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Gun Rights Policy Conference is This Weekend Online

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 12:16

The Second Amendment Foundation's Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) was moved online this year due to restrictions related to the Wuhan Virus.  There are 120 speakers scheduled to attend.  If you register, you will receive access to a library of gun rights related resources.  You can register at http://www.saf.org/grpc.  You’ll be able to watch all of the GRPC events live on YouTube and Facebook.  If your register for the event, you can also take part in several virtual events on both Friday and Saturday evenings via Zoom, allowing virtual attendees to mix and mingle online with many of the speakers. The theme for this year's event is "Elect Freedom" and it could not be more timely.  Every pro-rights activist should try and take advantage of this opportunity to hear from some of the nation's top gun rights voices.

When It Comes to Gun Control, Facts Don't Matter to Biden

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 08:46

 After the horrific attempted execution of two Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies by a thug this past weekend, Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden took to Twitter to call for a ban on "weapons of war":

Weapons of war have no place in our communities.

We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 14, 2020
Never mind the fact that a handgun was used by the attacker.  Did Biden tip his hand that he thinks all guns are "weapons of war" and call for a complete gun ban?  Probably not but you get the picture.  The term "assault weapons" just means "guns I don't like" so what actually passes as an "assault weapon" is a moving target as we saw with Delegate Mark Levine's HB961 in the General Assembly this year.
Today, Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, writes about this over at The Federalist.Biden is purposefully conflating handguns and criminal activity with lawful firearm ownership. The concern is why. Biden’s tweet clearly labels what he sees in the video as a “weapon of war,” and Biden’s backers, including anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who funds the gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, don’t want everyday Americans to own firearms.

Bloomberg said Americans can’t be trusted with their constitutional right to own a gun. He made this outrageous claim just days after Jack Wilson, a concealed carry permit-holder and member of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, responded immediately to a murderer in his church and neutralized the threat just six seconds after it began. Bloomberg is now dumping $100 million into Florida to buy the state for Biden and Bloomberg’s gun control fantasy.Biden and Kamala Harris have an extreme plan when it comes to gun control.  As Keene said at the end of his piece, if Biden has his way, Americans will be disarmed and helpless against the criminals that Democrats in our cities refuse to confront.

Will Swing States With Gun Sales Boom See Growth in Gun Voters?

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 15:59

The Washington Free Beacon reports today that nine presidential vote swing states have seen a surge in gun sales over that last several months:

A broader look at monthly sales data, as measured by FBI background checks, confirms swing state voters' eagerness to arm themselves in 2020. The nine states at the epicenter of the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden each saw historic seasonally adjusted gun sales in June—larger in all cases than the record-setting sales of March—a sign of surging demand for firearms in the wake of rioting and protests that have turned violent.The story goes on to talk about the number of  first-time buyers according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation survey that estimates 40 percent of gun-store customers in the first half of 2020 were new, and of those, a large number were women and minorities.
The question is will these new gun buyers also become gun voters.  The consensus among those gun store owners interviewed for the story seems to be not right away:Swing state dealers and activists have seen a rush on their inventory as Election Day approaches. They are confident that the surge will create new gun voters, but they have yet to see new gun-rights activists. And with COVID, the economy, and civil unrest dominating the 2020 election, it is not clear gun rights will break through as a significant factor despite the stark contrast in policy proposals from Trump and Biden.

Herring Joins Amicus Brief Defending Ability of States to Enact Gun Control Laws

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 16:43

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has joined a group of 18 state attorneys general supporting the ability of states to pass gun control laws.  The Augusta Free Press has the story here.

Herring and his colleagues filed the brief in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Duncan v. Bacerra, a lawsuit filed by a group of California gun owners and VSSA's sister organization, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, that challenges California’s ban on high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  VSSA previously joined an amicus brief with law enforcement groups and other state and local firearms rights groups supporting Duncan's challenge to the law.   In August, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court striking down the ban.  As expected, California appealed the decision to an en banc panel of the appeals court.

