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Tom Gresham: Gun Sales Driven by Gun Control Ended Two Years Ago

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 13:24
Last week, Gun Talk Radio host and gun writer Tom Gresham was in Las Vegas covering the Shot Show. On Friday, he was interviewed on NRATV.com's NRANews Cam and Company. Gresham told host Cam Edwards that contrary to what the press has been reporting, guns sales driven by gun control ended two years ago. The growth of the shooting sports is driving new gun ownership. He and Cam talked about the need to promote legal gun ownership for disenfranchised residents of high crime areas and the minority communtities. Tom urged gun owners to take people to the range, so that they will know what firearms are all about. Gresham called it "vaccination against gun control." Originally aired on Cam & Co 01/20/17.
Categories: News

Legislative Update - Senate Courts of Justice

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:13
The Senate Courts of Justice Committee held a marathon meeting lasting just a little less than four hours on Wednesday afternoon.  A number of bad bills were disposed of.  Additionally, a number of good bills advanced while a few were also failed.  Among the good bills heard and advancing was a Constitutional Carry bill.  Below is a complete list of the results:

S.B. 791 Concealed handgun permits; fee for processing.  Makes the $10 fee that the clerk of court is now required to charge for processing a concealed handgun permit application or issuing a concealed handgun permit discretionary with the clerk.  Reported and referred to Finance Committee

