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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Constitutional Carry Defeated in State Senate

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 13:21
Senate Bill 48, Constitutional Carry was defeated shortly after the State Senate started taking up legislation for the day.  Republican Senator. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. voted with all 19 Democrats (including the usually pro-rights John Edwards) to create a 20-20 tie.  The Lt. Governor voted no, breaking the tie to defeat the bill.
Categories: News

Gun Ban Lobby Urges Defeat of SB 610 - Vehicle to Restore Reciprocity/Recognition

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:48
Virginian's for Responsible Gun Laws sent out an email today urging their supporters to contact their state senators and urge them to vote again Senator Reeves' SB610, the Senate bill that is the vehicle to advance the deal to restore concealed carry permit reciprocity/recognition with 25 states.
It even makes reference to George Zimmerman to get their supporters to take action:
The deal includes reversing Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision to end concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states that fail to meet Virginia’s standards.  In fact, it broadens reciprocity to all 49 states in the country.  This would allow individuals from other states with weak or relatively no requirements for carrying a concealed weapon to legally do the same in Virginia.  That means convicted stalkers and abusers, habitual drunks, those with severe mental illness, and other dangerous individuals could carry weapons in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We don’t want the George Zimmermans of the world to be armed in our neighborhoods!  We want our Governor, who we elected to keep us safe, to stand up to the NRA and REJECT THIS BAD DEAL.SB 610 should be up for a final vote on Tuesday, February 2nd.  Please make sure your State Senator knows you support passage of this bill.
Categories: News

Washington Post Suggests Herring Not Happy With McAuliffe Deal

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 09:05
This morning the Washington Post posted this article on their web site titled "Five Things That (kid of) Explain McAuliffe's gun deal with Republicans."  To some extent, it continues the meme that McAuliffe has crafted that he got real concessions in return for overturning Herring's actions on out-of-state concealed carry permits.  A Post article Friday pretty much showed how hollow that claim is, describing how the deal almost fell through Friday morning when Delegate Todd Gilbert told a local Richmond morning show host that, given the deal that was detailed in the Post Thursday afternoon, he would take it any day.  According to the Post, any public comment was supposed to express that all sides gave and got something.  For Gilbert's transgression, the GOP had to agree to make possession of a firearm while a permanent protective order is in place a felony instead of a misdemeanor.  Even with that change, gun owners came out much better than the gun ban side.

Today's article goes on to explain why pro-rights activists are much happier about the deal than the gun ban lobby:
Does this deal expand gun rights?
Yes. The deal goes beyond restoring the reciprocity rights that Herring had planned to revoke, directing him to strike reciprocity deals with every state that offers them. If the legislature approves the deal, more out-of-state gun owners will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in Virginia, and Virginians will be able to carry concealed weapons in other parts of the country.

Does it also tighten restrictions on guns?
Yes, but in a more nuanced way.

The deal would make it a felony under Virginia law for someone subject to a two-year protective order to possess a gun. Possession for such a person is already illegal under federal law. But because local police, not federal agents, respond to domestic incidents, abusers could be more likely to face charges. And because possession in such cases would be a felony, anyone convicted would lose the right to possess a firearm for life, barring subsequent restoration of civil rights through the governor.

The deal also calls for putting a state trooper at every gun show to run background checks for private sellers who currently have no way to check buyers’ criminal histories. But those checks would remain optional. Then the Post gets to the question of where is Attorney General Herring in all of this?
It’s unclear, but he hardly seems happy about it.

The governor’s office was working on the deal to undo one of Herring’s biggest achievements for at least a week before it let him know what was in the works. Herring has not taken a public position on the deal and was notably absent from a news conference Friday, when McAuliffe and GOP leaders rolled out the deal. Herring’s spokesman said he had a prior commitment.

McAuliffe and his team have artfully credited Herring for bringing everyone to the table — suggesting that by yanking reciprocity, Herring so freaked out the gun-rights folks that they were willing to make a deal. But Herring’s absence on this has been conspicuous, particularly at Friday’s event, when McAuliffe asked the crowd to give the absent AG a round of applause. Awkward! For all the talk by McAuliffe and Herring's spokesman, it is clear Herring was thrown under the bus.  And, it appears from the Post article, he is not at all happy about it.

