“In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period,” Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said in a statement Monday evening. “Additional details on this and all other bills will be announced prior to the start of the upcoming session.”
Though legislation for the 2020 General Assembly session is still being written, gun-rights supporters have directed a wave of outrage at an early draft of a bill filed by incoming Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax. Saslaw’s legislation would have made it a felony to possess an pistol, rifle or shotgun that falls under its “assault weapon” definition after the bill takes effect and didn’t appear to make any exceptions for gun owners who already have them.
In a brief phone interview Monday night, Saslaw said the bill he filed won’t be the main assault weapon proposal and will be amended at a later date. Asked about the governor’s support for grandfathering in existing weapons, Saslaw said “that would make sense.”
“I’m not going to lock up a large part of Virginia,” Saslaw said.Saslaw sure seemed ready to lock up thousands of Virginians a month ago when he introduced the bill. Northam and Saslaw probably think this will appease the thousands of people who have packed local governing boards meetings over the past month. Don't bet on it!
VSSA's position of opposing any bill that bans the most popular rifle in America is not changing. Simply adding a grandfathering clause and requiring registration of currently owned firearms will be just as vigorously opposed by VSSA at the state legislature in January.
Town of Crewe
City of Franklin
Town of Grottoes
King and Queen County
This brings the total number of sanctuary localities to 50.
The City of Salem did not however allow citizens to bring up the subject at their meeting. WSET 13 has the story:
More governing board localities are scheduled for tonight.
Monday, December 9th: Bedford, Bristol, Buckingham, Galax, King and Queen, Radford, Rockbridge, Rocky Mount, Salem, Shenandoah, Waynesboro
Tuesday, December 10th: Bath, Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Floyd, Greene, James City, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Nelson, Northampton, Portsmouth, Prince George, Prince William, Smyth, Spotsylvania, Strasburg, Warren
Wednesday, December 11th: Chesterfield, Fluvanna, Frederick, Hampton, Hanover, Rockingham, Westmoreland
Thursday, December 12th: Fauquier, Grayson, Isle of Wight, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Northumberland, Wise
Gun owners in the above localities are urged to attend the board or council meetings to show support for Second Amendment Resolutions on the agendas or to speak during public comment time urging the board/council to pass a resolution. More details about each of the meetings are below.
Beford has moved it's meeting from the regular meeting place to Liberty High School's Auditorium. There resolution will be heard at the regular meeting beginning at 7:00 PM. Please note that no firearms are permited on school grounds or in the school facilities.
Bristol will consider a resolution at it's meeting beginning at 6:00 PM
Buckingham County will consider a resolution at it's meeting beginning at 6:00 PM
The Galax Agenda was not posted on the Board website but the City Council is meeting and the information available to VSSA is that they will discuss a resolution. The meeting starts at 7:30PM.
King and Queen County will vote on a resolution at it's 7:00 PM meeting.
Radford City Council is Meeting. There is no discussion of a resolution on the agenda but there is a citizen comment period which is an opportunity for residents of Radford to request the Board to pass a resoultion.
Rockbridge County will consider a resolution. The regular business meeting will still be held at 5:30 PM in the Boardroom of the County Administration Building. The Board will then proceed to the high school for the public meeting to discuss the topic of the Second Amendment at 7:00PM. Please be aware that state law prohibits open or concealed carry on school grounds.
Rocky Mount Town Council. The agenda includes an item listed "Hearing of Citizens." It also includes and item listed as "Second Amendment Legislation" under New Business. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM.
City of Salem. The Council will meet but there is no formal agenda item on 2A Sanctuary Resolution consideration.
Shenandoah County. There is a special called meeting at 7:00 PM to consider a resolution "concerning the Second Amendment." The meeting will be held at Central High School New Gym, Susan Avenue,Woodstock, VA 22664. Firearms are not allowed on school property.
Waynesboro City Council. There is no 2A Resolution on the agenda but there is a citizen comment period which is an opportunity for residents of Waynesboro to ask the Council to consider a resolution.
Bath County will consider a 2A resolution as part of their meeting agenda at the 6:00 PM meeting.
Chesapeake City Council will consider a resolution supporting Second Amendments rights under the New Business portion of the agenda at the regular meeting scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Colonial Heights City Council will will meet at 7:00 PM. The agenda will be available on Monday.