S.B. 809 Firearms; person to report loss or theft within 24 hours. Passed by indefinitely (defeated)
S.B. 832 Firearm transactions; voluntary background checks, clarification of provisions. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 893 Firearm locks required for sale or transfer of handguns; warning against accessibility to children. Stricken at the request of the sponsor.
S.B. 953 Muzzleloader firearms; definition.  Incorporates the Virginia criminal law definition of a muzzleloader into the current statutory definitions of muzzleloading pistol, muzzleloading rifle, and muzzleloading shotgun located in the Game and Inland Fisheries Title. Reported and referred to Finance Committee
S.B. 1049 Firearms; administration of machine gun registry, nonresident concealed handgun permits. Requires any person registered to possess a machine gun to notify the Department of State Police (the Department) of a change of address within 30 days of such change. The bill reduces the number of photographs that an applicant for a nonresident concealed handgun permit must submit from two to one. The bill requires the form provided by the Department for a dealer to obtain criminal history record information for a firearm purchase to include a question about whether the proposed purchaser has been the subject of a temporary detention order and subsequently agreed to voluntary admission to a state facility. Current law prohibits such persons from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and provides that other mental health disqualifications be disclosed on such form. The bill requires firearms dealers to comply with the federal minimum wait time of three days after contacting the system for a background check before releasing a firearm without an approval number; under existing state law, such firearm must be released after one business day without an approval number. The bill removes the option under state law for a dealer to complete a sale if notified that a response will not be available by the end of the dealer's next business day and removes the requirement that the Department notify the dealer of such delay. The bill removes the requirement that the dealer mail the criminal history record check consent form for a person who is not a resident of Virginia to the Department.  Reported and referred to Finance Committee
S.B. 1112 Firearms; control of possession in chambers of local governing bodies.Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body, provided notice of such prohibition is publicly posted and the meeting room is owned or operated by the locality. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1185 Reporting lost or stolen firearms. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1194 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty.  Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. A transferor who fails to obtain a required background check and sells the firearm to another person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts transfers between immediate family members, transfers that occur by operation of law, transfers by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust, and temporary transfers that (i) occur within the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm; (ii) are necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury; (iii) occur at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting, for use during target practice, a firearms safety or training course or class, a shooting competition, or any similar lawful activity; or (iv) are for the purpose of and while the transferee is engaged in hunting, trapping, or target shooting. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1266 Firearms; access by children; penalty.  Provides that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly authorize a child age four or younger to use or handle a firearm. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1267 Firearms; alcohol; penalties. Provides that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person who is intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years. Current law provides that such prohibition applies only to persons permitted to carry a concealed handgun. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who carries a loaded firearm on or about his person onto the premises of any restaurant or club licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and consumes an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. Current law provides that such prohibition applies only to those persons carrying a concealed handgun on such premises. Passed by indefinetely
S.B. 1297 Concealed weapons; nonduty status active military personnel may carry.  Provides that an active duty member of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves of the United States in a nonduty status may carry a concealed weapon wherever such member may travel in the Commonwealth. Incorporated into SB1362
S.B. 1299 Concealed handguns; protective orders.  Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty.  Approved by committee and headed to full Senate
S.B. 1300 Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course. Provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services may distribute funds from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund to reimburse an entity that offers a firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department free of charge to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, and family abuse. The bill also requires that, upon the issuance of a protective order, the petitioner for the order be provided with a list of such approved courses or classes. Reported and referred to Finance Committee
S.B. 1362 Concealed weapons; nonduty status active military personnel may carry. Provides that an active duty member of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves of the United States in a nonduty status may carry a concealed weapon wherever such member may travel in the Commonwealth. Approved by committee and headed to full Senate
S.B. 1422 Law enforcement, local; fees for concealed handgun permits, courthouse and courtroom security. Eliminates (i) the fee, under current law up to $35, that a local law-enforcement agency is permitted to charge for conducting the background investigation for a concealed handgun permit and (ii) the requirement that the local law-enforcement agency forward to the State Police any amount assessed by the FBI for providing criminal history record information in the background investigation. The bill makes discretionary the current mandatory fee of up to $10 charged by the clerk for processing a concealed handgun permit application or issuing a permit. The bill increases from $10 to $20 the maximum amount, designated solely to fund courthouse and courtroom security, that a local governing body may assess against a convicted defendant as part of the costs in a criminal or traffic case in district or circuit court. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1439 Firearm transfers; penalties. Creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to buy,rent, trade, or transfer a firearm from any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill exempts certain transfers, such as between immediate family members, by operation of law, at a firearms show with a voluntary background check, and when the transfer is temporary and is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm. Passed by indefinitely
S.B. 1440 Concealed handgun; eligibility to carry openly within Commonwealth. (Constitutional Carry) Reported and referred to Finance Committee
S.B. 1443 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties. Creates a procedure by which an attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a circuit court judge for a warrant to remove firearms from a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others. If firearms are seized pursuant to such warrant, the bill requires a court hearing within 14 days from execution of the warrant to determine whether the firearms should be returned or retained by law enforcement. Seized firearms may be retained by court order for up to 180 days or, with court approval, may be transferred to a third party chosen by the person from whom they were seized. Persons who have been served with a warrant to remove firearms until such warrant has been dissolved by a court or who are the subject of an order to retain firearms are disqualified from having a concealed handgun permit or purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer and may not be employed by a licensed firearms dealer. The bill also provides that a person who transfers a firearm to a person he knows has been served with a warrant or who is the subject of an order is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Failed to report (defeated)
S.B. 1444 Restricted ammunition; use or attempted use in the commission of a felony, penalty.  Removes the prohibition on use or attempted use of restricted firearm ammunition in any non-felony criminal offense. The bill expands the definition of restricted firearms ammunition to include "pinched tip" bullets and expands the exception to such definition to include certain ammunition with copper cores. The bill provides that if any ammunition has been approved by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for commercial sale, it is not restricted firearms ammunition. Reported and referred to Finance Committee
There are some remaining firearm related bills to be heard and legislators have until Friday afternoon to introduce legislation.  The next meeting of the committee is Monday morning.  If firearms bills are on the docket, VSSA will be there.
Categories: News

Legislative Update: House Militia and Police and Public Safety

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:12
The House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee Met this morning and took action on a number of bills.  Below is a list of bills acted on by the Committee:

HB 1466 Renewal of concealed handgun permits; notice. Reported

HB 1849 Concealed handgun permit; permit requirements. Provides that a concealed handgun permit shall be of a size comparable to a Virginia driver's license and may be laminated or use a similar process to protect the permit. Current law requires that the permit be no larger than two inches wide by three and one-fourth inches long. Reported

HB 1852 Concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty. Reported

HB 1853 Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course. Creates the Virginia Firearms Safety and Training for Sexual and Domestic Violence Victims Fund. The bill provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services may distribute funds from the Fund to reimburse an entity that offers a firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department free of charge to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, or family abuse. The bill also requires that, upon the issuance of a protective order, the petitioner for the order be provided with a list of such approved courses or classes. Reported and referred to Appropriations