Update: Even Bloomberg's anti-gun mouthpiece The Trace notes today the deal was "in the works for a week before Herring was clued in."
Categories: News

No Wonder the Gun Ban Lobby is Upset by McAuliffe's Concealed Carry Deal With GOP

Sun, 01/31/2016 - 13:31
Late Friday afternoon, the Governor's office emailed out the press release detailing the specifics of the deal reached to restore recognition of concealed carry permits for 25 states that had been listed by

The deal encompasses the following bills:
Voluntary Background Checks at Firearms Shows: Delegate Lingamfelter (HB1386) and Senator Edwards (SB715)
  • Currently, only firearms dealers with a federal firearms license (FFL) can access the National Instant Checks System (NICS) to perform background checks on firearms purchases/transfers.
  • The Virginia State Police cannot access the system on behalf of private citizens selling or transferring firearms.
  • This bill would give the Virginia State Police statutory authority to perform background checks on behalf of private citizens at firearms shows, which is required by the FBI. 
  • Private sellers feel it is their civic duty to obtain the results of a background check prior to selling or transferring a firearm and they currently do not have the ability to access background checks for this purpose.  This would allow them access on voluntary cases.
  • This bill requires the Virginia State Police to be present at every firearms show in the Commonwealth to perform background checks on a voluntary basis.
This bill had already cleared Senate Courts of Justice on Thursday night and rereferred to Finance as it has a fiscal impact. Delegate Lingamfelter's bill is currently awaiting action in the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee

Protective orders: Delegate Murphy and Senator Howell (SB49)
  • Currently, a person subject to a protective order is prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm, but not from possessing a firearm.
  • This bill would prohibit a person subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm for the duration of the order. 
  • Permanent protective orders are issued by a judge and are served to the subject.  They can last up to 2 years and can be extended by the judge as necessary.
  • This bill allows the subject of the protective order 24 hours to transfer or sell the firearm to a non-prohibited person.  The subject of the protective order may possess or transport the firearm during that 24-hour period only for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm.
  • If a person violates this section, they could be guilty of a class 6 felony.
Senator Howell's bill is still awaiting action in Senate Courts of Justice

Reciprocity: Delegate Webert (HB1163) and Senator Reeves (SB610)
  • Reciprocity for all states with a concealed carry permitting process.
  • Prevents state-shopping. If a person has ever been revoked in Virginia, they cannot go to another state to get a permit and have that permit be recognized in Virginia.
  • Retains the 24-hour verification clause for law enforcement purposes which allows the VSP or other law enforcement agencies to verify the validity of a permit for an out-of-state person 24 hours a day when states that offer that process.  Permit-holders must carry another valid state-issued ID for the purpose of verification.
  • Governor McAuliffe will also extend the effective date for the planned implementation of the revocation of reciprocity agreements with other states to March 1st.
SB 610 is now before the full Senate and will be on final passage on Tuesday.  HB1163 has been heard by the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 and the subcommittee recommended reporting the bill.  It now awaits action by the full committee.

The reciprocity portion of this deal is the most important part.  This isn't just undoing Herring's action of unrecognizing the permits of 25 states, this is expanded recognition.   Delegate Webert was on Friday's NRANews' Cam and Company and explained how this will work.It should be noted that none of this is a completely done deal until the bills pass and are signed into law by the Governor.  VSSA was in consultation with one of the negotiating legislators before the deal was announced and the legislative team will continue to monitor developments.  For now however, not withstanding reports to the contrary from the media, gun owners came out on the better end of this deal.  Background checks are not "expanded" the way McAuliffe and the gun ban lobby would like.   They are simply voluntary.  He can spin this any way he wants but he backed down on reciprocity/recognition of out-of-state concealed carry permits and got little in return, which is why gun ban advocate Andy Parker and Everytown for Gun Safety are so upset with McAuliffe.
Categories: News

Herring Says His Actions on Reciprocity Led to Bipartisan Movement to Tighten Gun Laws

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 08:39
We've now heard from Attorney General Mark Herring on yesterday's announced deal between the Governor and the GOP that will overturn the AG's December concealed carry permit recognition actions. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, Herring says is action is what spurred the agreement:
Though the deal could be viewed as a setback for Herring — often accused by opponents of playing politics with his office, but praised by supporters as a champion of progressive causes — the attorney general said in a statement Thursday that he’s “encouraged to finally see a bipartisan conversation” on reducing gun violence.

