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Friday's Gun Control Bills Should be on 1st Reading in House

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 10:32
There were nine bills scheduled to be on the agenda for the House Public Safety Firearms Subcommittee this morning but the meeting was cancelled.  However, the gun control bills that were reported out of committee on Friday will be on 1st reading in the House with final passaged expected on Thursday.  Those bills are:House Bill 2  - "Universal" Background Checks would criminalize private transfers of firearms without first paying fees, with limited exceptions. Most transfers between friends, neighbors, or fellow hunters are not exempted. These proposals would have no impact on crime and are completely unenforceable.  This bill is different than what passed earlier in the Senate.House Bill 9 Requires the reporting of lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours of gaining the knowledge that this has occurs.  This bill victimizes gun owners who suffer loss or theft of their property with a fine if they don’t report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours of discovering them missing.House Bill 421 Rolling back pre-emption.  This bill allows local governments to enact their own gun control ordinances, potentially resulting in a patchwork of laws and the Second Amendment not being protected across the state.  It goes much further than the bill that passed the Senate earlier.House Bill 1083 Minors access to firearms.  This bill severely restricts parental decisions about firearms in the home while attaching excessive penalties for violations.House Bill 674 ""Red Flag" bill.  This bill allows the seizure of an individual’s firearms on baseless accusations without a hearing or other opportunity for the person to be heard in court. It permits the government to seize firearms based on weak evidence and nebulous standards of evidence.  While the Senate bill that passed last week is bad (HB240) is bad  this bill is much worse.

House Bill 812 Handgun rationing (one gun-a-month) arbitrarily rations an individual’s right to lawfully purchase a handgun to once within 30 days.  This bill is different than what passed the Senate as HB812 does not include an exemption for people with a concealed handgun permit.

Please continue to call and email your delegate and urge them to opposed these bills. 

On the Senate Calendar on Final passage today is SB 479 Protective orders; possession of firearms, surrender or transfer of firearms, penalty.  This bill takes away the right to possess a firearm if an individual is subject to a permanent protective order that does not deal with family abuse.

There is one good bill on final vote today in the State Senate - SB 173Prohibition on possession of stun weapon on school property; exemption for holder of concealed handgun permit. Allows the holder of a valid concealed handgun permit to possess a stun weapon on school property while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.  This bill reported out of committee unanimously last Wednesday.  Please contact you Senator and urge them to support this bill.

Also, please continue to contact your delegate and urge them to oppose HB961 - the Governor's bill to ban the future sale of modern sporting rifles and handguns that are capable of holding a magazine larger than 10 rounds.  This bill would ban most of the firearms currently sold in Virginia and would require you to register existing firearms that you own that fit the description in the bill.

Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee Results

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 13:42
Wednesday's final vote on SB240, the "red flag" bill, in the State Senate was almost foregone conclusion after yesteday's session where the bill was amended and engrossed to a third vote on a party line vote. Nothing really changed today. Much of the ground that was covered in debate today was a rehash of yesterday. Democrats continued to say they added many due process protections and compared what would happen in this legislation to what happens when someone goes to the magistrate to report domestic violence, and that the protections in SB240 are more extensive than what would occur in a domestic violence situation. The bill now moves to the House.  Senator Stuart made an excellent closing argument on the floor that can be found below.


Senate Judiciary had a marathon meeting that started around 4:00 PM and lasted until approximately 7:30 PM. All but one of the good bills that were listed in yesterday's update were defeated. The Northam Administration stated their goal is not punishment but instead preventing acts before they occur. Translated, restricting the rights of law abiding gun owners is viewed as crime prevention instead of locking up violent criminals.

One bill of great importance was SB353, patroned by Senator John Bell (D- Loudoun). As drafted, the bill was targeting all outdoor shooting ranges. VSSA's lobbyist met with the Senator and was told it was a drafting error. When it was finally Senator Bell's turn, a substitute bill was distributed. It was significantly amended and became very clear that the target was not ranges like VSSA's 26 affiliated ranges, or other membership based ranges, but was targeting what the patron called "make shift" ranges on private property. As the patron continued he referenced what he said was the failure of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to deal with several instances that occurred over the past couple of years in Loudoun County. Several members of the committee, including Democrat Chap Peterson, questioned whether this was something better suited for local zoning boards to handle rather than the General Assembly. After about 30 minutes, the Committee decided to pass the bill by for the day.

One interesting note, at least one Democrat member of the committee, Senator Chap Peterson is apparently growing weary of the number of firearm related bills that have been heard by the committee. At one point he asked "Why does everything have to be about guns?"

A summary of the bills and the action taken is below.

SB75 Allowing access to firearms by minors; penalty. Stricken at the request of patron (14-Y 0-N)

SB76 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty Stricken at the request of the patron (14-0)

SB614 Prohibition on carrying of certain firearms in public places; County of Albemarle and City of Charlottesville; penalty. Stricken at request of the patron.