HB 2077 Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000; reference to firearms, emergency shelter. Removes the authority of a governmental entity under the Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000 to limit lawful possession, carrying, transportation, sale, or transfer of firearms in any place or facility used by the governmental entity as an emergency shelter. Reported from Militia, Police and Public Safety (12-Y 7-N)

HB 2308 Concealed handgun; retired conservation officers. Adds conservation officers retired from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the list of retired persons eligible to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. Reported

HB 2325 Concealed handgun; application for permit requires photo identification. Requires applicants for a concealed handgun permit to present one form of government-issued photo identification that demonstrates that the applicant is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Substitute offered and reported
Additionally, a number of bills were heard in subcommittee #1 last night.  The results of that meeting are below:
HB 1684 Restricting access to firearms by children; mental state; penalty. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 1685 Purchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 1700 Firearms; carrying in public while intoxicated, etc., penalty. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 1758 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 1773 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 1822 Place of worship; carrying dangerous weapon personal protection. Subcommittee recommends striking from docket by voice vote
HB 1864 Firearms; access by children; penalty Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 2079 Sale of firearms; persons not lawfully present in United States; penalty. Subcommittee recommends striking from docket by voice vote
HB 2094 Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings. Subcommittee recommends striking from docket by voice vote
HB 2187 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks required, penalty. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
HB 2188 Firearms; civil liability for sale or transfer without a background check. Failed to report for lack of motion (defeated)
HB 2212 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty. Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote
Bills recommended for defeat in subcommittee are for all intent and purposes dead. This will not be official however until crossover.
Categories: News

Senate Courts Taking Up Handful of Bills Wednesday Afternoon

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 09:48
The Senate Courts of Justice Committee has scheduled five gun bills on the docket for this afternoon's meeting.  The committee will meet 15 minutes after the Senate adjourns today.  The bills on the docket are:

SB791
SB1023
SB1299
SB1300

SB791 is sponsored by state Senator Amanda Chase and would make the current $10 fee charged by the clerk of the local circuit court for renewing a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) discretionary.

SB1023 is sponsored by state Senator Richard Stuart. This bill would prohibit the sharing of information regarding Virginia CHPs with law enforcement in states that do not recognize Virginia CHPs. This bill is aimed at preventing the frequent fishing expeditions by out of state law enforcement during traffic stops in anti-gun states like New Jersey, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

SB1299 and SB1300 are both sponsored by State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel. SB1299 would allow any person who is 21 or older, not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and who are currently protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. SB1300 would also provide funding for reimbursement of training expenses as well as information for those individuals seeks training under the protection of a protective order.

VSSA will be there and will post live results on Twitter and the VSSA Facebook page.
Categories: News

Mossberg Shockwave Home Defense Shotgun

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:54
Yesterday was the 2017 Shot Show Media Day where manufacturers bring out their new products for outdoor and gun writers to see.  One of the products generating a lot of buzz that NRA Publications featured on its You Tube channel was the Mossberg Shockwave Shotgun.  This is a home defense shotgun that is considered by BATFE a non-NFA item.
Categories: News

"Hunter Pink" on List of Bills at the General Assembly

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:23
Kerry Dougherty has the report at the Virginian Pilot:
The measure, HB1939, was introduced by Del. James E. Edmunds II of Halifax.

A summary of the proposed law says simply: “Hunting apparel; blaze pink. Allows hunters to wear blaze pink instead of blaze orange hunting apparel when required during firearms deer hunting season or the special season for hunting deer with a muzzle-loading rifle.”

When I spoke with the hunter/legislator on Thursday, he said he got the idea for the bill when he met a “celebrity” who told him blaze pink was a winner with women hunters. When she learned he was a state legislator, she urged him to introduce a bill making it legal.So, given more than one female shooting sports personality has commented that making something in pink does not make it woman friendly, I have to wonder if this bill is one of those tongue-in-cheek bills that pop up during the session every year.
Categories: News

Governor McAuliffe's Unintended Consequences

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 09:41
A. Barton Hinkle points out in the Richmond Times Dispatch that gun rights are getting a push from an unexpected individual - Governor Terry McAuliffe:
This session, the governor has proposed a commendable criminal-justice reform package. It includes a badly needed adjustment to the state’s standard for felony grand larceny. The figure was set at $200 in 1980, and has not been changed since. Had the threshold kept pace with inflation, it would be more than $500 today.