“If finally enforcing our concealed handgun reciprocity laws helps break the legislative logjam on efforts to expand background checks and force domestic abusers to turn over their guns, then I’m glad we could provide some momentum and I hope this is just the first step in enacting sensible gun safety measures,” Herring said.

Coy said Herring’s decision on concealed carry permits, which some gun-rights activists feared would lead other states to stop recognizing Virginia permits, served as a catalyst for the agreement.

“Without his leadership, this deal would not have been possible,” Coy said.I'm not completely buying that this was all aimed at causing a stink just to have the changes ditched at the eleventh hour.  It is more likely that the Governor was headed a for a veto override of at least one bill that would overturn the order that had strong bipartisan support and he was looking for a face saving way out of a jam his AG put him in.  Let's look again at what the GOP gave up in return for overtuning Herring's order:
  1. The deal would require the Virginia State Police to be available at all gun shows to perform voluntary background checks for sellers who are not federally licensed.
  2. Anyone subject to a permanent protective order to surrender guns in their possession, a policy aimed at removing guns from domestic violence situations.
  3. Anyone who has had a Virginia permit revoked would not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia using another state’s permit.
That's it.  For all of Herring's bluster that this agreement "expands" background checks, nothing really changes.  It just makes it easier for any private individual who wants to use the state police to have a background check run on a perspective buyer at a gun show can now do it. ATF regulations already allow private sellers to use a dealer to facilitate background checks on private sales in states that use the National Instant Check System (NICS). Virginia uses the State Police and only dealers can use that system. So, all 25 states that Herring said did not measure up to Virginia concealed handgun permit requirements will still have their permits recognized, all for just slight tweaks in Virginia law.

And, for the little McAuliffe got, some in the gun ban lobby are not happy:
McAuliffe’s deal-making on guns didn’t sit well with some of his allies in the gun-control push.

Andy Parker, the father of slain Roanoke-area TV journalist Alison Parker, criticized the governor in a statement circulated by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group that poured in more than $2.4 million to support Democratic campaigns in last year’s legislative elections. McAuliffe’s deal-making on guns didn’t sit well with some of his allies in the gun-control push.

“Since my daughter, Alison, was killed on live television in August, I’ve stood by Governor McAuliffe’s side and applauded his leadership on gun safety — and he has been a friend and source of support for me and my family,” Parker said. “That is why if reports are true that he’ll put the gun lobby agenda ahead of the safety of Virginians, I am beyond disappointed.” Herring's spin not withstanding, it still looks like McAuliffe threw him under the bus because of all the political heat that came from the AG's move in December.
Categories: News

Thursday Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 Docket

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 08:04
Below are the bills that are on the docket for the Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 meeting.

HB128 Weapons; possession prohibited in state legislative buildings, penalty.
HB149 Concealed handgun permits; individuals on federal Terrorist Screening Database.
HB422 Firearms businesses; local regulation of dealers in proximity of schools.
HB423 Firearms; possession in school zone, penalty.
HB424 Firearms; possession in school zone; regulation by locality.
HB425 Firearms; prohibits person in Terrorist Screening Database to purchase, etc.
HB482 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
HB599 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
HB617 Concealed handgun permit; demonstration of competence.
HB632 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check, penalties.
HB658 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.
HB979 Firearms; buyers or transferee, criminal history record check delay.
HB980 Transfer of handguns; permit required, penalties.
HB981 Concealed handgun permit; eliminates proof of competence.
HB982 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children age four or younger, penalty.
HB983 Firearms magazines, certain; prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., prohibited, penalty.
HB1000 Online firearm sale; criminal history record information check, penalties.
HB1001 Terrorist Screening Database; check of Database required prior to purchasing firearm from dealer.
HB1025 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk, penalties.
HB1049 Firearms show; list of vendors or exhibitors submitted to State Police.
HB1055 Foster care homes; firearm storage on premises.
HB1106 Firearms; possession or transportation following certain convictions.
HB1109 Concealed handgun permit; application; disqualification.
HB1199 School resource officers; possession of firearms and other weapons; penalty.
HB1313 Concealed handguns; protective orders, surrender of firearms, penalty.
HB1339 Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings.