Herring is looking to protect the gun control laws passed in Virginia earlier this year:

“Virginia and every other state has the right and the responsibility to protect their communities by enacting commonsense gun safety measures that will save lives and reduce gun violence,” Herring said. “This year, with a new General Assembly, Virginia was finally able to pass new, widely supported gun violence prevention laws like expanded background checks, a one-handgun-a-month law, a “red flag” law and more. I will continue to fight in court alongside my colleagues to make sure that states have the right to pass their own gun safety measures.”Joining Herring are the usual suspects you would expect - the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

City of Richmond Expands Local Gun Ban

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 08:28

Last night, Richmond City Council passed Mayor Stoney's expansive gun ban in the city.  The Times Dispatch has the story here.  It basically bans firearms at any event, whether it is a permitted event or not, as well as streets around such events: 

The new law, approved Tuesday evening, bans the carrying of guns at any event, whether or not it is formally permitted by the city. The ban would also apply to any public area by an event, including streets, sidewalks, alleys and other public rights of way.

Proposed by Mayor Levar Stoney, the ordinance is intended to lower the risk of violent confrontation between protesters and police, or protesters and counter protesters, as demonstrations against police violence and racial inequality continue across the country.While some council members expressed concerns about the ordinance, they all voted for it in the end:During Tuesday’s special council meeting, however, some council members continued to voice reservations about broadening the ban, expressing concern about how police would enforce the law. Several public speakers at the start of the meeting also questioned whether the ban infringes on their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“I think it’s really weak. The way it’s written is not great,” said Councilwoman Kristen Larson, who raised concerns about enforcement of the ban in areas adjacent to an event.The City's new police chief said it was necessary based on what happen in Kenosha, WI, last month:In remarks to the council before Tuesday’s vote, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith noted recent events in Kenosha, Wis., where a 17-year-old fatally shot two people amid recent protests after video emerged of a police officer shooting a Black man in the back seven times. There also was a fatal shooting during recent protests in Portland, Ore.
“When you increase tensions with firearms, it’s just not a good mix,” Smith said. “Sooner or later, we are going to have different groups with different opinions who square off with each other. I believe this will be something we can use to increase safety in all of Richmond.”Mayor Stoney is an anti-rights radical.  He is up for re-election this year.  Unfortunately, when it comes to Second Amendment issues, none of his opponents can be counted as friends of gun owners.

A Conversation with USCCA's Tim Schmidt

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 15:54
Today's BearingArms.com's Cam and Company featured a conversation with the United State's Concealed Carry Association's (USCCA) Tim Schmidt.  USCCA is headquartered in Wisconsin so it is timely that Cam chose to speak with Schmidt today.

Schmidt told Cam that there is a “sleeping giant” in America.  These people believe in the free market, "old-school" American values, and they want to protect their homes and their families. When it comes to the situation related to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17 year-old who went to Kenosha to "protect businesses" and ended up in a life or death situation, Schmidt told Cam "people need to know exactly what they’re doing before they get themselves into trouble."


This Fredericksburg 911 Call Illustrates the Importance of Voting in November

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 12:03

I was listening to the Polite Society Podcast today (episode 555).  Part of the discussion (about 25 minutes in) was about a 911 call on June 13 that has not gotten much attention in the mainstream media and only got some play on social media.  I know this is the first time I have heard it.  A young mother in Fredericksburg and her daughter got caught in the middle of a protest (I would call it a riot as peaceful protesters don't jump on cars) and their car was blocked.  She calls 911.  Listen to what happened.  Fredericksburg City Hall told police they were not allowed to interfere with protesters.  The young mom was told she had to call City Hall and complain.  If this doesn't illustrate the importance of voting in November, nothing does.  Don't think for a minute that if Joe Biden wins this type of thing will stop, it will only get worse.

VSSA · Polite Society Podcast Talks about June 13 Fredericksburg 911 Call

Violence in Kenosha, WI, Drives Spike in Area Gun and Ammo Sales

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 10:55

Cam Edwards has the story over at Bearingarms.com.  And it appears that a lot of those folks are first time gun buyers who want to protect their homes.  Cam's piece quotes a TMZ report and a local gun shop owner, Joesph LaJoy, said he sold out of every handgun and shotgun as well as all of the ammo he had in his store.  LaJoy told TMZ that the majority of sales were to people who did not previously own firearms.