Critics call the proposal a cost-of-living adjustment for thieves, which is clever but misleading. Pegging the standard to inflation keeps it constant in real-value terms. Failing to adjust for inflation actually lowers the threshold in constant dollars. Today’s $200 threshold is the equivalent of only $68 in 1980 dollars. Twenty years from now, assuming only 2.5 percent inflation, the threshold will fall to only $42 in 1980 dollars. (Assuming 5 percent inflation, it would fall to only $25 in 1980 dollars.)

Adjusting the felony standard does not allow criminals to steal more; refusing to adjust it makes a felony out of ever-smaller offenses. That gets expensive fast. Virginia spends about $25,000 year per prison inmate, so a 20-year stretch for felony theft costs the state half a million dollars. Does the public really benefit from lowering the felony ceiling year after year? Do Virginians want to spend a half-million dollars to punish someone for boosting a mid-range kitchen blender from Target?

Probably not. So adjusting the felony threshold make sense. And it carries an ancillary benefit: protecting the voting rights — and the gun rights — of nonviolent offenders who otherwise would be swept up by “felony creep.”

Gov. McAuliffe probably did not intend that result of his proposal. But as he already has learned, sometimes the most powerful law is the one about unintended consequences.This isn't the first time Governor McAuliffe's actions have unintentionally made it easier for nonviolent offenders to regain their gun rights.  When he started restoring the rights of felons who had completed their sentences he took away one of the steps that those individuals had to take to restore their gun rights - petition a court:
Four months later, the governor grandly announced that he was restoring the voting rights of 206,000 felons. Republican heads exploded, and the ensuing debate eventually had to be settled by the Virginia Supreme Court, which struck down McAuliffe’s order, requiring him to continue making restorations on a case-by-case basis.

In the meantime, though, a question arose: What about gun rights? Although McAuliffe’s order stipulated that “nothing in this Order restores the right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms,” the governor’s order made it much easier for a felon to get his gun rights back. Formerly, an offender first had to petition for restoration of his civil rights, and once they were restored, go to court to retrieve his gun rights. McAuliffe’s order eliminated the first step.

That was purely unintentional. “My actions were about giving you the right to vote, to serve on a jury and run for political office,” McAuliffe admitted. “My action, I didn’t think it had anything to do with gun rights. I stayed away from that.”Republican Del. Greg Habeeb has introduced legislation that would automatically restore gun rights to nonviolent felons.   VSSA will be tracking this bill along with all other firearm related legislation this session.  If it passes, given McAuliffe's own statement that these individuals have completed their sentence, he will be hard pressed to veto it.

Hinkle was on NRANews' Cam and Company on Thursday to discuss the issue in more detail.
Categories: News

Washington Post Reporter Doubles Down Rather Than Admit Gun Ignorance

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 09:56
Earlier this week, the Washington Post published a story by reporter Mike Rosenwald that was a lengthy attack on the target of legislation known as the Hearing Protection Act - firearm noise suppressors.  Rosenwald exhibited his ignorance on the topic of firearms.  For instance:
But gun-control activists say silencers are getting quieter, particularly in combination with subsonic ammunition, which is less lethal but still damaging. They point to videos on YouTube in which silencers make high-powered rifles have “no more sound than a pellet gun,” according to one demonstrator showing off a silenced semiautomatic ­.22LR.See how he lumped .22LR into "high-powered rifles."  When he was called out for the error on social media, this is how he reacted according to The Federalist:

@seanmdav your piece carefully avoids interesting facts. Go do your homework on what armed forces shooting 22lr and read a few firearms mags— Mike Rosenwald (@mikerosenwald) January 10, 2017 It gets worse:
@Roger247 @seanmdav google is high powered— Mike Rosenwald (@mikerosenwald) January 10, 2017The Federalist post author Sean Davis took Rosenwald's advice and googled it.  He found that apparently the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) use the caliber in limited circumstances to control protestors rather than more lethal firearms for that purpose.  Davis wrote that had Rosenwald followed his own advice to use Google to verify simple facts, he would’ve learned that IDF sometimes issues .22 LR rifles in those extremely limited circumstances and not for combat purposes.
Nothing says “high-powered” like a rifle that’s only used to injure protesters, amirite?Remember that post from last week on National Review's Kevin Williamson's article about lazy and dishonest reporting on guns? Rosenwald's article fits that description.
Categories: News

