Bullets fielded two squads which took first and second place with the Team LoCo Motion squad taking third.

At the individual level, virtual match standings are ranked across all divisions (Rookie, Intermediate-Entry Level, Intermediate-Advanced, JV, Varsity and Collegiate). The Commonwealth’s young ladies made an impressive showing with Lauren Creese of Team LoCo Motion taking 2nd place and Amelia Lunceford of the WIWL Blue Ridge Bullets taking 3rd place nationally. In the men’s division, Michael Soltis of Team LoCo Motion captured 3rd place in the national rankings.

Eliot Jardines, the SASP Virginia State Advisor stated, “We are very pleased with the results of the 2017-2018 SASP Virtual Match series. Virginia teams have come a long way in a span of a few short years and we are excited to see what the 2018-2019 season brings. Not only are we looking to build on our success in this series but also at SASP Nationals. Our goal this season is to help our two new Young Marines and one US Naval Sea Cadet teams get up and running to add them to the Commonwealth’s competitive roster.

The Scholastic Action Shooting Program now has two teams out of Round Hill, as well as teams in Winchester, Woodford and Mason Neck. As a means of introducing youth action shooting and youth development to more Virginia communities, SASP is looking to establish new teams. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the State Advisor at admin@locomotionfoundation.org to learn more about establishing a team, available funding and scholarship opportunities.

State Senator Dave Marsden Wants Legal Gun Owners to Held Liable for Actions of Criminals

VSSA - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:48
Virginia Public Radio station WVTF reported last week that State Senator Dave Marsden wants gun owners to be held liable if their gun is used in a crime or suicide.
“All guns start out legal, and then 60% of the guns that end up being used in crimes or in suicides are in the hands of people who don’t own them or didn’t originally own them. We’re careless with our guns.”First, I would tell Senator Marsden to speak for himself.   While there are some gun owners that are not as responsible with their firearms as they should be given that there are instances of negligent discharge and when a child injures themselves with an improperly stored firearm, to lump all gun owners into that category is just hyperbole.

A legal expert, Rich Kelsy, interviewed by WVTF, had this to say about Marsden's proposal:
“For you to make a gun owner liable for injuries because his gun was lost or stolen and a third party used it in the commission of a crime or for injuries would turn tort law upside down.”Marsden is no stranger to going after legal gun owners instead of criminals when it comes to reducing the criminal use of firearms. He is a regular sponsor of gun ban legislation in the State Senate.

NRATV's Cam Edwards discussed Marsden's proposal on Dana Loesch program this past Monday.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) Project Childsafe encourages gun owners to store their firearms securely when they are not in use.  That's a much better way of getting gun owners to keep their firearms away from those who should not have them than to threaten gun owners that they will be held responsible if a criminal get's their gun

Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Sills Air Range Raffle

VSSA - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:02
Every year the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA (a VSSA affiliated club) Sills Air Range does 2-3 raffles to help secure the air range’s long term financial stability. Using donated items — mostly from the Midway Foundation — the club raises funds via raffles and then puts the proceeds into their Midway account. The Midway Foundation then partially matches what they put in — and as the account accumulates the club can use the money for air range needs. All of this helps the club keep the annual consumables fee lower.  This club has been home to some great youth shooters, some of which have gone on to shoot in college, and one who won Olympic Gold in 2016.

The next raffle is one of the best yet! The 1st Prize is a Henry 30/30 (from Midway) and the 2nd Prize is a Ruger Mark III (generously donated by the club's very own Mark Budgeon). For every ten tickets sold, the club will hold a drawing for a Browning knife/flashlight combo. So there are many chances to win!

You can support the air range and these young shooters by purchasing raffle tickets. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online at the air range website — afc-iwla-sillsairrange.org/ — and they will also be selling tickets in person for those who know someone who is a member of the club or live close to the range and would prefer to purchase them in person.

The drawing will be drawn after the 200th ticket is sold!

Lynchburg Police Urge Gun Owners to Lock Their Cars

VSSA - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00
WSLS 10 News in Lynchburg reports that in the last five years, 118 guns were reported stolen out of unlocked cars in Lynchburg.  Lynchburg Police are urging gun owners to lock their cars.

This is a national problem as well.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has produced a “Firearms Safety in Vehicles” brochure with tips and precautions for shooters who sometimes have a gun in their car, SUV or truck. Whether you’re heading to the range for a day of trigger time or carrying concealed, the reminder’s applicable.