Fortunately for people in Wisconsin, there are no waiting periods.  In places like Illinois and New Jersey where you have to have a permit to own a firearm, you can't just go and buy your first firearm and walk out the same day.  You have to wait on your permit.  And in California, you have a 10 day waiting period for gun purchases.  The Governor of New Jersey has proposed new taxes and fees on gun permits and Firearms Identification Card (FID).  Governor Phil Murphy has proposed an increase of $48 on the fee people must pay to buy a handgun permit in the state and an increase of $95 on the fee for every firearms identification card, among other gun fee hikes.

It has never been more important to vote.  If Biden wins, and the Democrats take the Senate and hold the House, you can expect a push by the federal government to "incentivize" states to require a license to own guns among other extreme gun ban proposals.

Will Gun Licensing Be the Next Push in Virginia

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 09:20

 For years, we have been told that we needed background checks on firearm purchases to reduce criminal misuse, even though even Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health determined they had no effect on crime in California.  The researchers involved in that study admitted they were "puzzled" at the outcome.  I guess they set out to find out why because they have come out with a new study that says background checks must be coupled with gun licensing to be effective.  From the Crime Report:

For the study, the researchers compared four statistics—firearm homicide, non-firearm homicide, firearm suicide, and nonfirearm suicide rates.

What they found was striking, the authors wrote.

“Connecticut’s purchaser licensing law, enacted in 1995, was associated with a 28 percent decrease in firearm homicide rates and a 33 percent decrease in firearm suicides from 1996 to 2017,” the researchers found.

The researchers also found that Connecticut’s suicide rates fell 23 percent from 1996 to 2006, and even more drastically — 40.5 percent — following Connecticut’s law that allows law enforcement to temporarily remorse firearms from individual’s possession if they threaten to harm themselves or others.

For the study, the researchers compared four statistics—firearm homicide, non-firearm homicide, firearm suicide, and nonfirearm suicide rates.

What they found was striking, the authors wrote.

“Connecticut’s purchaser licensing law, enacted in 1995, was associated with a 28 percent decrease in firearm homicide rates and a 33 percent decrease in firearm suicides from 1996 to 2017,” the researchers found.

The researchers also found that Connecticut’s suicide rates fell 23 percent from 1996 to 2006, and even more drastically — 40.5 percent — following Connecticut’s law that allows law enforcement to temporarily remorse firearms from individual’s possession if they threaten to harm themselves or others.
Then they looked at Maryland and Pennslyvania:But Maryland and Pennsylvania’s data doesn’t reflect this positive outcome, mainly because their states don’t have purchaser licensing laws — they only operate with CBC laws.

Maryland’s 1996 implementation of background check laws have been associated with a 17.5 percent increase in firearm homicide rates from 1997 to 2013, and Pennsylvania’s 1996 CBC implementation is associated with a 21.5 percent increase in homicide rates.

On the other hand, the state of Missouri once had purchaser licensing laws, but repealed them in 2007, creating a spike in gun violence.

After the 2007 repeal, the researchers found that there was an estimated increase in firearm homicide (47.3 percent), nonfirearm homicides (18.1 percent), and firearm suicides (23.5 percent).

Put another way, the estimated percentage increase of firearm homicides occurring after the purchaser licensing laws were repealed translates to between 55 and 63 untimely deaths per year in Missouri, CBS News reported.

Despite the states that have CBC law implementation, the authors write these spikes in gun violence deaths are consistent with a growing body of evidence that shows CBC laws are not effective in curbing firearm deaths — unless they’re coupled with purchaser licensing laws.
The next line in the story tells you all you need to know about this study because it betrays the fact that the researchers were not disinterested individuals looking to find out what happens in certain circumstances. No, they have an agenda.The authors recommend that other states across America should look into implementing purchaser licensing laws, which they deem “necessary.”I added the emphasis on "necessary".  Don't be surprised if you see a licensing bill pop up at the General Assembly in 2021.

Campaign Contacts for 2020

Sat, 08/15/2020 - 16:23

Below are a list of candidates running for Congress and the U.S. Senate for 2020.  These candidates are pro-rights so if you live in their districts, please contact them and find out how you can help between now and Election Day.