SB781 Leaving an unattended handgun in public; penalty - Stricken at the request of the patron.

SB18 Firearms; criminal history record information checks; age requirement; penalty. Provides that a person must be at least 21 years old, or must be at least 18 years old by the effective date of the bill, to purchase a firearm in addition to "universal" background check. - Stricken at request of the patron

SB13 Possessing or transporting a weapon within Capitol Square; penalty. Again, members on both sides were not ready to move forward with the bill as drafted so it was passed by for the day.

SB15 Carrying weapon into building owned or leased by the Commonwealth; penalty This bill was debated, it was passed by for the day due to numerous questions that legislators on both sides had. When Senator Edwards asked the patron if they could take it by for the day Senator Peterson was heard to say "how 'bout for the year".

SB207 Purchase of service handguns or other weapons by retired sworn law-enforcement officers - Reported unanimously

SB476 Risk management plan; coverage for injury or death on public school or college property; concealed handgun prohibition. - Rereferred to General Laws and Technology

SB477 Risk management plan; coverage for injury or death on state property; concealed handgun prohibition. - Rereferred to General Laws and Technology

SB372 Protective orders; possession of firearms; surrender or transfer of firearms; penalty. Incorporated into SB479 (13-Y 1-N)

SB479 Protective orders; possession of firearms; surrender or transfer of firearms; penalty. Reported (10-4) (Senator Norment joined the majority Democrats)

SB509 Local hunting and firearm regulation. Reported from Judiciary 12-0 and rereferred to Senate Agriculture

SB593 Licensed family day homes; storage of firearms - Reported 12-3 and rereffered to Rehabilitation and Social Services

SB82 Violation of protective order; armed with firearm or other deadly weapon; mandatory minimum sentence; penalty. Passed by indefinitely (8-Y 6-N 1-A)

SB83 Brandishing a firearm; law-enforcement officer; penalty. Passed by indefinitely (7-Y 6-N 1-A)

SB84 Concealment of firearm in committing felony; penalty. 01/22/20 Senate: Passed by Indefinately (9-Y 5-N)

SB85 Stolen firearms; penalties. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 5-N)

SB86 Use or display of firearm in committing felony; penalty. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 6-N)

SB88 Discharging firearm; penalty. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 6-N)

SB89 Violation of protective order while armed with firearm or other deadly weapon; mandatory minimum sentence; penalty. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 6-N)

SB173 Prohibition on possession of stun weapon on school property; exemption for holder of concealed handgun permit. Reported with amendments (13-Y 0-N)

SB248 Virginia Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Fund. Reported substitute (9-Y 4-N) Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations (Substitute removes all references to guns

SB263 Concealed handgun permits; demonstration of competence. Removes the option for concealed handgun permit applicants to demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing an electronic, video, or online course conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor. Reported Judiciary (7-Y 6-N) Democrat Creigh Deeds joined GOP members in opposing the bill

SB319 Security of public property. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 6-N)

SB353 Outdoor shooting ranges; prohibited adjacent to residential areas; exceptions; civil penalty. This bill was discussed extensively, a substitute was offered that made it clear the bill is not aimed at ranges like the 26 VSSA affiliated ranges but instead at private individuals who have built ranges on their private property. In the end the bill was passed by for the day as committee members believed it still needed more work. Senator Chap Peterson especially seemed to think this was a local matter and not one for the General Assembly.

HB581 Allowing access to firearms by minors; penalty. There was debate on the bill. Senator Chap Peterson was not comfortable with the language nor with the raising of the penalty from a misdemeanor to a Class 6 Felony so the bill went by for the day.

SB928 Possession, purchase, and transport of certain firearms in certain localities. Provides that a person may lawfully possess, purchase, or transport a firearm or firearms magazine that he would otherwise be lawfully permitted to possess, purchase, or transport on January 1, 2020, while he is in a locality that has adopted an ordinance, resolution, or motion that authorizes the possession, purchase, or transportation of such firearm or firearms magazine within such locality. Passed by indefinitely (9-Y 5-N)

SB490 Purchase, possession, or transportation of firearms following conviction for assault and battery of a family or household member; The bill provides for a process by which a person convicted of such crime may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his right to possess or transport a firearm and the factors a court shall consider in determining such reinstatement. There was much debate on this bill. The committee heard from the public and then passed the bill by for the day, mainly because it was getting late and there is more work that needs to be done with the bill.

Three Gun Bills Advance to Final Vote, Governor Temporarily Bans Guns on Capitol Grounds and Reduces Points of Access to One for Lobby Day

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 16:35
Today, the Virginia Senate advanced SB 35 (Chipping away at state preemption), SB 69 (Handgun Rationing), and SB70 ("Universal" Background Checks) to a final vote. Expect these to be on the floor calendar for tomorrow. SB240 (Red flag bill) was passed by for the day as there were multiple substitutes to consider. Continue to contact your senators and urge them to oppose all of these bills, even if your senator is anti-rights. They need to hear from gun owners to know we opposed these bills.