Virginian Among NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:41
The NRA announced yesterday that Trevor Goin of Prospect, Virginia, has been selected to join five other outstanding youth as a 2017 NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador.  According to NRABlog.com, Goin is:
an all-around shooter whose first love is shotgun shooting. Trevor has favored shotgun shooting from a young age and has competed for the Virginia 4-H since he was 11 years old. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Youth Award, which honors outstanding youth participation in the shooting sports.Congratulations to all of the fine young people selected as an ambassador this year.  You can find out more about the NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors program at https://youthambassadors.nra.org/.
Categories: News

Virginia General Assembly Convenes Today

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:23
It's that time of year again when the Virginia General Assembly comes to town.  This is the 45 day "short" session where amendments are made to the current budget and other legislation will be considered, including gun bills.  As usual, the annual bills requiring background checks for private sales at guns shows have already been introduced, and there is a Senate Resolution to study the feasibility of establishing a firearm registration program for firearms purchased in the Commonwealth.  There are also bills that would reduce the cost of applying for a concealed handgun permit (CHP).  Currently there are 24 firearm related bills waiting to be considered.  Expect many more to appear before the last day to introduce legislation on January 20.

You can track all of the important legislation on the VSSA web site by clicking here.
Categories: News

CDC Finding Probably Not What Obama Expected

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 14:15
Rare.com has the story here:
Gun rights advocates have long defended their right to bear arms out of a need for self-defense. And now they have a new report from the Centers for Disease Control that says they make a darn good point.

The $10 million study commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January says “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.”

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study revealed. The report is titled Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence. The report also notes:
As for gun control measures potentially having an effect on decreasing casualties, the report expresses uncertainty: “Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue,” and there is no evidence “that passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” It also stated that proposed  “gun turn-in programs are ineffective.”Ten million to tell us what we basically already know.
Categories: News

Virginia Gun Sales Nearly Doubled During Obama Years

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:56
Fredericksburg.com reports that during Obama's eight years in office, Virginia gun sales almost doubled the number sold during the eight years of President George W. Bush:
Total firearm sales in Virginia during President Barack Obama’s presidency nearly doubled over President George Bush’s years in office, and surpassed a record half-million transactions in 2016 alone, new state data shows.

Estimated firearm sales based on mandatory criminal background checks on Virginia gun buyers totaled 3,153,220 during Obama’s eight years in office ending in 2016, compared with 1,712,607 transactions during the Bush years of 2001-2008, according to an analysis of Virginia Firearm Transaction Center data.

In what a state firearms center official described as a major milestone, the number of transactions reached 505,722 during Obama’s last full year in office in 2016—a 14 percent jump over 2015 and the first time state gun sales topped a half million.

“To double your yearly output in 16 years” is extraordinary, said Mike Matthews, senior supervisor in the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center.This should come as no surprise given the increased calls for gun control from Obama after the Sandy Hook school shootings. He was for the most part quite on gun control up to that point. What I did notice in the article and think is the real take away is that even during the Bush years, gun sales were steadily increasing, though not as fast as during the Obama years.  The gun ban lobby likes to tell us that the number of Americans owning guns continues to decrease, all the while sales are increasing.  We are supposed to believe that all these new firearms are being purchased by people who already own guns and that no new gun owners are joining the ranks.  Try and tell that to all of the instructors whose classes are full or to the ranges running Women on Target events that fill up.
Categories: News

Great National Review Article on the Common Sense of Suppressors

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 13:46
Josh Gerlernter has a great article at National Review Online on one piece of commonsense gun legislation President-elect Donald Trump should get behind - making it easier to purchase suppressors.  Gerlernter writes about an interview that Donald Trump Jr. gave to SilencerCo where the Jr. Trump pointed out how laws banning suppressors are a great example of laws written by people who don't know what they are talking about.  Trump said when he shoots in Europe the guns most likely include a suppressor.  That's because European countries understand the safety value of this firearm accessory.  For instance, according to Gerlernter, a Glock 17 without a suppressor registers 160 decibels, which is 10 decibels more than a jet take off at 25 yards, a sound that can rupture your ear drums.

