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Founded in 1938. Over 75 Years of Protecting Virginia's Gun Rights and the Shooting Sports.
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Legislative Update

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 12:13
As the General Assembly races toward its final two weeks, bills continue to be heard in committee and heard on the floor.  Most importantly, both the House and the Senate have sent to Governor McAuliffe the legislation tied to the deal to overturn Mark Herring's December action ending concealed carry permit recognition with 25 states.  The bills included in that deal that are now on the Governor's desk is:

House Bill 1163 and Senate Bill 610, patroned by Delegate Michael Webert (R-18) and state Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17), would recognize all valid out-of-state concealed carry permits.  This legislation would also require the Virginia State Police to enter into reciprocal agreements with certain states so they will recognize Virginia’s concealed carry permit.

House Bill 1386 and Senate Bill 715, patroned by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R-31) and state Senator John Edwards (D-21), would require the Virginia State Police to attend gun shows in the Commonwealth and provide voluntary background checks for private transfers between attendees.  These voluntary background checks act as an important safeguard for sellers because they provide civil liability protection.

House Bill 1391 and Senate Bill 49, patroned by Delegate Kathleen Murphy (D-34) and state Senator Janet Howell (D-32), would make it unlawful for any person who is subject to a domestic violence permanent protective order to possess any firearm while the order is in effect.

The Governor has until February 29th to act on the legislation.  He has indicated he will sign the bills.

In other action of interest to gun owners, last night, after a delay due to a tornado warning, Senate Courts of Justice took action on the following bills:

HB90 Possession of handguns by members of the Virginia National Guard Allows a member of the Virginia National Guard to possess a concealed handgun at National Guard facilities and facilities under contract with the National Guard if such member has a valid concealed handgun permit.- Amended and reported to full Senate

HB206 Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement. Allows Virginia residents to purchase a firearm by presenting only one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. The bill provides that a member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia or his Leave and Earnings Statement. Current law requires photo identification and another document that establishes residency, such as a lease or utility bill, and that includes an address that matches the photo identification.

HB382 Control of firearms by state agencies; rights of employees. Prohibits state agencies within the executive branch other than the Virginia Port Authority from adopting any regulation or workplace rule preventing officers or employees of such agencies from storing a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in a locked private motor vehicle at their workplace. The bill also provides that any such regulation or rule adopted prior to July 1, 2016, is invalid.  Reported to full Senate

HB560 Brandishing a firearm; intent; penalty. Requires that a person pointing, holding, or brandishing a firearm or similar weapons must have the intent to induce fear in the mind of another or know or reasonably should know that his conduct would induce such fear in order to be convicted of the crime of brandishing. Currently, the perpetrator's intent is not an element of the offense. Reported to full Senate

HB768 Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course. Provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services may distribute funds from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund to reimburse an entity that offers a firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department free of charge to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, and family abuse. The bill also requires that, upon the issuance of a protective order, the petitioner for the order be provided with a list of such approved courses or classes.  Reported and rereferred to Finance

HB783 Brandishing a firearm; law-enforcement officer; penalty. Provides for a six-month mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction of a person for pointing, holding, or brandishing a firearm or similar weapon at someone who the person knows or has reason to know is a law-enforcement officer in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another. Passed by Indefinately (failed to report).

HB809 Sale of firearms; persons not lawfully present in United States; penalty. Provides that the crime of selling, bartering, giving, or furnishing or possessing with the intent to sell, barter, give, or furnish a firearm to a person knowing that such person is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm because he is not lawfully present in the United States applies to assault firearms.  Reported and rereferred to Finance

HB810 Transfer of assault weapon; proof of citizenship. Makes consistent the type of identification and other documentation that a purchaser of a firearm must present when purchasing any type of firearm from a licensed dealer by removing the additional requirement for the purchase of an assault weapon that a person who purchases such a weapon must present proof of citizenship. The bill does not alter the provisions prohibiting the sale of assault firearms to noncitizens who have not been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.  Reported to the full Senate

HB1087 Violation of protective order; firearm or other deadly weapon; penalty. Provides that any person who violates any provision of certain protective orders while armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon is guilty of a Class 6 felony.  Reported from Senate Courts and rereferred to Finance

HB1096 Regulation of firearms by state entities. Prohibits any state entity from adopting or enforcing any rule, regulation, policy, or administrative action governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage, or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combinations thereof unless expressly authorized by statute. The bill invalidates any such rule, regulation, policy, or administrative action adopted by a state entity prior to July 1, 2016. The bill does not prohibit a law-enforcement officer from acting within the scope of his duties, nor does it apply to the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of State Police, Virginia National Guard, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department of Social Services, Virginia Port Authority, Officer of the State Inspector General, or any institution of higher education. The bill allows entities to adopt or enforce rules or regulations necessary for compliance with the Fire Prevention Code or necessary for the operation of Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. The bill expressly authorizes the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to create certain regulations governing the possession, carrying, transportation, and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combinations thereof. This bill incorporates HB 593.  - Amended and reported to the full Senate

HB1234 School security officers; carrying a firearm. Authorizes a school security officer to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties if he is a retired law-enforcement officer and the local school board grants him the authority to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties. - Amended and reported to the full Senate

House bills that passed the Senate this week and:

HB51 Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers
HB 332 Provides that a judge or retired judge of the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit. (The Senate amended the bill and it is now back in the House to approve the amendment)

HB766 Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued.