Cumberland County will consider a 2A Sanctuary Resolution as part of the County Attorney report at it's 7:00 Meeting on Tuesday.
Floyd County will have public comment on a 2A Sanctuary Resolution beginning at 7:00 PM in the Floyd County High School Auditorium.
Greene County will consider a 2A Resolution at its 6:30 meeting.
James City County will consider a 2A Resolution at its 5:00 PM meeting.
City of Lynchburg City Council will meet at 7:30. There is no formal agenda item to consider a 2A Sanctuary Resolution but a citizen is signed up to request they consider passing a resolution. Their is also a citizen speaking on behalf of Bloomberg's "Moms Demand Action" organization. His request states that "The statement will be in regards to addressing our issues with gun violence and will be part of a message from the Lynchburg Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense."
Martinsville City Council will consider a 2A Resolution at its 7:30 regular meeting.
Nelson County Board of Supervisors will consider a "Resolution in support of Second Amendment Rights" at its 2:00 PM meeting.
Northampton County will consider a "Resolution in Support of Second Amendment Rights" at its 6:00 PM Meeting.
Portsmouth City Council will meet at 7:00 PM. There is no formal item on the agenda to consider a 2A Resolution but there is an opportunity for residents to sign up to speak. That is an opportunity for residents to urge the council to consider a resolution.
Prince George County will consider a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution at its 7:00 PM Meeting.
Prince William County Board of Supervisors will meet and at 7:30 under the "Supervisors' Time of the agenda, will consider a 2A Resolution. It should be noted that the incoming chairman has said if the current board passes a resolution, she will undo whatever is done when she takes office in January.
The Smyth County Board of Supervisors will meet at 5:00 PM and consider a 2A Sanctuary Resolution.
Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors will meet at 4:30 and consider a 2A Sanctuary Resolution.
Strasburg Town Council will meet at 7:00 and consider a 2A Sanctuary Resolution as part of the agenda.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting at 7:00 PM to consider "Adoption of a Resolution Regarding the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America".
Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors will meet at 6:00 PM. There is no 2A Resolution on the agenda but there is a citizen comment period where 15 members of the public who signed up previously have the opportunity to speak on matters of concern to the public. All of those speaking spots have been filled but at least one individual among those 15 will raise the 2A Resolution and request the county pass a resolution.
Fluvana County Board of Supervisors will meet at 6:00 in the Central Elementary Auditorum to consider a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution.
Frederick County Board of Supervisors will meet at 7:00 PM and will consider a "Resolution Addressing the Second Amendment".
Hampton City Council will meet at 6:30 pm. There is no resolution on the agenda but there is a public comment period where citizens can ask the Council to pass a resolution.
Hanover County Board of Supervisors will a meeting at 3:00 PM and will consider a Second Amendment resolution as part of the agenda.
Rockingham County Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting at Spotswood High School at 7:15 PM to "Receive Public Comment on Proposed Virginia Legislation Concerning Firearms"
Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors will receive public comment at 111 Polk St.
Montross, VA, regarding a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution at 6:00 p.m.
Fauquier County Board of Supervisors will consider a Second Amendment Resolution as part of their agenda at 6:30 PM
Grayson County Board of Supervisors will consider a Second Amendment Resolution at its meeting. Due to an expected larger turnout, the meeting will held in the Grayson County High School Auditorium located at 110 Blue Devil Dr, Independence, VA. Please note no firearms are allowed on school property.
Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors will meet at 5:00 PM. Discussion on a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution is part of the agenda.
Lancaster County Board of Supervisors will meet at 5:00 PM. One of the items on the agenda is a resolution titled "Resolution Affirming and Supporting the Constitutions of the United States and Virginia".
Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meets at 6:00 PM at the Lunenburg Courthouse. No Agenda was available at the time of this post.
Northumberland County Board of Supervisors will meet at 5:30 PM in the New County Courthouse. The agenda will be available on Tuesday. Look for an update on whether there is a resolution on the agenda later this week.
Wise County Board of Supervisors will meet at 6:00 PM. The agenda includes consideration of a 2A Sanctuary Resolution.