For those planning to come to the annual Lobby Day at the Capitol on Monday, Governor Northam announced a temporary state of emergency beginning Friday extending to Tuesday morning, that includes a ban on firearms and other items that could be used as weapons on Capitol Grounds. He has also reduced the number of entrance points to one for Monday. All attendees will be required to enter through the entrance at 9th and Grace Street.

Photo by Mel Leonor, @MelLeonor RTD ReporterThere will also be multiple road closures:
1) West bound traffic on East Main St. from North 14th St. to North 9th Street. Alternate routes will be Canal Street or the Downtown Expressway.
2)North bound traffic on N. 9th Street from East Cary to E. Broad Street will be closed. Alternate route will be N. 7th Street.
3)East Grace Street between N. 8th St. and N. 9th St. will be closed to all traffic.
4)East Franklin St. between N. 8th St. and N. 9th Street will be closed to all traffic.

Please be aware of these changes and plan accordingly.

Only One Gun Bill on Docket in Senate Judiciary Wednesday Afternoon

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 13:41
The Docket for Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting has been posted and the only firearm related bill is:

S.B. 51Patron: SpruillCarrying a concealed handgun; consumption of alcohol in a public park; penalty. Prohibits a person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any public park or other public space when alcoholic beverages have been approved for sale or consumption therein from consuming an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A violation of this provision is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
This language would be added to the code section related to carrying concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

Bill Would Increase Taxes on Guns and Ammo

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 13:16
A bill introduced in the House of Delegates would implement an additional sales tax on all firearm and ammunition purchases. House Bill 960 is awaiting a committee referral. The Sportsmen's Alliance has more:
HB 960 would require all individuals who purchase a firearm or ammunition to pay a new tax in addition to the taxes already incurred by the Pittman-Robertson Act and state sales taxes. The funds from this new tax would be earmarked for a student mental health and safety fund, which would be used to hire full time school counselors, social workers and school psychologists.Contact your member of the House of Delegates and tell them that the taxes you currently pay on firearms and ammunition provides funding for the selection, restoration and improvement of wildlife habitat, and for wildlife management research. Let them know that you currently pay an 11-percent federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment, and a 10-percent tax on handguns and oppose any additional taxes on your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Legislative Update - Senate Judiciary Advances Gun Control Bills

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 16:35

After an hour delay in starting this morning's committee meeting, caused by the new rules banning firearms in the building, causing staff and members to now go through metal detectors, Democrats wasted no time advancing their gun control agenda.

The following bills were reported out of committee and are headed to the floor.  Many of them were combined versions of multiple bills and we are waiting for the substitution versions to be printed.
The meeting got off to a less than friendly start when it was brought to the attention of State Senator John Edwards that he had assured the committee that no gun bills would be taken up at today's meeting because State Senator Stanley had to be away from the session today.  But when the the agenda came out on Friday, a number of gun related bills were included on the docket.  Senator Mark Obeshain made a motion that all of the gun bills go by for the day, a motion that after some discussion, failed on a party line vote.

Then, even though the bill was not on the docket, Committee Chairman John Edwards announced that State Senator Richard "Dick" Saslaw had requested that his "assault weapon" ban bill SB16, be stricken.  Again their was back and forth about the rules, which indicate that bills not on the docket (which SB16 was not) could not be stricken at this time,  In a second violation of the rules, the bill was stricken. 

The first bills to be taken up were SB22 and SB69, both of which would reinstate handgun rationing.  SB22 was rolled into Senator Mamie Locke's SB69 and that is the bill that advanced on a 9-5 party line vote.  It does include an exception for individuals that hold a valid concealed handgun permit.  SB69 now goes to the floor.  Contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose the bill.  You can find talking points on why gun rationing fails by clicking here.

Next up was so-called "universal" background checks.  Again, Senator Saslaw had a bill, SB12, and Louise Lucas had SB70.  SB12 was rolled into SB70 and that is the bill that was taken up.  During discussion of the bill, State Senator Chap Peterson said he had concerns about the word "transfer" in the bill.  This word is how similar laws in Washington state have required background checks simply for lending your gun to someone at the range.  While SB70 included exceptions for loaning someone a firearm at the range, Senator Peterson said he was concerned about inclusion of the word, and offered a substitute, that dealt strickly with sales of firearms but it also appears that it removed all of the exceptions in the bill, including for sales to immediate family.  You would be able to give firearm as a gift, but not sell it to your daughter, son, or brother.  We are awaiting the printed copy of the substitute to confirm what it appeared from discussion was the case.  It should also be noted that neither Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, nor the gun ban lobby, were happy with the substitute.  The bill was reported on a 9-5 vote and heads to the floor.  Contact your Senator and urge him or her to oppose SB70.  You can find talking points on why "universal" background checks don't reduce crime by clicking here.