Because gun owners stood with Donald Trump, we should make sure our rights are among the top priorities of the new administration.  Gun owners have a unique opportunity to see some of the biggest gains for our rights if the new president and congress will make these a priority over the next two years.  First on the list should be passage of the Hearing Protection Act.  If it is good enough for Europe, it's good enough for the U.S.
Categories: News

The Media's Lazy and Dishonest Reporting on Firearms

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 13:36
That was the subject of Kevin Williamson's piece at National Review Online Monday night.  In the article, Williamson lays out how the media doesn't take the time get the story right in it's reporting.  For instance:
Newspaper accounts of firearms are almost always illiterate and inaccurate. If you see something described as an AK-47 being used in a crime in the United States, you can be almost certain that it is not an actual AK-47. (This is not helped by the fact that many different kinds of firearms are marketed under the name AK-47.) An AK-47 is a select-fire rifle, i.e., a rifle that can be fired in fully automatic or semiautomatic mode, chambered for the 7.62×39mm round. These are pretty rare beasts in the United States; what’s normally meant by “AK-47″ is a semiautomatic rifle styled like an AK-47 and/or operating with a similar mechanism, and this elides the fact that one of these things is a full-auto machine gun and one isn’t. Given the rather energetic efforts of the anti-gun lobby and the press to conflate automatic and semiautomatic weapons, one cannot help but think this is at least partly intentional. In any case, it is misleading and confusing, and therefore bad journalism.

Similar problems come up with other firearms. “Uzi” is a brand name for everything from submachine guns to wristwatches. Some Uzi firearms you can buy at your local gun shop, and some a private citizen cannot legally buy under practically any circumstance. A great many different firearms are sold under the “AR” designation as well. When Bushmaster rifles were the evil black gun of the moment, “Bushmaster” was similarly treated as though it were a particular kind of rifle rather than a brand name for many different rifles. There are many different kinds of Glocks. Beyond using evocative and inaccurate brand and model names, the usual media practice is to use qualitative descriptors, many of which are meaningless (“assault weapon”) or generally misleading (“high-powered rifle”). That’s obviously unsatisfactory, too.It should not be too much to expect reporters to do a little journalism and provide accurate information about the topic on which they are writing. Every now and then you will see a report that corrects inaccurate information from politicians on the subject but for the most part, references to "automatic weapons" or "weapons of war" by the likes of Hillary Clinton or President Obama go unchallenged.

I was listening to a podcast of Gun for Hire Radio recently and the show is using what can only be described as stupid comments by politicians when returning from commercial breaks.  One was a clip of a female legislator talking about "...bullets that have incendiary devices.  You don't need that to shoot deer, and if you did you could cook it too."  Another audio clip featured was a California politician talking about a "30 caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within a half second.  A 30 magazine clip in half a second."  This is the kind of ignorance you rarely seen corrected by the media.
Categories: News

Obama Continues Rush of New Regulations Including Guns Before Leaving Office

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 09:17
Liz Sheld at PJ Media reports that the Obama administration has put the finishing touches on regulations that will strip the Second Amendment Rights of some Americans receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
Last week, the Obama administration put the finishing touches on a new policy that would deprive recipients of disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of their Second Amendment rights. The administration will now characterize those citizens as "mental defectives," thereby having their ability to own a firearm subject to the federal Gun Control Act.

Supplemental Security Income helps blind, disabled, and elderly people with little to no income.  Previously, it was understood that "mentally defective" referred to one's mental health. Citizens who have been institutionalized against their will are restricted from owning a firearm. The new definition of "mentally defective" has nothing to do with being mentally ill. As Sheild put it, Obama has no problem emptying out Guantanamo Bay of dangerous terrorists and commuting the sentences of criminals that include those who broke federal firearms laws, but he doesn't like law-abiding American citizens possessing firearms.

Update: Dr. John Lott has more on this at National Review.
Categories: News

The Guardian: One in Five Americans Obtain Guns Without Background Checks

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:03
The Guardian reports that researchers have finally taken the time to update an often debunked statistic related to the number of firearms purchases are completed without a background check.
Just 22 percent of current gun owners who acquired a firearm within the past two years reported doing so without a background check, according to a new national survey by public health researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities shared in advance with The Trace and The Guardian.