If you don't like what happened in the General Assembly this year, all gun owners need to be active in this year's election to make sure it doesn't happen at the national level.  As Glen Caroline of the 2nd Amendment Foundation said recently, now is the time for gun owner activism.                          QUORUM RADIO-WRMI · GLEN CAROLINE 2nd Amendment Foundation

The Hill Op/ED: The Tragic Irony of the New York Lawsuit Against the NRA

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 11:31

 Legal analyst Jonathan Turley has a great OP/ED at The Hill that lays out the case that New York Attorney General should look in the mirror when it comes to laying out her case against the NRA because she has many of the same issues that she alleges against the NRA:

That is what makes the NRA complaint a tragic irony. If taking power to benefit yourself rather than your organization is the measure, the complaint could indict herself. Her demand to dissolve the NRA in order to pander to voters undermines the case presented by her office. While dissolution is simply absurd, James shows us absurdity and popularity can often move hand in hand in New York politics.

Turley point's out that James is hailed by liberals and the gun ban lobby for calling for disbanding the NRA and is reveling in the accolades. It's a good read.

Wall Street Journal: Voting With Their Guns

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 09:57

The Wall Street Journal had a great article earlier this week titled "Voting With Their Guns" about the surge in gun sales in July, adding to the massive numbers that we have seen since the start of the Wuhan Virus and the unrest around the country after the death of George Floyd.

The FBI’s most recent gun-sale figures are stunning. They show that in July the bureau carried out 3.6 million background checks, the third highest month on record. Adjusting to reflect checks only for gun purchases, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says this translates to 1.8 million gun sales for July 2020—a 122% increase over July 2019. The 12,141,032 gun sales through this July is just shy of the 13,199,172 sales for all of 2019.These record sales are best understood as a referendum on the riots, and the growing lack of confidence many Americans have that police will protect them. This is more than National Rifle Association spin. According to NSSF's statistics, first time buyers make up a huge portion of these numbers.  Women and minorities make up a large portion of the new buyer numbers.  NSSF survey's its members which are Federal Firearms Licensees among other outdoor companys (NSSF is a trade association, and their membership is not made up of the general public).  
Some think these new gun owners are going to change the way they have been voting just because they bought a gun.  I agree with firearms trainer Rob Pincus when he says we are kidding ourselves if we think that is magically going to happen.  He addressed this issue with Armed American Radio's Mark Walters last week, before the July numbers were reported.

From Rob's Facebook post with the above video:If you think there’s a significant number of voters who traditionally vote Democrat who are going to vote Republican in the Fall just because they bought a gun during the pandemic or recently got a CCW Permit, you’re nuts.
The gun community needs to stop pretending that gun rights are a conservative issue.  Gun ownership and the defense of one’s self is a Human Right. The Rights protected by the Second Amendment are universal Civil Rights.
We need to be working with liberal gun owners to change the position of the Democratic Party, not trying to shame them if they don’t vote for Trump. That’s a colossal waste of time, unless you just want to entertain your echo-chamber.Absolutely agree with Rob's point that this should not be just a Republican issue.  When you have large numbers of Democrats who care about firearm rights, their candidates for office will have to stop and think about using it as a campaign issue and passing new gun control because it will cost them votes.  As is stands now, they have no interest in preserving the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment because they don't think it will cost them.

Free Beacon: NRA Plans to Spend "Tens of Millions" in Battleground States

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:50
NRA-ILA's Jason Ouimet did an exclusive interview with Washington Free Beacon's Stephen Gutowski and that interview Ouimet said the NRA would be spending"Tens of Millions" in this election in key battleground states.  Jason Ouimet, who runs the NRA's lobbying arm and political action committee, spoke exclusively with the Washington Free Beacon in his first in-depth interview on the gun-rights behemoth's 2020 electoral strategy. He said the group plans to spend heavily in battleground states to help reelect President Donald Trump over presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, whom he described as "100 percent anti-gun." The group plans to focus much of its attention on Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin—swing states with traditionally strong support for gun rights.