Next up was Senator Barker's "Red Flag" bill (SB240).  There were a number of line amendments to the bill resulting in a substitute to be passed by the committee.  None of the amendments address the flaws in the bill such as simply requiring "probable cause" for an order to be issued confiscating someone's firearms before the respondent has an opportunity to defend themselves and other flaws in the bill.  VSSA is awaiting a copy of the substitute but none of the amendments change our opposition to the bill.  State Senator Joe Morrissey said he was going to vote to report the bill but had concerns that needed to be addressed.  He told the VSSA legislative team after the meeting that he would not vote for the bill on the floor in it's current form .  VSSA will continue to work with Senator Morrissey to see additional amendments can be added to address the 13 items that have been identified to make the bill constitutional.  Contact your Senator now and urge them to oppose the SB240. 

Finally, SB35 and SB450, both dealing with local control of firarms, specifically related to allowing them in the chambers of local governing bodies and permitted events.  The Democrats said they are simply letting the local governments determine if they want firearms in their board and council meetings and at events requiring a permit.  Like the other bills, SB35 advanced to the floor.  Contact your Senator and urge them to oppose SB35.

Shooting Ranges, Gun Shops, Clubs Sponsoring Buses to Richmond January 20th

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 15:15
Some shooting range, gun shops, and clubs have set up buses to Richmond for the Annual Lobby Day on January 20th. While a number of gun bills may have already been heard by then, they would still have to be taken up in the other house of the legislature (i.e. Senate bills taken up in the House and vice versa) before they go to Governor Northam. If we don't stop them in one house we may stop them in the other. So, it is critical that a large number of gun owners show up in Richmond , talk with your legislators, and let their voice be heard on both January 13th, the day NRA has designated, and on January 20th. Below is a list of buses we are aware of that will travel to Richmond on January 20th if you want to avoid parking issues.  If you are driving, please be aware that entry into the Pocahantas building will be difficult with only one access point so please arrive early if you want to speak with your legislators.

Charlottesville: Rivanna Rifle & Pistol Club has organized two buses to leave Charlottesville at 6:00 am to arrive in Richmond by 8:00 am and will leave Richmond at 2:00 pm to return to Charlottesville. Cost is $30 per seat to cover expense of buses. Contact Timothy Rogers at trogers307@hotmail.com to reserve a seat.

Culpeper/Warrenton: Bus by Rivenoak Armoury LLC.  Contact rivenoak.armoury@gmail.com for details.

Draper (Pulaski County): New River Sports is chartering a bus that leaves 3376 Kirby Rd (Frontage Rd) Draper, VA at 3:30 AM. Cost is $50/rider. Contact nrsportsva@gmail.com or 540-980-1133.

Lynchburg: SafeSide Tactical has a bus that starts in Roanoke. All riders get a free “shall not be infringed” T-shirt and over $150 in coupons from area retailers.  Lynchburg Bus - $35 leaves SafeSide Lynchburg at 5:00 am https://www.safesidetactical.com/rangemanagement/classdetail.cfm?class_id=2297

Manassas: Fairfax County Rod and Gun Club is planning two buses from Manassas for club members. If you are a member, contact the club.

Patrick County: The Patrick County GOP has a bus from Stuart, Virginia leaving at 3:30 am and returning around 9:30 PM. Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased from Eventbrite at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/patrick-co-gop-bus-to-richmond-for-lobby-day-2a-tickets-86869353575?ref=eios

Roanoke: SafeSide Tactical has a bus. All riders get a free “shall not be infringed” T-shirt (graphics coming soon) and over $150 in coupons from area retailers. - Roanoke bus - $35 leaves SafeSide Roanoke @ 4:30am https://www.safesidetactical.com/rangemanagement/classdetail.cfm?class_id=2295

Shenandoah County: The Shenandoah County GOP has two buses coming. They leave from Woodstock at 6:30 AM. They plan to be in Richmond by 9:00 AM and riders will meet with Delegate Todd Gilbert. Contact Dianne Wyss for more information at info@shencogop.org.

Winchester: CK3 Guns in Stephens City will be sponsoring a bus. Departing Winchester and making a stop in Front Royal. Tickets are $35/seat. For details contact Chuck Klingenberg at ck3guns@gmail.com.

Senate Bill Targets Outdoor Shooting Ranges

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 12:15
On January 6th, State Senator John Bell prefiled SB353, a bill that would prohibit the operation of an outdoor shooting range, defined in the bill, within 500 yards of any property zoned for residential use, with one exception, the range must have used the "Range Design Criteria" developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health, Safety and Security.  VSSA has a number of affiliated ranges and it is possible that some of these have used the above criteria when they were constructed, but this bill would also prevent individual land owners from constructing a range on their property for private use unless it complies with the above criteria.  An individual in violation of the law were it to pass would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $100,000 for the initial violation and $5,000 per day for each day of violation thereafter.

Gun owners need to be contacting their legislators as bills continue to be filed.  Emails are fine should be short (no long missives) but phone calls are better.  Be polite, and focused in your message.