Delegate Freitas announced earlier this week that he is running for the GOP nomination to challenge anti-rights Congresswomen Abigail Spanberger in the 7th Congressional District. He joins a handful of other candidates running for the nomination which will be decided by a nominating convention in 2020.
NBC29 in Charlottesville had coverage of the Fluvanna meeting. They also spoke with retiring Charolottesville Democrat Dave Tascono. He said he finds the resolutions problematic. He claims the country is already a Second Amendment Santucary because of the Constitution. That's interesting since that has not seemed to stop those that want to infringe on our rights.
The Staunton News Leader had live coverage of the Augusta meeting. After the vote, the reporter tweeted the comment of one supervisor:
Supervisors are taking turns sharing thoughts. Riverheads Supervisor Mike Shull invoked the Revolutionary War: "The Democrats are the redcoats we need to fight now."— Claire Mitzel (@c_mitzel) December 5, 2019The reporter Clair Mitzel also shared this photo of the crowd.
Townhall.com has this piece on how some Sheriffs are speaking out in favor of the resolutions too. Some Commonwealth Attorneys have expressed support too.
Appomattox Commonwealth’s Attorney Leslie “Les” Fleet is on the same page as Simpson. Fleet said he believes in abiding by the law, as long as it’s a constitutional law. “The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and as such, I will not enforce [prosecute] any state or local statute that violates the federal or state constitutions. I will wait and see what comes out of Richmond this coming session, but if I believe a law infringes on a 2A right, the sheriff-elect and I are on the same page, that law will not be enforced in Appomattox County,” Fleet said in an email Nov. 30.Norfolk Democrat Delegate Jay Jones has asked Attorney General Mark Herring for a formal opinion on the Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions. You can probably guess what he is going to say.
The gun ban lobby and some gun ban elected officials are taking notice of this movement and are trying to create a new narrative. One is that it is one state gun group that is pushing this. Nevermind the fact that each of these meetings have upwards of 600 - 1500 people attending. The Democratic Party of Virginia is even attacking the group's leader with this online article. A number of the things they cite in their attack are taken out of context. But as Bearingarms.com's editor Cam Edwards stated on his show yesterday, this movement is bigger than one group or one person. The other narrative is that Virginians overwhelmingly favor the gun control proposals being put forward. You can find numerous news articles yesterday talking about a new Roanoke College poll that shows support in Virginia for more gun control. Expect more of this from the gun ban lobby and their willing accomplices in the media.
The meetings continue tonight. Surry County has a 2A Sanctuary Resolution on their agenda tonight, at 7 pm. It is item #7 under the Consent Items on the agenda. The meeting will be held at:
General District Courtroom
Surry County Government Center
45 School Street
Surry, VA 23883
City of Norton
King George County
Four additional localities held hearings on resolutions but did not vote:
Of particular note was VSSA's home of Orange County. VSSA Executive Director Lu Charette was there and provided this update:
"Originally the Orange County Board of Supervisors were not to vote on the Sanctuary issue this evening but, several hundred folks turned out in support of the passage. 42 spoke in favor of passing the action and one opposed. After nearly two hours of folks public speaking the Board was almost forced to take an action. There was a motion made to pass then there was an amendment made and accepted, seconded and the vote in favor passed 4 to 1. The one Nay vote was predicted well before the meeting began. "Photo by Daily ProgressWhat Lu was referring to when he said "forced to take action" is reported in the Daily Progress:
Before the proposed resolution received a second (ultimately from Crozier), Johnson reminded the audience that the issue at hand involves “proposed” legislation at this point and to condemn actions that haven’t yet happened is a “futile gesture,” though he assured the audience if the general assembly adopted legislation that was contra-constitutional, the board would oppose it.
Crozier said Orange County could be “leaders instead of lemmings” when it came to opposing proposed overreaching gun legislation. “We want to stand above and ahead of places that have just rubber-stamped what others have done,” he said.
Citizens then implored the board with shouts of “put it to a vote,” and “we want a sanctuary county,” and “let’s see who’s not for it” and “it’s time to act,” and “where do you stand?”
White reminded the audience “it’s no good to make noise without impact,” and chastised those who walked out angrily.