Results of the meeting will be posted as an update to this post after the meeting.  As always we will be posting live updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Update: The Committee actions are below:
HB128 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB149 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB422 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB423 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB424 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB425 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB482 Subcommittee recommends striking from docket HB599 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB617 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB632 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB979 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB980 Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely HB981 Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely HB982 Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely HB983 Subcommittee recommends striking from docket HB1000 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1001 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1025 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1049 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1055 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1106 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1109 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table HB1199 Subcommittee recommends striking from docket HB1313 Subcommittee recommends striking from docket HB1339 Subcommittee recommends striking from docket
Categories: News

Washington Post: McAuliffe to Restore Reciprocity in Deal with GOP

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 19:02
The article was posted at 1:02 on the Washington Post web site.  The deal includes the following:
The about-face is part of a deal that McAuliffe (D) struck with Republican leaders one month after Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) severed the right for gun owners in 25 states to have their concealed carry permits recognized in Virginia.

In exchange, Republicans will agree to some concessions, according to McAuliffe’s office and the office of House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

If an individual’s Virginia concealed-carry permit is revoked, a permit from another state will not be honored in Virginia — a practice known as “state shopping.”

State police must be present at all gun shows to administer background checks in private sales of guns on a voluntary basis.

Anyone subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offence will be prohibited from carrying a firearm for the two-year life of the order.The policy changes will come in the form of bipartisan legislation before the General Assembly.

VSSA's lobbyist got word that a deal may be in the works but this article seems to confirm the information and provides some details.  Be sure to check this blog for more information as it becomes available.

Hat tip to NRANews.com.

 Update 1: I spoke about the development with Cam Edwards of NRANews on Thusday afternoon.

Update 2:  Governor McAuliffe is holding a news conference at 1:00 PM Friday.  Below is the NBC 29 report on the agreement:

Categories: News

Urge Your State Senator to Support SB 610 Overturning Herring's Reciprocity Action

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 11:01
Wednesday night, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee advanced SB 610, Senator Bryce Reeve's bill that would overturn Attorney Mark Herring's late December announcement that Virginia would no longer recognize the concealed handgun permits of 25 states, which will likely impact Virginia concealed handgun permit holders ability to carry in those states when traveling.  SB 610 provides that a holder of a concealed handgun permit issued by any state who is at least 21 years of age is authorized to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia. The bill requires the Attorney General to enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with other states that require an agreement to be in place before the state will recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. Current law recognizes concealed handgun permits issued by states that (i) provide a 24-hour-a-day means of verification of the validity of the permits issued in that state and (ii) have requirements and qualifications that are adequate to prevent possession of a permit by persons who would be denied a permit in Virginia.

SB610 will be on final passage on Monday or Tuesday.  You can find out how to contact your state Senator by clicking here.
Categories: News

Wrap-up of Marathon Senate Courts of Justice Meeting

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 07:34
The Senate Courts of Justice Committee, probably trying to make up for a missed meeting on Monday as the state continued to dig out from under the weekend snow, held a marathon meeting yesterday afternoon that went well into the night.  The Committee disposed of a number of gun control bills.  Below is a list of bills defeated by the committee:

SB 96 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.
SB 97 Handguns; establishes limitation on purchases, penalty.
SB 138 Firearms retailers; local regulation, proximity to schools.
SB 156 Concealed handgun permit; family member who resides with applicant may submit statement to court.
SB 184 Firearms magazines, certain; prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., penalties.
SB 214 Firearms; Terrorist Screening Database check prior to purchase.
SB 220 Firearm transfers; penalties.
SB 259 Persons involuntarily admitted or ordered to outpatient treatment; purchase, etc., of ammunition.
SB 260 Concealed handgun permit; disqualifications, residential mental health or substance abuse treatment.
SB 263 Firearms; purchase by persons intending to commit act of terrorism, penalty.
SB 430 Firearms; Terrorist Screening Database check prior to purchase.
SB 546 Possession or transportation of firearms following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes. (This was continued until next year)
SB 694 Firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow; shooting in or across road or street, penalty.