The Democrats have renamed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee to Senate Judiciary.  The Committee members are:

Edwards  (Chair), Saslaw, Norment, Lucas, Obenshain, McDougle, Stuart, Stanley, Chafin, Deeds, Petersen, Surovell, McClellan, Boysko, Morrissey

The Democrats on the committee that are most likely to be receptive to gun owner interests are Senator Edwards (the Chair of the committee), as well as Senators Deeds and Petersen.

Gun Bills Likely to Move in 1st Full Week of General Assembly

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 13:54
VSSA's lobbyist is getting indications that Northam's gun control bills will move the first full week of the legislature.  That's the week of January 13th.  This likely explains NRA-ILA's focus on the first meeting of Senate Courts of Justice on January 13 and why gun owners need to be contacting their
Graphic by NRA-ILAdelegate and senator now.  You can send an email but a phone call to their Capitol Office phone would be even better.  If you are going to be in Richmond, schedule an appointment to meet with them but arrive early for your meeting because access to the Pocahontas Building is not easy and if there are large numbers of people attempting to enter it can take a while as there is only one access point.

Additionally, special focus should be given to Senator John Edwards, who is the incoming chairman of Senate Courts of Justice and until recently was an ally of gun owners.  Senator Edwards needs to hear especially from gun owners in his district (Roanoke, Montgomery, and Giles).  Roanoke Rifle and Revolver club is in his district so members of the club need to contact Senator Edwards by email and by phone and urge him to oppose any bills that restricts the rights of law abiding gun owners and especially SB16, which would ban many of the guns that used at RRRC for competition and target shooting.  Members of RRRC that have youth that shoot in competitive programs need to have those young shooters contact Senator Edwards and let him know that they would be negatively affected by SB16 and that they don't want their competition firearms banned.

Bearingarms.com: GOP, 2A Groups Reject Virginia “Red Flag” Proposal

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:40
In Friday's eBullet, VSSA shared the article about SB 240 - Senator Barker's "Substantial Risk" or "red flag" bill, from Bearingarms.com.  A follow-up article was posted on Saturday that shared comments from Delegate Todd Gilbert and from VSSA.   From Delegate Gilbert:
“Our concern with this bill and others like it is that these bills go too far, and open the door for abuse that would not only endanger citizens but also law enforcement. There is room to tweak our existing, proven system of dealing with those who may be a threat to themselves or others while preserving due process, but this bill comes up short.”And comment from VSSA:
“As with other laws of this type, it does nothing for those ruled to be a risk to no longer be a risk other than taking the firearms. It takes guns prior to a hearing to determine if the individual is a risk, and it gives immunity to law enforcement if someone’s firearms are damaged or stolen while in law enforcement custody. It has none of the constitutional protections that for instance, Dave Kopel, recommends for the law to be constitutional.”
I did not go into detail in my comment on those protections but I will list them here. In testimony before congress last spring, Independence Institute Research Director Dave Kopel listed the following constitutional protections that should be part of any "Extreme Risk Protection" or red flag laws:
  • Petitions initiated by law enforcement, not by spurned dating partners or relationships from long ago.
  • Ex parte hearings only when there is proof of necessity.
  • Proof by clear and convincing evidence, which has been corroborated.
  • Guarantees of all due process rights, including cross-examination and right to counsel.
  • Court-appointed counsel if the respondent so wishes.
  • A civil remedy for victims of false and malicious petitions.
  • Safe and orderly procedures for relinquishment of firearms.
  • Strict controls on no-knock raids.
  • Storage of relinquished firearms by responsible third parties.
  • Prompt restoration of concealed carry permits for the falsely accused.
  • Prompt return of firearms upon the termination of an order.
  • Renewal of orders based on presentation of clear and convincing proof.
  • Not allowing time-limited orders to be bootstrapped into lifetime federal prohibition.
When you read SB 240, it does include allowing firearms to be stored by third parties.  Also, only law enforcement can go to a judge to request such an order as Kopel mentions in his list, but the bill only requires that a judge determine there is “probable cause” that someone poses a “substantial risk” to themselves or others, not the "clear and convincing evidence" that Kopel listed.  Probable cause is a very low legal bar.  SB 240 is more about confiscating firearms that providing assistance to those in crisis or public safety.

Will GOP Help Pass Some Gun Control?

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 10:42
State Senator Tommy Norment seems to think so.  He believes that so called "universal" background checks and so called "red flag" laws will be two likely candidates.  From Cam Edwards at Bearingarms.com:
He made the statement at the annual Kaufman & Canoles Business Leaders Forum at the Princess Anne Country Club in Virginia Beach. During the luncheon, Norment and Virginia Beach Del. Barry Knight (R-81st District) talked about some legislation Virginia can expect to see.

Norment’s official position as co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee makes him the man at the tip of the spear for all things budget-related. His position as Senate majority leader has changed as Democrats take control of the Senate.

Norment said it’s clear recent gatherings at local government meetings supporting gun rights are making a statement. There’s no legal impact, but the protests are expressions of pro-gun values.