“How do we take an unconstitutional act to condemn an unconstitutional act by others? How do we square that up?” he asked.
The board voted 5-0 in favor of Johnson’s motion and the proposed resolution.
But the audience wasn’t satisfied.The amendment Lu referred to was also reported by the Daily Progress. An attendee named Paul Moog, who spoke earlier and identified himself as "a Navy veteran who had taken an oath to protect the country from enemies foreign and domestic" offered a solution:
“I think it’s clear we all want the same thing,” White said. “The question is how do we get there?”
Amid shouts about “sanctuary county!” and “show a little backbone,” and “join the other counties!” Moog recommended the board adopt a second resolution that “Orange is a Second Amendment sanctuary and you’ll do everything in your constitutional power to defend the Second Amendment rights of Orange County citizens,” receiving one of the largest cheers of the evening.
He suggested it was an “elegant solution,” allowing the board to “support citizens’ rights without violating the law.”
Crozier then turned Moog’s comments into a motion, and rather than adopt a second resolution, “and confuse the dear souls in Richmond,” Johnson recommended submitting just one combined resolution, blending the two.
Frame had issue though and asked if the motion could be amended to remove calling Orange County a “sanctuary county,” but didn’t have support for a second.
Ultimately, the board voted 4-1 on the new, combined amendment, with Frame dissenting. A hearty cheer from the hundreds remaining ensued and the board adjourned after two and a half hours.Besides being a Navy vet, Moog is also a VSSA Life Member.
Additional localities will be considering hearing and/or voting on resolutions today/tonight:
Albemarle County, Suffolk, Fluvanna County, and Augusta County.
VSSA will continue to provide coverage here on the blog and look for a complete wrap-up of the week's activity in Friday's eBullet.
Gresham said he does not believe the Court will find the case moot, but he also said while he believes we will get a favorable ruling, it is likely it will not go as far as we want. We'll have to wait and see. You can see he report below.
The 23 localities to date are:
Appomattox, Bland, Botetourt, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Giles, Henry, King William, Lee, Madison, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Rural Retreat, Southampton, Sussex, Tazewell County, Washington, Wythe.
These are resolutions and don't carry the force of law and it needs to be remembered that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state which means state law determines what localities can and can't do. While this show of defiance is encouraging, gun owners need to remember that the fact that a locality passes a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary resolution doesn't change the fact that if bills like Senate Bill 16 passes next year and is signed into law, you will still be a felon if you own the banned items in the bill, as competitive shooter Todd Jarret said in the below video on Thanksgiving Day.
There are a number of counties that have scheduled to hear or vote on 2A Sanctuary Resolutions. The list that we currently have and meeting times are below. If you live in one of these counties or cities and can attend, you should be there and speak in favor of these resolutions. If you can't attend, please contact your member of the town or city council, or member of the Board of Supervisors and let them know you support the resolution being considered.
Orange County (This is where VSSA's HQ is located)
December 3 at 7:00 pm
Due to the expected large turnout of citizens concerned about the Second Amendment and proposed new laws in Richmond, the PUBLIC COMMENT portion of the December 3 Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting has been moved to the Taylor Education Administration Complex (old Prospect Heights Middle School)
200 Dailey Drive
The PUBLIC COMMENT period will begin no earlier than 7:30pm. Please be aware that because this is property controlled by the Orange County Public School system, all tobacco products and firearms are prohibited.
December 4, at 4 pm at:
Fluvanna Court Building
72 Main Street
Palmyra, VA 22963
Prince Edward County
December 10, at 7 pm.
County Board Room
111 South Street
December 10, at 2 pm
General District Courtroom of the Courthouse
84 Courthouse Square
Lovingston, VA 22949
December 12, at 7 pm
General District Courtroom
8311 Mary Ball Road
December 2, at 6 pm
Greensville County Government Center
1781 Greensville County Circle
Emporia, Virginia 23847
Dec. 4 at Stuarts Draft High School 6 PM
The BOS has asked for the public to sign up in advance.
December 3, at 6:30 pm
Gloucester Court House
Gloucester VA 23061
Isle of Wight
December 12 at 5 pm
Robert C. Claud, Sr. Board Room
Wight County Courthouse Complex (off Route 258
17090 Monument Cir.
Isle of Wight, VA 23397
December 12, at 5:30 p.m. with public comment starting at 7 p.m.