"We'll be in those places at every level," Ouimet said. And the message will be simple: A President Joe Biden and Democratic Senate are a threat to gun owners.

"You are literally going to be dealing with the potential confiscation of firearms. You're literally going to be told you can't carry in certain places. You can't own certain things for self-defense," Ouimet said. "Folks need to understand that."That article also noted that the NRA has been adding 1000 new members a day since June.The coronavirus pandemic and social unrest may have hindered fundraising, but they have also led to historic gun sales. Ouimet said the NRA has added more than 1,000 new dues-paying members per day since June. The addition of some 60,000 new members and growing has helped swell NRA ranks to more than five million American adults.

"We've got a massive grassroots army, a massive grassroots army," he said. "They're not paid for by any one person or any group of billionaires. These are folks who joined on their own who got skin in the game, who go out to vote and who advocate for the issue."

The group expects those members will be motivated to vote due to the leftward swing that many Democrats at the national level—especially Biden—have made over the past several years.Armed American Radio's Mark Walters and firearms trainer Rob Pincus talked about this new development on Walter's Facebook Live earlier today.

Democratic Party Platform All Out Assault on Second Amendment

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:48
While it is only two paragraphs, the Democratic Party Presidential Platform is an all out assault on our right to keep and bear arms.  Here is what it says:

A number of folks in the 2A community laid out what this means to our rights.  First let's look at the Op/Ed Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation had at Ammoland on July 31st:
The DNC is listening to their radical base and not the rest of America. That’s why they continue to demonize the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which denies activist politicians and lawyers from bringing frivolous lawsuits against the industry for the consequences of criminal activity by individuals. They would destroy an industry through litigation that would be akin to taking Ford to court for the crimes of drunk driving.

The platform wasn’t the product of Biden’s thinking, but those propping him up. They’re ramming through a radical agenda to disarm law-abiding Americans when they’re buying firearms in record numbers over concerns of personal safety. This is a platform that is far beyond being out of step with America. It’s tripping over itself.
Then there was this from the Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb:WE CAN’T WAIT FOR THE ELECTION RESULTS.

By then it will be too late. The gun confiscation movement funded by billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros will already be in full control of our government.

In record time they will transform our right to keep and bears arms into gun ban and confiscation laws like exist in England, New Zealand, Cuba and Venezuela.

Once our rights are lost we won’t get them back.

The time to act is now. Please share this email with every freedom loving friend and family member you have. And finally, Bearingarms.com's Cam Edwards spent his show yesterday discussing the platform: It’s only two paragraphs long, but the DNC manages to pack an awful lot of restrictions in just a few sentences. The proposal begins with a few lines paying lip service to the idea that violent crime should be addressed through “supporting evidence-based programs that prevent gun deaths from occurring in the first place, including by making mental health care more accessible, funding interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence in neighborhoods, and strengthening protections against domestic violence,” but glosses over any details of what those evidence-based programs actually look like, how they’d make mental health care more accessible, and what “interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence” they’re talking about.

Instead, the draft platform quickly shifts gears and demands “universal background checks,” bans on “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, incentives for states to pass their own gun licensing and “red flag” laws, an end to online purchases of ammunition, and a federal gun storage law.Make no mistake,  we have to get active now an make sure Joe Biden does not win the election.  Get involved in your local congressional election and find out what you can do to help re-elect President Trump.  If you are not registered to vote, you can do that here, then vote on November 3rd and make sure every gun owner you now votes.

WAMU: Research Mixed on "Universal" Background Checks

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 10:44
Public Broadcasting radio station WAMU had this report in late June titled "Do Universal Background Checks Prevent Gun Violence?"  According to gun writer Dave Workman, it is probably not a report that the gun ban lobby wants to hear. From WAMU: The RAND Corporation recently completed a meta-analysis of 18 different gun control policies and found “moderate” evidence that universal background checks decreased both violent crime (including homicides) and suicide rates. A similar, 2017 review of academic literature on gun policies by Harvard University found that more comprehensive background check laws were associated with lower rates of firearm homicides.