“Universal background checks, I predict, is coming out no matter what the governor has said. It is going to happen because there is majority of Republicans and Democrats who will pass it,” he said.Cam mentioned that he has heard that some legislators in suburban districts seem to think that the uprising of gun owners is tied to SB 16.  I agree with Cam that these legislators need to reconsider that position because SB 16 is only one of the bad bills.  Make sure you are contacting your legislators and let them know your position on all of the bills that would restrict your rights.

Suffolk, Amelia, Accomack, Pass Resolutions that Avoid Declaring 2A Sanctuary Status

Thu, 12/19/2019 - 08:18
Last night, Accomack, Amelia, and the City of Suffolk held board and council meetings.  All three stopped short of declaring their localities 2A Sanctuaries.

Suffolk did not have a resolution item on their agenda but the Suffolk News Herald reports that the council chambers were packed with gun owners. Council added it, read it and passed it before supporters of a Second Amendment Sanctuary City resolution had a chance to speak.  The resolution simply states support for the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

Unlike Suffolk, Amelia had scheduled a special meeting for the purpose of passing a sanctuary resolution.  In the end however, as Bearingarms.com's Cam Edwards tweeted from the meeting last night, without hearing public comment from a packed high school auditoriaum, passed a watered down resolution that simply asked the General Assembly not to pass unconstitutional laws.

So, the board of supervisors just approved (without hearing public comment) a resolution that does NOT declare Amelia County a #2A Sanctuary, but urges lawmakers not to pass unconstitutional gun laws.— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) December 19, 2019 Gun owners faired a little better, but not much, in Accomack County where the Board passed a resolution that stopped short of declaring Accomack County a Second Amendment Sanctuary county but took a stand supporting the second amendment.
Photo by Shore Daily NewsThe operative language in the Accomack resolution is:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board, recognizing that certain legislative initiatives are expected to be introduced in the 2020 General Assembly, requests that as part of our legislative agenda, our State Delegate and State Senator diligently review and oppose any such legislation that may unconstitutionally restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of our county’s citizens, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board directs its staff to forward a copy of this resolution to the County’s elected representatives in the Virginia General Assembly.The Shore Daily News reported that a former sheriff and current board member spoke against passing a sanctuary resolution and letters were presented by Sheriff Todd Godwin and Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan while stating support for the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms but also stated that neither had the authority to ignore laws that were legally passed and certified as constitutional by the courts.

Reports from Suffolk indicate gun owners were not happy with the resolution that was passed.  In Amelia, Cam Edwards reported that he wasn't sure if those in attendance understood what was passed due to the poor quality of the sound system in the auditorium. 

Six More Localities Join 2A Localities Bringing the Total to 101

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 08:29
Beginning yesterday afternoon, five more localities joined the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.  The first was Mathews County, which had a huge turnout, many of which took off from work to attend the meeting and show their support for the resolution.  It was approved on a vote of 4-1. Then came Frankly County where another large crowd showed up in late afternoon.  That resolution also passed unanimously (7-0).
Photo Courtesy WSLS News10Then the evening meetings began.  Prince Edward County met at Prince Edward High School and another large crowd filed the auditorium.
Auditorium is pretty close to capacity with a steady stream of folks still coming inside. We’re almost ready to begin the meeting with at least 350 in attendance and more on the way. pic.twitter.com/JpFn8wNuz1— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) December 17, 2019Bearingarms.com's Cam Edwards was live tweeting from Prince Edward and shared that one speaker identified himself as a member of the Virginia National Guard, said he was speaking in his capacity as a private citizen and asked for approval of the #2A Sanctuary resolution to a round of cheers from the crowd.

York County also approved a resolution last night making it a Constitutional County. There are several other localities that have previously approved resolutions that took the route that York County did last night.  The resolution passed on a vote of 4-1, and according to 13 News, the one supervisor that voted against the resolution said she was torn:
Noll said she was torn because she supports the second amendment and gun rights, but disagreed with the process. She said the resolution came too soon and too fast for a thorough vetting of the legal ramifications the county might face.Shortly after 11 PM, Stafford County passed a Sanctuary resolution.  Gun owners turned out by the thousands.  WJLA ABC News 7 reported that over 2000 people showed up, and there were even food trucks and a "Party in the Parking Lot".  The Board Room only held about 200.

Photo by WJLA ABC News7 Heather Graf
Photo by WJLA ABC News 7The Board voted 7-0 to officially designate Stafford as a Second Amendment Sanctuary.  WJLA's Victoria Sanchez reported via Twitter that the Stafford County Democratic Party issued the below statement:
The Stafford Co. Democratic Committee sent me this statement regarding #SecondAmendmentSanctuary:
“... we do not support the effort of gun rights activists to enlist local governments to aid in their push to dramatically reinterpret the historic meaning of that right.” @ABC7News pic.twitter.com/w3inv4Tyed— Victoria Sanchez (@VictoriaSanchez) December 18, 2019 Finally, the Town of Vinton, which is in Roanoke County, passed a resolution by a vote of 4-1.