220 Judicial Pl.
Heathsville, VA 22473
December 2, 7PM
250 Gay Street,
Washington, VA 22747
Please note that the meeting must begin at the courthouse but may move after it comes to order to Rappahannock County High School due to an expected large crowd.
December 9th at 7 pm
Central High School
1147 Susan Ave
Woodstock, VA 22664
Tuesday, December 10 at 5 pm
Marion High School Auditorium
848 Stage St.
Marion, VA 24354
Prince George County
December 10 at 7 PM
County Administration Bldg.
Boardroom, Third Floor
6602 Courts Drive,
Prince George, Virginia
James City County
December 10 at 5 PM
101 Mounts Bay Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185
December 9, 2019 7 PM
Liberty High School Auditorium
100 Liberty Minutemen Dr.
Bedford, VA 24523
King George County
December 3rd, 6:30 pm
James Revercomb Building, Board Room
10459 Courthouse Drive
King George, VA 22485
Norton City Council
December 3, 6 pm
City Council Chambers
618 Virginia Avenue NW
Norton, VA 24273
December 3rd at 7 pm
103 S Court Street
Board Room, 2nd Floor
Luray, VA 22835
Prince William County
December 10 at 7:30 pm
Prince William County McCoart Administration Building
1 County Complex Court
Town of Pulaski Town Council
December 3, at 7 pm
42 1st street NW
Pulaski VA, 24301
Radford City Council
December 9, 7 PM
Radford Municipal Building
619 Second St
Radford, VA 24141
Each speaker will have 2 minutes
December 11 6PM
County Administration Building
20 E. Gay St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
December 10, 4:30PM
9104 Courthouse Road
December 17, at 7 PM
Stafford County Board Chambers
1300 Courthouse Rd.
Stafford, VA 22554
Suffolk City Council
December 4, 7PM
City Council Chamber
442 W Washington Street
Suffolk, VA 23434
Virginia Beach City Council
December 3, 6PM
2401 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
December 12, at 6:30 pm
Wise County Schools Education Center
Conference Room A
628 Lake Street NE
December 17 6 PM
301 Main Street
Yorktown, VA 23690
December 10th at 6pm
Bath County Courthouse
65 Courthouse Hill Rd
Warm Springs, VA 24484
December 9 7:00 PM
123 E. Main St.
Bedford, Va. 24523
December 10, 6 PM
Council Chambers at City Hall
300 Lee St.
Bristol, VA 24201
December 9th 6:00 PM
Peter Francisco Auditorium of the Buckingham County Administration Bldg.
13380 W. James Anderson Hwy
Buckingham, VA 23921
December 10, 6:30 pm
306 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322
December 17, 6:30PM
Berryville Clarke County Government Center
101 Chalmers Ct.
Berryville, VA 22611
Colonial Heights City
December 10, 7PM
City Council Chambers
201 James Ave.
Colonial Heights, VA
December 3, 10 AM
302 N. Main St.
Please note that the morning agenda states that "The Board will discuss the potential of adopting a resolution to address the issue of Second Amendment Rights"
December 10, 7 pm
17 Courthouse Circle
Cumberland, VA 23040
December 3, 4:30 PM
Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035
December 10, 7PM
Floyd County High School Auditorium
721 Baker St SE,
Floyd, VA 24091
December 12, 6:30PM
Warren Green Building
10 Hotel Stree
HB 2 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
HB 9 Firearms; reporting those lost or stolen, civil penalty.
SB 12 Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks, penalty.
SB 13 Possessing or transporting a weapon within Capitol Square; penalty.
SB 14 Trigger activators; prohibition; penalty.
SB 15 Carrying weapon into building owned or leased by the Commonwealth; penalty.
SB 16 Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms and certain firearm magazines; penalties.
SB 18 Firearms; criminal history record information checks; age requirement; penalty.
SB 22 Handguns; limitation on purchases, penalty.
SB 35 Firearms, etc.; permitted events.
SB 51 Carrying a concealed handgun; consumption of alcohol in a public park; penalty.