The committee also took up several bill that attempt to overturn the December 22, 2015, announcement by Attorney General Mark Herring that the state would no longer recognize the concealed carry permits of 25 states.  Several bills were rolled into one and advanced to the full senate.  The committee also reported and referred to Finance Senator Emmett Hanger's SB 713 which takes away the power of making reciprocity and recognition agreements from the Attorney General and gives it to a Legislative Commission.  The bill heading to the full Senate is Senator Bryce Reeve's SB 610.  The bills rolled into SB610 were SB 616, SB 699 and SB 764.

The Committee also advanced several other bills:

SB 677, a bill that 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.  The bill was reported and referred to Finance.

SB 300, a bill that creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or 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. 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.   The bill was reported and referred to Finance.

SB 323, a bill that creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for (i) the physical possession of a firearm while in the residence of the alleged victim of a person who has been served with an emergency protective order issued as a result of an assault and battery against a family or household member or (ii) the transport of a firearm by such person while the order is in effect. The bill also provides that in order to be convicted of the existing Class 1 misdemeanor of purchasing or transporting a firearm when subject to a protective order, the person must have been served with the order.  The bill was amended and reported.

Another full docket is set for Thursday's 4:00pm Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1.  VSSA will be posting live results on Twitter, and Facebook and will have a wrap-up of the committee action on the Blog.

Categories: News

Legislative Update with NRANews

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 10:53
Virginia House and Senate Democrats have introduced bills to create "gun store-free zones," another effort to shut down Nova Firearms' new location in McLean, Virginia. I had the opportunity to talk about this and other legislative action during yesterday's NRANews Cam and Company.  Legislation continues to move forward to maintain concealed carry permit reciprocity with 25 states that was abruptly terminated by Attorney General Mark Herring. Originally aired on Cam & Co 01/26/16.


Categories: News

Two News Bills of Interest Introduced in State Senate

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 11:19
A couple of new bills dropped in the final days of last week that should be of interest to gun owners.  The first is Senator Emmett Hanger's response to Attorney General Herring's unilaterally invalidating agreements with 25 states to recognize concealed carry permits from those states.  The bill is SB713 and it establishes the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Advisory Commission (the Commission) as a legislative commission.  This bill would strip the Attorney General's authority to enter into reciprocity and recognition agreements with other states and put it in the hands of the legislature. Of the bills introduced to deal with this issue, SB713 is the only one that establishes a process and looks to be the best vehicle to undo Herring's actions.  The way the bill is drafted, it is possible that enough Democratic votes could be rounded up to override a likely veto from Governor McAuliffe.  The VSSA legislative team will be working this bill hard and will let members know when calls and emails are needed.

The other bill is Senator John Edwards' SB716.  This bill creates a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer but who conducts business as a merchant of firearms to sell a firearm without a background check conducted by a federally licensed dealer.  The bill exempts transfers to family members, personal friends, by inheritance, by operation of law, or for a temporary purpose.  This bill basically is what is current law under ATF regulations, so it appears to be an attempt to appear to be doing something without really doing anything.

Edwards also has a bill in that allows private sellers to voluntarily conduct background checks at gun shows by requiring the gun show to allow state police sufficient facilities to conduct the checks at the show.  Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has a companion bill in the House.
Categories: News

The Hill: Gun Groups Launch Blitz to Counter Obama

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 15:20
Over the weekend The Hill had this story on recent steps by NRA and other pro-rights groups to counter President Obama's recent actions to restrict our rights and explain to the public what is really meant by Obama and Clinton when they talk about Australia's response to mass shootings:
The offensive includes a series of videos, newspaper ads and email alerts from the NRA, the Gun Owners of America and the National Shooting Sports Foundation in an effort to swing public opinion against the measures.