Accomack and Amelia County will consider resolutions tonight.


House and Senate Election Maps Comparison to 2A Resolution Map

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 14:59
Do you see anything similar in the two election result maps and the 2A Locality Map?





That upper right hand corner is where there is a concentration of Democrat House and Senate Districts.  It is also where there are currently no 2A Localities.  That one blue spot in the lower west are the districts that include Roanoke as a majority portion of the population.  That explains why they are blue but almost all of the district except Roanoke have passed 2A resolutions.

Bearingarms.com: Separating Fact From Fiction with Governor Northam's Gun Control Plans

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 11:30
As is to be expected, with the giddiness of the Democrats to restrict our rights after winning a majority in the state legislature, there has been some disinformation about several of the pre-filed bills and their potential impact on Virginia gun owners.  Yesterday, Cam Edwards did a great job of dispelling some of the myths that have popped up on social media.  Cam covered bills like SB64 and SB 67.  He corrected the myth that Northam said he would call out the National Guard to enforce any gun bills passed - that was actually a suggestion from former slip-and-fall lawyer turned congressman, Don McEachin.  Cam ends with this:
The truth is, the bills that have already been introduced are bad enough that we don’t need to invent any new ones. Here’s a partial list of the legislation Virginia’s anti-gun lawmakers, including Governor Northam, are considering:
  • banning the most commonly produced and owned rifles in the United States
  • banning magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition
  • requiring background checks on most transfers of firearms
  • fining gun owners who fail to report lost or stolen firearms
  • prohibits individuals convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery of a family member from owning a gun.
  • banning bump stocks and binary triggers
  • turning state-owned and leased buildings into gun free zones
  • rationing handgun purchases to one per month
  • stripping parents of their ability to decide when their child is responsible enough to access a firearm.
  • weakening firearms preemption law by allowing localities to ban firearms from permitted events.
Those are just the worst of the bills that have already been pre-filed before the legislative session begins in early January. Bills can be filed until January 17th, and we know that there will be more heading our way, including an Extreme Risk Protection Order or “red flag” firearms seizure bill. Second Amendment supporters need to be armed with the facts in the weeks ahead, because if we focus on the fictions, we’re only going to be hurting our ability to effectively push back on the infringements headed our way.It doesn't help our cause if we just read parts of the bill and don't read the full bill in context.  Like Cam said, it's bad enough what Northam has said he want's to do, so we really don't need to misrepresent bills to make him look bad.

Safeside Tactical Providing Buses to Gun Owner Lobby Day

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 10:55
SafeSide Tactical in Roanoke is providing buses for gun owners in the western part of the Commonwealth to travel to Richmond for Gun Owner Lobby Day on January 20th.  All you have to do is click here to sign up.  The price is $35.00.

Schedule
3:30am Secure Parking Gates open @ SafeSide
4:30am bus will leave from SafeSide Roanoke
5am Stop @ Big Boyz Guns (Blue Ridge) for pickup
8am Arrive in Richmond
2pm Leave Richmond arriving back in Blue Ridge/Roanoke by 6pm.
All riders will get a free "Shall Not Be Infringed" T-shirt and coupon pack from local vendors valued at over $150 (details will be added).

Safeside also had this suggestion on the web site:
Please consider dressing professionally so we can show the gun haters that WE THE PEOPLE are made up of all walks of life. They also have a bus starting in Lynchburg.  Click here for information on that bus.




Study on Expanded Background Checks in Washington, Oregon, Yield Different Results

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 10:30
Last week the Crime Report had this article about a study of Oregon and Washington's "expanded" background checks since passage in 2014 and 15.
State laws in Washington (2014) and Oregon (2015) extended existing background check requirements to private purchases of handguns. Washington, for example required all private sales of firearms to be conducted through a federally licensed firearms dealer, who in turn conducts the check.But the study by the University of California Davis Violence Prevention Research program found that pre-firearm checks for private sales increased by only 4 percent between January 1999 and December, 2018.

In contrast, a similar statute in Oregon resulted in an 18 percent increase in such checks over the same period. The study authors did not offer conclusive reasons for the difference, suggesting that Washington State’s figures represented a “gradual” accommodation with the new regulations. “The new laws may have had effects that we were unable to measure or detect,” said the study.I have always said part of the reason that these laws have lower than expected increases in background checks is because the gun ban lobby believes that a large number of private sales occur when they are actually only a small percentage of the firearm market. 

Localities Continue to Approve 2A Resolutions

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 09:00
Last night, two more localities, Montgomery County and Pulaski, passed Second Amendment resolutions, bringing the total number of localities to 95.  More meetings are scheduled for tonight.

Tuesday December 17:
Mathews County will vote on a 2A resolution during their 1:00 PM meeting. The meeting will be held at 17 Church Street, Mathews, VA.