As was mentioned in a previous post, don't wait until the session starts to let your legislator know that you oppose these (and any future) bills that restrict your rights. Women and youth shooters need to be vocal so if you know women or youth shooters who use modern sporting rifles for sport, self-defense, or competition, please get them engaged in this fight and have them plan to be at the Capitol when these bills are heard.
Gunfire shattered another American school yesterday as a student armed with a powerful handgun went on a brief, deadly rampage in Southern California. "It's like a dream," said a sophomore. "But not a good dream, like a nightmare you can't wake up from." —Jennifer Mascia, engagement writerYou learn later down the daily newsletter that what the shooter used was a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
I don't want to get in a debate on whether the .45 is more power than say the 9mm or .40. Depending on what one owns, they will have their reasons and believe they are the best firearm for them. I'm guessing if the shooter had used one of the other two, the Trace would have described it the same as they did the .45. So, get used to seeing "powerful handgun" used more in the future instead of just saying "the shooter used a handgun." It's all about demonizing every firearm.
If you have a Democrat Delegate or Senator, let them hear from you: I can't tell you how many times people have told me it's a waste of time to talk to gun control legislators. That's bull. If they know they have thousands of gun owners in their districts, they will take note. There was one election this year decided by 18 votes, and in 2017, one was decided by a coin toss. Letting a Democrat legislator know they have a significant number of gun owners in their district might be enough to make the difference between going full bore New Jersey in one session, or settling for just their top priorities (handgun rationing, "assault weapons" ban, "universal" background checks). Don't just email them. Find out when they have office hours and meet with them in person. Also get everyone you know that is like minded to do the same thing. We especially need women and youth shooters to be a part of this effort. VSSA has a number of young shooters in the High Power Rifle Program. AR-15s are used in some of this competition. You may know others. They need to be the ones telling legislators this story, not the adults. They should be at the Capitol on Martin Luther King Day when a lot of the lobbying groups are there to talk to legislators. In the past gun control bills have been heard on this day. Since that is a school holiday, we need youth shooters at the General Assembly on that day.
Litigation: In the past, VSSA has been proud to join forces with our sister state organizations to challenge unconstitutional gun control laws. We were part of Heller, McDonald, the case against Maryland's "assault weapons" law, California's Peruta case, and are now part of the NYSRPA vs. New York case. Now we need to be ready to be on the front end and challenge unconstitutional laws that may be signed by Governor Northam. This can be costly, but we are laying the groundwork now.
The good news is there are several cases either already at the U.S. Supreme Court or on their way. If the Court finds in NYSRPA vs New York case that gun laws must be looked at using "Strict Scrutiny" that means the legislature will have to have passed a law to further a "compelling governmental interest," and must narrowly tailor the law to achieve that interest. That is a difficult test to pass and could severely limit what the gun ban crowd can do. VSSA will post more on these efforts as we move forward.
The bottom line is, don't be defeatist. Yes, our work is cut out for us, we have to do the work to protect our rights.
Two things most likely contributed to last night's results - turnout and a court redrawn assembly-district map. Appropriations Chairman Christ Jones lost his race in the 76th House District. Jones' district boundaries were basically flipped on a 90 degree turn by the court after racial gerrymandering was found by the court. Northam failed to come to an agreement on a new map with House Republicans which set up the court to redraw about 11 districts. This year's election will be the only one under the court drawn districts but Democrats and the Governor will have complete control of the 2021 Redistricting. This morning, State Senator Elect Joe Morrissey said on John Reid's WRVA morning program that Democrats should follow through on passing a resolution form a "non-partisan" redistricting commission but he said he fears Democrats will want to exact retribution on Republicans and district them into oblivion. Morrissey said that would be a mistake.
Also, it appears that turnout could be a record for an "off-year" election. Typically these elections feature low turnout. Since President Trump's election Democrats have worked hard to turn out their voters in state and local elections.
Speaking at a victory rally last night, Governor Northam said that voters had spoken in favor of Democratic priorities like gun control. Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, who survived the redistricting of his district to defeat three-time candidate Sheilia Bynum-Coleman, said Republicans would work with Democrats where they could and "speak out against overreaching policies where we must, and always seek to guard the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia." Cox raised an unprecedented $1.8 million in a Virginia House race. While Cox was sounding conciliatory, House Minority leader Todd Gilbert sounded a more ominous tone saying "Make no mistake: radical liberals from out of our Commonwealth will soon demand a return on the tens of millions they invested to elect a far-left Democratic majority."