The gun lobby hopes to rebut Obama, who cast the actions as reasonable steps to prevent senseless gun violence. They also hope to make the efforts politically unpalatable for any candidate that may back them in the 2016 election.Here is the new NRA ad:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) full page ad referenced by The Hill ran last week in the Washington Post.  NSSF called it a "response to President Obama’s ongoing attacks on the men and women of America’s firearms and ammunition industry."

Hat tip to Sebastian and Breitbart.
Categories: News

Senate Courts Committee Wrap-up

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 22:08
A number of bad gun bills were disposed of in Wednesday afternoon's Senate Courts of Justice Committee.  The list includes:

SB 95 Use of firearm in commission of crime; civil liability.
SB 185 Firearms, loaded; prohibits carrying certain firearms in public places, exception.
SB 186 Concealed handgun permits; proof of competence, training courses.
SB 199 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check, penalties.
SB 217 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children age six or younger, penalty.
SB 301 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
SB 302 Firearms; access by children; penalty.
SB 411 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties.
SB 520 Concealed handgun permit; demonstration of competence.

There were several pro-rights bills that advanced as well:

SB 48 Concealed handgun; person may carry concealed without permit if otherwise eligible to obtain permit.
SB 175 Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information.
SB 608 Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement.

Finally, bills advanced that, while not opposed by VSSA, allows people like judges to have special privileges that other citizens do not.  If it is fine for a judge to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, it should be just as fine for you or I to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Those bills include:

SB 198 Concealed weapons; adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by DOC.
SB 205 Handguns; purchase by certain officers.
SB 479 Law-enforcement officers, retired; authority to carry concealed handguns.
SB 544 Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt.
SB 615 Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers.

The bills that were reported out will be on the floor with final passage likely on Monday or Tuesday.

Update: You can see the Washington Post report on the committee meeting here.

Update 2: House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 met Thursday at 4:00 PM.  The following bills were taken up:

HB 12 Concealed handgun permits, out-of-state; photo identification - Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB1163-Webert) by voice vote
HB 1163 Concealed handguns; recognition of out-of-state permits. Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 1-N)
HB 90 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members at certain facilities - Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 1-N)
HB 119 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members - Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB90-Taylor) by voice vote
HB 206 Firearms, certain; identification requirement - Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 0-N)
HB 382 Firearms; control by state agencies, etc - Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N)
HB 593 General Services, Department of; regulation of firearms - Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB1096-Webert) by voice vote
HB 1096 Firearms; regulation by state entities. Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N)
HB 766 Concealed handguns; carrying with a valid protective order - Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 0-N)
HB 809 Firearms; selling, bartering, etc., to persons not lawfully present in United States, penalty- Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N)  Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
HB 810 Assault weapon; transfer of firearm, proof of citizenship - Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 0-N)
HB 1107 Concealed handgun permit; reciprocity, report - Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N)
HB 1201 Concealed handgun permits; reciprocity - Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 1-N)
HB 273 Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement Subcommittee recommends striking from docket by voice vote
HB 840 Possession of handguns by members of the Virginia National Guard  Subcommittee recommends striking from docket by voice vote
Categories: News

John Lott: No, 90% Don't Want More Background Checks

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 11:02
Dr. John Lott has this piece over on the political page of Ingraham Media's LifeZette that does a pretty good job of debunking the gun ban lobby's oft repeated "90% of the public support universal background checks."  He uses things like the Washington State referendum that imposed background checks on all private sales to refute the claim.  For instance, after outspending opponents 50 to 1, the referendum only passed by 59%.  Yes, that is a sizable majority but it is well shy of 90%.