Franklin County - There is no resolution on the agenda. There are five cititizens signed up for the Public Comment portion of the agenda and one of those may ask the board to consider a resolution.

Stafford County - There is a 2A resolution item under New Business on the 7:00 PM portion of the agenda.

York County - The agenda includes consideration of a "Constitutional County" during the 6:00 PM meeting

Clarke County - There is no resolution for consideration on the agenda but there is a public comment period so that is an opportunity to ask the board to consider and pass a resolution.

Prince Edward County - Will hold a special meeting Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Prince Edward County High School Auditorium, 1482 Zion Hill Road, Farmville, Virginia. The Board will receive citizen input and consider a resolution regarding declaring Prince Edward County a Second Amendment Santuary County. The meeting is open to the public; however, only citizens and taxpayers of Prince Edward County will have the opportunity to provide input. This is the only item on the agenda for this special meeting and no other items will be discussed at this time.

Vinton Town Council - Council meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. An agenda was not available on the web site at the time this was posted but by clicking the link ahead of Tuesday the agenda may be available.

Board meetings continue to draw 500-1000 people.  If all of the folks who have shown up to board meetings show up to Gun Owner Lobby Day at the Sate Capitol on January 20th, we could have a crowd approaching 100,000.  Remember, as Bearingarms.com Editor Cam Edwards has said on multiple occasions, these resolutions are a defensive position and are just a starting point.  We need to show up at the General Assembly when it convenes in January. 

You can find links to the above meeting agendas by clicking here.

There are now 91 Sanctuary Localities in Virginia

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 13:33
After last night's local governing board meetings, there are now 91 localities that have passed resolutions declaring themselves 2A Sanctuary Localities, or in a couple of cases (Henrico County for example) that they will uphold the Constitutions of Virginia and the United States.  The gun ban lobby and Governor Northam have taken notice.  At Chesterfield's Board of Supervisors' meeting on Wednesday, there was a massive turnout of gun owners, both inside the Board meeting (the Public Meeting Room only holds about 290 people) and outside at a rally with an estimated crowd of between 2000 and 3000 people in front of the Old Courthouse building where State Senator Amanda Chase.  There was no resolution on the agenda but during their public comment period, they allowed 15 people to address the board on matters not on the agenda.  It was clear from the number of anti-rights speakers (about half of those signed up to speak) that the gun ban lobby has taken notice of the push back around the state.  There is a GOP majority on the Chesterfield Board and they should have included a resolution on the agenda.  For what ever reason, they have chosen not to at this time.  A new Board will take office in January and we will have another opportunity for a resolution to be considered.

You can find updated information about the list of localities that have passed resolutions on the VSSA web site.

Next week's board meetings include:

Monday December 16:
City of Roanoke - There is no resolution on the agenda but there is a "Hearing of Citizens" on the 2:PM part of the agenda which is a good time to again urge the city to pass a resolution.
Montgomery County - There is an item on the agenda to consider a 2A resolution during the meeting scheduled for 7:15 PM.

Tuesday December 17:
Mathews County will vote on a 2A resolution during their 1:00 PM meeting.  The meeting will be held at 17 Church Street, Mathews, VA.
Franklin County - There is no resolution on the agenda.  There are five cititizens signed up for the Public Comment portion of the agenda and one of those may ask the board to consider a resolution.
Stafford County - There is a 2A resolution item under New Business on the 7:00 PM portion of the agenda.
York County - The agenda includes consideration of a "Constitutional County" during the 6:00 PM meeting
Clarke County - There is no resolution for consideration on the agenda but there is a public comment period so that is an opportunity to ask the board to consider and pass a resolution.
Prince Edward County - Will hold a special meeting Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Prince Edward County High School Auditorium, 1482 Zion Hill Road, Farmville, Virginia.  The Board will receive citizen input and consider a resolution regarding declaring Prince Edward County a Second Amendment Santuary County. The meeting is open to the public; however, only citizens and taxpayers of Prince Edward County will have the opportunity to provide input. This is the only item on the agenda for this special meeting and no other items will be discussed at this time.
Vinton Town Council - Council meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.  An agenda was not available on the web site at the time this was posted but by clicking the link ahead of Tuesday the agenda may be available.

Wednesday December 18
Accomack County - The Board will have a public comment period and have an item listed as "Discussion of Second Amendment Resolution" on the 5:00 PM agenda.
Amelia County - The Board will consider a 2A resolution at the meeting scheduled for 7:00 PM at Amelia County High School



Anderson and Associates Law Firm Gives Gun Law Updates

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 16:11
Found this thanks to the VA2ANews You Tube Video channel.  It is highly recommended you listen to this.  The Attorney talks about the new talk about the so-called "grandfather" clause in the "assault weapons" ban bill.  Let me be clear,  VSSA opposes registration, and VSSA opposes a ban on modern sporting rifles.  It is VSSA's responsibility to keep members and gun owners informed so that is why this video is being shared.


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