For years, politicians and researchers have estimated that as many as 40 percent of gun sales are conducted without a background check — a statistic based on an extrapolation from a 1994 survey. The new survey, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the current proportion of gun transfers conducted without a background check is about half of the oft-cited figure. That is almost the same percentage that the Washington Post found (21%) when the paper's Fact Checker gave President Obama three Pinocchio's in 2013 for repeating the 40% statistic. At that time the Post went back and asked the authors of a Police Foundation report to rerun their numbers to adjust for how people acquire firearms (purchases versus  “acquisitions” and “transactions,” which included trades, gifts etc.).  But the President, Hillary Clinton, and the gun ban lobby have continued to use the 40% number.

Could the lower number have something to do with why so few private sellers have taken advantage of voluntary background checks at Virginia gun shows since July?  Could it be there really is no "bazaar" of guns available for sale without background checks at gun shows?

The gun ban lobby is already adjusting their talking points in light of the lower numbers.
Philip Cook, a prominent gun violence researcher at Duke University who conducted the 1994 survey, says the new, smaller estimate does not undermine the argument that the U.S. needs a federal law instituting universal background checks on gun sales. In fact, he says, the finding that a smaller number of guns are acquired without background checks could be an advantage for supporters of stricter gun control laws.

“The headline is that we as a nation are closer to having a hundred percent of gun transactions with a background check than we might have thought,” says Cook. “So, it’s more attainable, and cheaper, to pass a universal requirement than it would be if 40 percent of transactions were still being conducted without these screenings.”The new study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Categories: News

Self-defense Strategies for the Family

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 11:20
Earlier this week, Natalie Foster, creator of Girls Guide to Guns and host of Love at First Shot, had this article at America's 1st Freedom on the subject of Moms and Armed Self-defense.
The firearm, the safe, the training—it’s the holy trinity of gun ownership. Across our Second Amendment-loving community, there exists a general consensus that these three elements shall not be separated. I learned this the day I was given my first gun, and have abided by it ever since. And like many single women, back then I obtained my concealed-carry permit, was diligent about my own safety and maintained my gun training religiously. Situational awareness was always paramount in my thinking, as my trainers, colleagues and family had preached. But those were the days before I became a mom.

Yes, I’ve still got the guns and the safes, but my training needs an update. Sure, many of the basic skills I’ve learned over a few years of training still apply, but when I’ve got my son with me, the rules change altogether—and not in my favor.

For example, when you’re alone, getting into the car in a parking lot is simple. You’ve got your situational awareness radar up and keys in hand long before you approach the vehicle. You walk quickly and confidently toward the car, press the unlock button on approach, open the door, sit down and lock it. You’ve moved safely from parking lot to secured vehicle in a matter of seconds.

Now add a kid. The task list becomes much longer: Lock stroller wheels, place child in car seat, buckle car seat, throw diaper bag in the floorboard, open trunk, fold stroller, heave stroller into trunk, close trunk, rummage inside diaper bag for the snack you swear you packed, hand child the snack, grab bottle (is the temperature ok?), hand cold bottle to the child, close all open car doors, walk around the car, open driver door (shoot, where are the keys?), find the keys, seatbelt, lock door. Whew.She goes on to talk about the special needs of the mom, and how, with a couple of exceptions, there is very little defense training tailored to parents.  She ends the article by imploring trainers to develop training that addresses the special needs of a moms and dads with children.

Apparently Foster is not the only person thinking about this topic.  On the same day her article was posted, I received my weekly email from DownrangeTV that included the below video on family self-defense strategies.  In the video, Michael Janich of Spyderco, Inc., discusses how one of the things the family primary defender should consider is to make sure you have at least some type of a plan that allows your family to get to safety while you take care of business.
 
Categories: News

Liberty University to Build On-campus Shooting Range

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 11:02
Liberty University has been on the forefront of the campus carry moving, encouraging their students to take concealed carry classes and to get a concealed handgun permit.  On Friday, it was reported that the university would be constructing an on-campus shooting range for students, faculty, and the general public to use.
A proposal filed earlier this week for a special use permit from the Campbell County Planning Commission states that Liberty wants to construct a “nationally recognized, full-scale shooting, training and competition center” on its Lynchburg, Va., campus. The outdoor space will include a pistol range, a rifle range, an instructional area, and a 3-gun competition range, with future plans for an indoor firing range. The NRA has offered to lend their expertise to assist with the project.  The article noted that the new range were motivated in part by a growing number of students signing up for Liberty’s handgun safety class. With almost 900 students having gone through the school's class in the first two years, it was determined that the current facility was not suited for that number of students.