As for all those polls that the gun ban lobby cite for their talking points:
But these polls really ask little more than whether people want to stop criminals from obtaining guns. They don’t ask whether voters favor actual legislation that would actually impose background checks on the private transfer of guns. It is a safe bet that if polls actually drilled down to who we would have to be doing background checks on in order to sell one of our privately owned firearms to a close friend, cousin, uncle, or neighbor, the poll results would not be anywhere close to 90%.
Categories: News

Longtime VSSA Member and Owner of Dawson's Small Arms Dies

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 10:18
VSSA got word over the weekend that Ronald "Ronnie" Ball passed away.  Ball was a long time VSSA member and owner of Dawson's Small Arms. He first joined VSSA in January of 1991.  Ball had a massive heart attack Tuesday night and died Friday night around 11:00 PM.

Thoughts and prayers from all at VSSA are with the family and friends of Mr. Ball.
Categories: News

Firearm Bills On Wednesday, Thursday Afternoon General Assembly Committee Dockets

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 10:07
General Assembly committees are beginning to move firearm related bills.  Senate Courts of Justice meets this afternoon and several bills are on the docket:

S.B. 48 Concealed handgun; person may carry concealed without permit if otherwise eligible to obtain permit.
S.B. 95 Use of firearm in commission of crime; civil liability.
S.B. 175 Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information.
S.B. 185 Firearms, loaded; prohibits carrying certain firearms in public places, exception.
S.B. 186 Concealed handgun permits; proof of competence, training courses.
S.B. 187 Transfer of firearms; permit required.
S.B. 198 Concealed weapons; adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by DOC.
S.B. 199 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check, penalties.
S.B. 217 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children age six or younger, penalty.
S.B. 220 Firearm transfers; penalties.
S.B. 300 Firearms, loaded; carrying in public while under influence.
S.B. 301 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
S.B. 302 Firearms; access by children; penalty.
S.B. 411 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties.
S.B. 479 Law-enforcement officers, retired; authority to carry concealed handguns.
S.B. 520 Concealed handgun permit; demonstration of competence.
S.B. 544 Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt.
S.B. 608 Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement.
S.B. 615 Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers.
S.B. 626 Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders.

In the House, Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcomittee #1 also has firearm bills on its Thursday Afternoon docket.
HB12 Concealed handgun permits, out-of-state; photo identification.
HB90 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members at certain facilities.
HB119 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members.
HB206 Firearms, certain; identification requirement.
HB273 Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement.
HB382 Firearms; control by state agencies, etc.
HB766 Concealed handguns; carrying with a valid protective order.
HB784 Firearms; possession by persons adjudicated delinquent, military service exception.
HB809 Firearms; selling, bartering, etc., to persons not lawfully present in United States, penalty.
HB810 Assault weapon; transfer of firearm, proof of citizenship.
HB840 Possession of handguns by members of the Virginia National Guard.
HB1096 Regulation of firearms by state entities.
HB1107 Concealed handgun permit reciprocity; report.
HB1163 Concealed handguns; recognition of out-of-state permits.
HB1201 Concealed handgun permits; reciprocity.

The Senate Courts of Justice docket is very long and it is possible not all bills listed will be heard but VSSA's legislative team will be at both meetings and will be giving live updates via Twitter and Facebook.
Categories: News

State Senator Dave Marsden Has a Message for Constituents that Support the Second Amendment

Sat, 01/16/2016 - 13:20
He hung this sign over his General Assembly Office earlier today.
Categories: News

Northern Virginia's Robinson High School Rifle Team Continues Success as Gun Control Debate Grows Louder

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 13:30
VSSA's regularly scheduled Board of Director's meeting was held Wednesday night and fellow Board member Tom Ciarula told the rest of the Board about this piece set to appear in the Washington Post on the Robinson High School Rifle Team.  It appeared on the Post web site shortly after 7:00 PM Thursday night.  It's a great article (even more so considering it is in the Post) on the team in the midst of a renewed focus on gun ban laws.
Hayley Carroll was in standing position, one eye closed and the other focused on the target 33 feet ahead. With the air rifle balanced by her left hand and pressing against her cheek, she moved her index finger over the trigger.

When she pulled it, there was no whiplash. No smoke and no blast. The sound more closely resembled a pen click than a gunshot, and to the untrained eye, it wasn’t clear where or whether the pellet pierced the paper.