Earlier this week, Fletch Daniels provided a warning at the American Thinker. He said what has happened in Fairfax, Virginia, a formerly Republican bastion, is a warning for the rest of the country:
My home county of Fairfax, Virginia was once a safe suburban area with some of the best performing public schools in the nation. It's now a blinking warning sign to America as it hangs on the edge of complete disaster thanks to unchecked immigration and Democrat takeover of the government.
Even with the high concentration of government workers, Fairfax County was once a Republican bastion before it became a political battleground. The Bush/Cheney ticket won the county in a close race in 2000 and then lost it badly in 2004 due to a significant increase in Democrat votes.
Fairfax's descent into its current state started with a wave immigration, much of it illegal, into the area which washed away Republican political viability.Former Delegate and VSSA member Bill Janis warned about this very thing - a change in the demographics - when he spoke to the attendees of the 2005 Annual Meeting. He told us then that we needed to reach out to those new residents or they would have no connection to our 2nd Amendment freedoms.
So having said all this, what is the take away from last night's results? One, don't throw away your base when you are running in a re-election simply because you think those issues like the 2nd Amendment that got you elected in the first place, are now an albatross. Glen Sturtevant's campaign is a perfect example of this. Tidewater based talk show host John Fredericks said yesterday:
This is the epitome of the silliest GOP campaign run this cycle. Does anyone have a clue what Sturdevant stands for? Or care? His television ice cream and soccer ball ads were laughable. We mocked them on our show on a daily basis. He abandoned his base on every key issue, and ran clear away from President Trump.While Sturtevant was losing, Kirk Cox won by five points, even while his district went from being 63% GOP to 46.8% GOP (based on previous voting results). He worked hard, and did not abandon his core or support, including his strong support for the 2nd Amendment. Another example was Senator Amanda Chase. She was beat up relentlessly by the Richmond Times Dispatch and an outside pack called Fund Her Virginia PAC. In the end, she never backed away from her strong 2nd Amendment stance and she won by 11%.
In the end, the House lost 6 pro-rights members and the Senate lost 2. Gun owners will need to be engaged so your legislators know where you stand. VSSA will work our relationships with legislators with the intent of defeating legislation. For instance, Senator Chap Peterson has been someone we have been able to work with on concealed carry issues. He was a big reason that Terry McAuliffe overrode Mark Herring's attack on reciprocity. When necessary, we will adopt what has been used in states - the courts - when necessary.
We need all gun owners on board. If you have friends at your gun club that are not VSSA members, encourage them to join. This is an all hands on deck moment.
October brought more donations to candidates in Virginia's elections and more knocks on constituent doors from both sides of the gun lobby.
Democratic coffers — which have reached historic levels of reported fundraising — swelled with October donations from Everytown for Gun Safety, a lobby group focused on reducing gun violence.
Everytown contributed $938,238 to the Democratic party in 2019, according to The Virginia Public Access Project. Over $600,000 of that total was given in September.
Everytown outspent the National Rifle Association this year, which donated $273,000 to Republican candidates. In September, based on campaign finance reports, the NRA donated a little over $54,000.Bloomberg's mouthpiece The Trace is taking delight in sharing the report.
A gun reform group is vastly outspending the NRA in the run-up to Virginia's election. Everytown for Gun Safety contributed more than $600,000 to Democrats in September, while the NRA gave $54,000 to Republicans. Gun violence has emerged as a pivotal issue in the state’s upcoming legislative elections in the wake of the Virginia Beach mass shooting in May, which claimed 12 lives. “The politics of guns in Virginia has changed dramatically over the last few years,” Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington, told the Capital News Service. (Everytown's non-political arm provides grants to The Trace. But the fact is, money was never the strength of the NRA in elections, its strength was grassroots activity to turn out gun owners on elections day. NRA's Catherine Mortensen points out that is what they have been focused on this year as well.
The NRA has also been busy encouraging voter turnout this election. NRA grassroots activists knocked on 100,000 doors of targeted voters in recent months, according to Catherine Mortensen, NRA media liaison.