But other research has found different outcomes. The state of California has had a comprehensive background check law on the books for 10 years. Researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine have studied gun violence in CA during that period and found there was no change in the number of gun homicides or gun suicides. The researchers use the term “comprehensive background check” instead of universal background check. And another study by the same authors found that the repeal of comprehensive background check laws in Tennessee and Indiana had no effect on gun homicides or suicide rates in either state.

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health looked at comprehensive background check laws in large, urban counties in the U.S. and found they were actually associated with an increase in firearm homicides in those counties. That study found “no benefit” of a CBC law without an accompanying permit-to-purchase law.

So, while the research is mixed on the ability of UBC laws to prevent or reduce gun violence by themselves, several studies have shown that coupled with other gun laws, there can be a documented effect. For example, a 2016 review of gun policy studies in 10 countries by researchers at Columbia University found that countries that combined several gun control laws — licensing/permit requirements, minimum age restrictions, and background checks, for example — had success decreasing gun violence.This is important because last week a so-called "universal" background check law took effect in Virginia.  While it is a much watered down version of other such laws (only sales require a background check, gifts and loaning your gun to a neighbor or friend will not require a background check), you can bet that the gun ban lobby will be back for more.  At no time during debate on the bills during the General Assembly this year was it offered as a way to reduce crime in Virginia (firearm related homicides have reduced 50% over the last 25 years in Virginia all while sales have increased exponentially) but as a way to keep "illegal" guns from making their way to New York and other anti-gun northern states.

Richmond Times Dispatch: June Gun Sales Top 81,000 in Virginia

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 13:50
You can find the story here.  FFLs interviewed for the story confirm reports by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that the record breaking sales in Virginia and nationwide are being made by folks from all walks of life (race, sex, creed, etc), and that a good portion of the sales are being made by first time gun buyers.  While some of the surge was due to the Governor Northam's gun ban push, the Wuhan Virus and now the civil unrest has also played a major role in the sales surge. The RTD also reports that the sales increase, paired with the the pandemic, has led to a supply shortage of some firearms and ammunition nationwide.
“The problem is, there is a finite supply of guns,” Cochran (of Trader Jerry's) said. “They’re doing the same social distancing at the [firearm] manufacturing plants. There’s supply problems in getting parts. I’m sure some of the parts come from China and other countries.”

Cochran said one ammunition manufacturer told him that he couldn’t provide the ammo Cochran requested “because they didn’t have the boxes to put it in. When you shut down the whole country and then try to get it back up a little bit, it’s pretty tough.”It remains to be seen if these new gun owners will vote to protect their newly aquired firearms.

Some Great 2A News Resources

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 12:55
If you would like some great resources for up-to-date Second Amendment News, here is a list of some of the VSSA Legislative Director's live Daily and Weekly sources:
Weekly SourcesTom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio Show - Sundays 2PM-5PM EasternMark Walter's Armed American Radio - Sundays 8PM-11-PM Eastern
DailyBearing Arms Cam and Company  - Usually posted by 3PM Eastern dailyMark Walters and Rob Pincus Daily Facebook Live ChatsMark Walters Daily Defense Radio - 4PM-5PM Lock and Load Radio - Mon-Fri: 6:00pm-9:00pm Eastern
These are all great sources for the latest 2A news.  There are also many good podcasts available on a number of firearm related topics.  Just go to your favorite podcast aggregator (Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts etc.) and use search terms like firearms, or gun rights to find them.