But it didn’t take the binoculars provided by the onlooking coach to know that she hit the bull’s-eye. Carroll, all 5 feet 2 of her, is almost always on target. And on the occasions she did miss during a late December winter break practice at the indoor air rifle range at the Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the IZAAK Walton League, it wasn’t by much.

Carroll, a senior at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, is an atypical athlete in an atypical co-ed varsity sport. With 40-plus members, Robinson is the largest and most successful of the 11 teams competing in the Potomac High School Rifle League (PHSRL). Though considered a varsity team, Robinson functions as a club. It doesn’t receive money from the school. Its coaching staff consists of volunteers and equipment is paid for by parents.

Amid challenges both practical and of perception, the niche sport has changed to account for financial and political pressures. But as the national gun debate continues , local high school riflery participation remains as robust as it was 20 years ago. For these athletes, shooting is not political — it’s an enduring outlet for competition and individualism that attracts students uninterested or unable to play for traditional high school athletic teams. In addition to Robinson, other Fairfax County schools in the Public High School Rifle League (PHSFL) include W.T. Woodson, Lake Braddock, West Potomac and West Springfield. Arlington County also has three varsity teams in the PHSRL: Washington-Lee, Yorktown and Wakefield (which is a new team). Ciarula told the Board Wednesday night that the biggest challenge for Robinson and other schools participating in the sport is finding practice space.  Robinson uses the NRA Range.

The challenge of practice space hasn't hindered Robinson's team performance however.  The post notes:
Robinson has dominated the league, winning PHSRL region titles in 19 of the past 26 years. The team regularly sends its top shooters to Division I programs; this year’s team has a few NCAA prospects, including Carroll; Nicholas Kanellis, who plans to attend a service academy; and Zach Eisenberg, a lacrosse player-turned marksman who is considering North Carolina State.Read the entire article.  In the midst of gun ban politicians trying to restrict our rights, articles like this and others that appeared in the last year reporting the popularity of the shooting sports in schools shows we are succeeding in making gun ownership part of our everyday life.
Categories: News

Rigell Becomes Second Virginia GOP Congressman Announcing Retirement

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 15:36
The Hill reports that 2nd District Congressman Scott Rigell will not seek re-election:
“[T]he five-year point of service is, to me, a point of decision: has a meaningful difference been made and it's time go home, or is serving in Congress a career and the hope is to serve much longer?” Rigell asked.

“Given the two alternatives, my belief in term limits, and in reflecting upon what my team and I have accomplished, I am at peace about coming home.” Also retiring is 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt.  While the 5th District will likely be more difficult for Democrats to pick up, the 2nd District is considered competitive and sets up a possible pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
Categories: News

Obenshain Chairs Important Courts of Justice Committee

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 07:53
The opening day of the 2016 Session of the General Assembly brought good news for gun owners as committee assignments were announced.  The all important Senate Courts of Justice Committee, where all gun related bills go for a vote, will be chaired by the very pro-rights Senator Mark Obenshain.  In the past, the committee has been chaired by State Senator Tommy Norment who was sometimes a friend, sometimes not.  Norment did assist in getting the repeal of handgun rationing (one gun-a-month) through Senate Courts of Justice, even though he voted against repeal on the floor.

Other pro-rights members of the committee include:  State Senator John Edwards (D), Senator Ryan McDougle (R), Senator Richard Stuart (R), Senator Bill Stanley (R), State Senator Bryce Reeves (R), State Senator Tom Garrett (R), State Senator Ben Chafin (R), and State Senator Glen Sturtevant (R).

In addition to the above stalwart supporters of our Second Amendment rights, we can usually count on State Senator Norment (R) and State Senator Creigh Deeds (D) to vote with us except on rare occasions.  In the case of Deeds, he has sided with the anti-rights crowd on requiring background checks on private sales at guns shows in the past.  The anti-rights crowd only has four solid votes on the committee and would only have at most six if either one of both of the two less reliable votes (Norment or Deeds) sides with them.

Elections have consequences and defeating McAuliffe and Bloomberg in the last election means we have a pro-rights Courts of Justice committee chaired by a strong supporter of our rights.
Categories: News