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., appeared on NRANews Cam and Company to provide more detail on the planned range.


Categories: News

Will Fredericksburg's Annual Compensated Confiscation Event Instead Offer a Way For People to Score Cheap Used Firearms?

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 13:37
Jazz Shaw at Hotair.com had this article yesterday talking about how some enterprising folks are hoping to turn Fredericksburg's annual compensated confiscation (so-called "gun buy-back") event into an opportunity for some used firearms at cheap prices.  It's just one more example that these so-called "buy-back" programs are meaningless when it comes to getting guns out of the hands of violent criminals.  But don't take my word for it.  Look at what the U.S. Department of Justice's evaluation bureau, the National Institute of Justice said about the compensated confiscation schemes as part of a White Paper that NRA obtained in 2013:
Gun buybacks

Twitter summary: Buybacks are ineffective unless massive and coupled with a ban

Goal: Reduce access to firearms by incentivizing owners to dispose of their unwanted guns rather than transfer them to a more risky possessor

Evidence: Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.

The 1997 Australia gun buyback and its associated regulations is an exception to this. 1. It was large, buying back 20% of the firearm stock. 2. It targeted semi-automatic weapons. 3. It coupled the buyback with a ban on certain weapons and a nationwide registration and licensing program. There is strong evidence that it reduced mass killings (before the initiative massacres occurred on average once per year and none have occurred in the 15 years since).

The Australia buyback appears to have had no effect on crime otherwise. One study (Leigh & Neill 2010) has proven confusing in that its abstract suggests that Australia’s gun buyback reduced firearm homicide rates by 80%, but the body of the report finds no effect. Others (Reuter & Mouzas 2003) have used the same data and also found no effect on crime although they also noted that mass shootings appear to have disappeared in Australia. A third study (Chapman et al 2006) using Australian data from 1979 to 2003 shows that the firearm homicide rate was already declining prior to the firearm reforms and that there is no evidence that the new legislation accelerated the declines. This remains true when data through 2007 are added to the analysis (conducted by G. Ridgeway on 1/3/2013 at NIJ). Shaw appeared on NRATV yesterday to discuss the "buy back" and the folks who are trying to turn the event into an opportunity for some inexpensive used guns.


Categories: News

NY Times: Gun Control Advocates Find a Deep-Pocketed Ally in Big Law

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 12:49
The New York Times reported yesterday that several big law firms have joined together to provide "pro-bono" services to gun control groups wishing to push their agenda through frivolous law suits:
After the Orlando nightclub massacre and a string of other mass shootings, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Covington & Burling; Arnold & Porter; and four other prominent law firms formed a coalition with gun control groups that until now have worked largely on their own. Together, the firms are committing tens of millions of dollars in free legal services from top corporate lawyers who typically bill clients $1,000 an hour or more.

This effort is highly unusual in its scale. Although law firms often donate time to individual causes, and some firms have worked on gun control on a piecemeal basis, the number and the prominence of the firms involved in the new coalition are unheard-of for modern-day big law. Other firms are expected to join in the coming months.The Times reports that the coalition will seek to try new strategies to help push the gun ban lobby agenda:
Rather than fighting the political headwinds, the coalition is focusing on courts and state regulatory agencies, among the few places where they might still gain some traction. The coalition is drafting lawsuits and preparing regulatory complaints that could be announced as soon as next month, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nonprofit advocacy groups that helped form the coalition, along with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brennan Center for Justice, a legal think tank at New York University School of Law.

On one front, the coalition will seek to overturn state laws that have gone largely unchallenged, including new policies that force businesses to allow guns to be carried on their property. The group also plans to mount the first formal challenges to congressional restrictions on publishing government data on gun violence. Taking a page from the fight against big tobacco two decades ago, it will seek the help of regulators to challenge what it views as the gun industry’s attempts to stifle competition. VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney Steve Halbrook talked about this new coalition on NRANewsTV's Cam and Company.
Now is not the time for complacency.  While we will have a pro-rights President and Congress, the gun ban lobby is not going to just close their doors and walk away.  Bloomberg has been taking his agenda to the states for the past several years.  Now we have deep pocket law firms following that strategy.  Now more than ever, gun owners need to join their state associations to help fight the coming battles.
Categories: News