General Assembly August Special Session and Gun Control

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 11:45
In Monday's VSSA eBullet Member Newsletter, we mentioned that Governor Northam believes the new gun control laws signed into law are a good start and wants more.  Since that email was sent to members there has been a lot of chatter online that the Governor doesn't intend to wait until January of 2021 to begin that push, but will use the planned August Wuhan Virus Special Session to begin his push.  What we know for sure is that special session will address budget issues related to the virus as well as "Police Reform" measures.  The Legislative Information System as of today does not have a Special Session Page so there are no bills posted for that session.  We will continue to monitor that site for any changes.
As to reports of the Governor's intentions on gun control, Monday's eBullet shared a link to a podcast where gun ban advocate and unofficial gubernatorial gun ban advisor Lori Haas said she had a whole list of changes she wants.  Reports floating around the web include many of the failed measures that didn't even get a hearing during the last session which include taxes on firearms and ammo, restrictions on indoor and outdoor ranges, and of course, the big enchilada that eluded the Governor this year, HB961 - Delegate Levine's ban on most all semi-automatic firearms.  Gun owners should remain vigilant and use the next month to contact your legislators.  If you live in the districts of Senator's Chap Petersen, Creigh Deeds, John Edwards, or Scott Surovell, please contact them and urge them to oppose any attempt to revive HB961.  The bill was carried over until the 2021 Session but could be revived in August.  If you are a member of a gun club that is in their districts (Senator Petersen's district is just outside of the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA boundaries but he referenced the club during the session), invite them to the club to see how modern sporting rifles are used for competition by the members.  As more news is available, we will contact members.
 

New Gun Control Laws Take Effect Today

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 09:11
Today, the gun control bills passed by this year's General Assembly and signed by Governor Northam take effect. These bills are:
  • HB 2/SB 70 Criminalizes private sale of firearms - All sales of firearms, including private sales must now undergo a background check before the transfer can be made. Firearm loans, gifts, and transfers that do not involve an exchange of value (money) may still occur without a background check.
  • HB674/SB240 Red Flag Laws / Extreme Risk Protection Orders
  • HB 812/SB 69 Handgun Rationing limits purchases to one per month. Individuals that possess a valid concealed handgun permit are exempt from this limit.
  • HB9 Mandatory reporting of lost/stolen firearms.
  • HB1083 Penalties for "recklessly allowing minors 14 and under access to firearms will now carry a penalty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (the penalty for this had been a Class 3 midemeanor)
  • SB35/HB421 allow localities to regulate firearms in public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events.
  • SB479/HB1004 prohibit individuals subject to protective orders from possessing firearms, require them to turn over their firearms within 24 hours, and certify to the court that they have turned over their firearms.
VSSA, working with the NRA and other firearm groups, successfully lessened the impact that many of the above bills would have had if they had passed as originally introduced.  These efforts were also successful in beating back the most heinous of the bills, Delegate Levine's so-called "assault weapons" ban (HB961).  Northam has made it clear he plans to come back for more next year. He even appointed gun ban advocate Lori Haas to the Virginia Crime Commission. Haas, and Northam's Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran recently appeared on a leftist political podcast and outlined what they had planned. Haas said she has a "big list" of what she wants to do next year.

Now is the time to push back on any new gun ban bills.  We can beat Northam's gun ban if we continue to work with the four Senators who helped defeat HB961.  If you live in the districts of Senators Creigh Deeds, Chap Petersen, John Edwards or Scott Surovell , please reach out to them and ask to meet with them and explain why modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 are the move popular rifle in America.  If you compete with these rifles, share this information with them and let them know how these rifles are used in competition most every weekend across the nation.  They need to hear from you now.

The Federalist: SCOTUS Gun Case Denials Signal Conservative Justices Don’t Trust Roberts With The Second Amendment

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 10:14
Larry Keene, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation has a piece at The Federalist, that digs deeper into Monday's SCOTUS denial of cert to almost a dozen Second Amendment related cases. Keene says it appears to be an admission that the conservative associate justices think Chief Justice John Roberts can’t be trusted to protect the Bill of Rights.
These four associate justices could have voted to hear any of the 10 petitions, but not all four chose to bring the cases before the court. That’s telling in as much as it is disturbing. The fact that four justices who complained the court needed to hear Second Amendment cases passed on 10 chances to do so tells us much about the court’s “swing vote.”

One or more of the conservative justices are in essence telling us Roberts cannot be trusted to interpret the Second Amendment as written, or faithfully apply the precedents of the Heller and McDonald decisions. He ruled in the 5-4 majority in both those cases. Keene is right when he says that means the 2020 election will put the direction of the Supreme Court back into focus, just as the 2016 election did. It's clear it will take at least one more solid originalists justice to move the court in a direction that will protect our Second Amendment Rights. That makes it critical that every gun owner is registered to vote and then exercises that vote in November for the only candidate that will be able to assure that result - Donald Trump.

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