Also, the NRA rallied members at the State Capitol during the July special session that adjourned quickly with no action taken. I was at the Capitol for the Special Session and the line of gun owners stretched around the building and it got longer and the time it took to get in the building took over an hour.
Election day is November 5th. Make sure every gun owner you know votes!
The one area where the anti-gun movement can still damage us is in the wake of a mass killing. (When was the last time you heard an anti argue for gun control as a solution to street crime? It was probably twenty years ago).
I researched the issue, and released a book via Amazon, “Mass Killings: Myth, Reality, and Solutions.” It buries the argument for gun control based on mass killings. Background checks? Mass killers will pass them all. Waiting periods? They plan for months. Ban AR-15s? They rarely use them. Ban standard cap magazines? Almost all carry two or more guns. And in any event, the most deadly mass killing in the world (in China) involved explosives, the most deadly in the U.S. involved a can of gasoline.
What will work? Media self-restraint. The killers are mostly extreme cases of narcissistic personality disorder: they’re willing to kill and die if it makes them an instant (evil) celebrity. If the media begins to ignore the killers’ names and pictures (as they did with the attack on Rep. Steve Scalise), the killers will have no motive. Beyond that, we can arm teachers: civilians have a track good record for stopping mass killers (I found the cases).
Here is the book’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1718142242?At less than 60 pages and less than $6.00, you don't want to pass up this book.
Beto O'Rourke defended his call for a mandatory buyback program on logical grounds, arguing that candidates who conclude that military-inspired rifles are too dangerous for civilian sales should also support removing existing weapons from circulation. But he moderated his rhetoric, saying that "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15" does not mean door-to-door searches. Instead, O'Rourke would appeal to gun owners' sense of responsibility: "The expectation is that Americans will follow the law. I believe in this country. I believe in my fellow Americans. I believe that they will do the right thing." Blatant non-compliers, under his approach, would face unspecified "consequences from law enforcement."
Pete Buttigieg continued his criticism of O'Rourke's mandatory buyback pitch as a campaign ploy: "We cannot wait for purity tests. We have to just get something his done." The South Bend mayor favors pushing for bans on new assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines, universal background checks, and red flag laws, which he notably tied to reducing the suicides "which are not being talked about nearly enough as a huge part of the gun violence epidemic in this country."
Julián Castro explained his opposition to mandatory gun buybacks by touching on the problem of police shootings: “In the places that I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door."
Kamala Harris supports mandatory buybacks but pivoted to focus on her vow to use executive actions to enact new gun safety measures in the face of Congressional gridlock. We explored the limits of that approach here.
Joe Biden pitched his alternative to aggressive regulation of existing assault-style weapons: give owners the option of selling those guns to the government, or registering them.
Senator Elizabeth Warren also favors registration, which was successfully used to limit civilian ownership of fully automatic rifles under the National Firearms Act: "I want to use the method we used, for example, with machine guns. We registered them, we put in a huge penalty if you didn't register them, and a huge tax on them, and then let people turn them in, and it got machine guns out of the hands of people.
Senator Cory Booker used his time to highlight his support for mandatory gun licensing: “I'm living with a sense of urgency on this problem ... like millions of Americans, we live in communities where these weapons, where these gun shots are real every single day.” National Review's Jim Geraghty points out this morning that Beto's apparent "moderation" as The Trace put it was short lived as he went back to the "Hell Yes we're going to take them" on MSMBC this morning:
Beto: Okay, Maybe the Cops Will Have to Confiscate Your AR-15This morning, Beto O’Rourke told Joe Scarborough that if people refused to comply with his mandatory buyback of AR-15s, “in that case, I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm.” There are roughly 16 million AR-15s or similar models in private hands in the United States today.Here is that exchange:
.@BetoORourke on his gun confiscation plan: “Has to be consequences” for noncompliance; "in that case I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm" pic.twitter.com/U5PywOgw9D— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 16, 2019 National Review has more on Beto's MSNBC comments here including an exchange on CNN where Alisyn Camerota called him out and reminded him that his plan would not affect mass shooters when they don't follow the law to start with.
Here is that exchange:
This continued talk of gun bans and gun confiscation is starting to have a positive impact on gun sales.