HB784 Possession of firearms by persons adjudicated delinquent; military service exception. Provides that individuals who have previous adjudications of delinquency and have either completed a term of enlistment of no less than one year in the Armed Forces of the United States or received an honorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States are not disqualified from obtaining a concealed handgun permit and may possess or transport any firearm or ammunition for a firearm, any stun weapon, or any explosive material. (Amended in Senate and is now in House to approve or reject)

Senate bills passed by the House this week are:

SB198 Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions. Adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by the Department of Corrections pursuant to subdivision 11 of § 53.1-10 retired from the Department of Corrections to listed individuals who may carry a concealed handgun, provided that he carries written proof of the need to carry.

SB205 Purchase of handguns by certain officers. Adds employees of the Department of Corrections with internal investigations authority to the list of law-enforcement officers who may purchase their service handguns for $1.00.

SB479 Retired law-enforcement officers; concealed handguns. Clarifies provisions relating to the authority of retired law-enforcement officers, special agents of the State Corporation Commission and Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, members of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and investigators of the security division of the Virginia Lottery to carry concealed handguns.

SB544 Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt. (House passed substitute and must be approved by Senate)

You can check the progress of all legislation on the VSSA web site on the VSSA Legislative Tracking Form.
Categories: News

Violence Policy Center: Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby are Targeting Your Children

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:51
Late last week the Violence Policy Center, one of the more radical gun ban lobby groups, released a report titled “Start Them Young” — How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby Are Targeting Your Children.  The report claims to show ongoing efforts by the firearms industry and pro-rights lobbyists to market guns to grade-school age children for “financial and political gain.”  And just how do firearm manufacturers do this?  Here as some of the ways sighted in the report:
  • Creating and marketing guns specifically to children, including the use of mascots like Crickett rifle’s “Davey Crickett;”
  • Promoting 22 caliber assault rifles with plastic incorporated into the design for “less recoil and lighter weight;”
  • Marketing guns in “child-friendly colors,” including pink, purple, orange, red, yellow and blue;
  • Encouraging parents to introduce firearms to their children “at the earliest possible age;”
  • Producing a number of “marketing research publications” that urge manufacturers and dealers to “target programs toward youth 12 years old and younger;”
  • And including children and teens in “3-Gun competitions,” where shooters “use three types of firearms on a timed circuit.”
Being the parent of two children who love to go shooting, I didn't need any help from the "industry" to get them interested in the sport.  Both of them started out with a Daisy Red Ryder and my oldest daughter progressed to hunting rifles.  When a friend gave me one of those "22 caliber assault rifles" as a Christmas present last year, my oldest daughter immediately gravitated to it, not because the "gun lobby" marketed it to her, but because she could adjust the stock to fit her perfectly and she could go through a box of ammo in little to no time.
 Is the industry making products that can be used by youth?  Of course, they'ed be foolish not to.  But the fact that kids are taking up the sport of shooting probably has more to do with their parents choices, or possibly an organization like the YMCA that includes marksmanship in the local summer camp in the Richmond area, than any marketing ploy by manufacturers or the "gun lobby."

Hat tip to Guns.com.
Categories: News

Western Virginia Sports Show This Weekend

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:14
The Western Virginia Sports Show will be held at the Augusta Expo Center this weekend (Feb. 26, 27, and 28) in Fishersville, Virginia.
The show is celebrating it's 29th year of providing this unique family event. The show features more outdoor celebrities, displays and vendor categories than any other show in the region. Show hours are:


Friday, Feb. 26 .................................... Noon - 9:00 PM
Saturday, Feb. 27 ................................. 10 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday, Feb. 28 ....................................12 PM - 5:30 PM



Categories: News

Bills in Concealed Carry Deal Head to McAuliffe

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 10:52
Today the House and Senate passed all of the bills that make up the compromise to overturn Attorney General Mark Herring's December action eliminating recognition agreements with 25 states. They are now headed to Governor McAuliffe for his signature.  The Governor has until February 29th to act on the legislation. He has indicated he will sign the bills. 
VSSA's legislative team will  continue to monitor the progress of the bills and let members know when they have been signed.
Categories: News

Alan Gura: Heller Could Be Gone Sooner Rather Than Later

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 09:32
I finally got around to listening to the podcast of Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio program from February 14 and the first guest on the show was Alan Gura, the attorney who argued the Heller and McDonald cases before the Supreme Court.  Gura, as have many, talked about Scalia's impact on the Court.  When discussing the Heller opinion, Gura mentioned that many lower courts are actually basing their rulings on the minority opinion of Justice Breyer, giving the issue "intermediate scrutiny" when determining whether a law violates the Second Amendment.   Then he gave gun owners the best reason to get involved in this year's election.  He said the Second Amendment is obviously on the ballot this election and we have known for a while this was going to be the case given the ages of the justices currently on the Supreme Court.  He predicted if the court shifts to a 5-4 liberal make up Heller will be gone.  The interview is about 17 minutes and is well worth the time to listen.

Categories: News

Legislative Update for February 18

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 08:56
Wednesday was Crossover which marks the halfway point of the General Assembly.  There are no bad bills remaining though a number of good bills died too.  At the start of the session VSSA's goal was to address the concealed carry reciprocity issue and the legislative team believes the agreement worked out with the Governor is a big win for gun owners because it actually expands reciprocity while not mandating background checks on private sales at gun shows but provides a mechanism for gun owners who want to use the option of a background check on a prospective buyer.  The legislative team will continue to monitor the progress to make sure nothing changes as the gun ban lobby is still trying to push McAuliffe to make changes to the agreement

The Senate versions of the three bills making up the agreement between Governor Terry McAuliffe and GOP leadership to overturn AG Mark Herring's December action are all before the full House of Delegates and will likely win final approval in Friday.  The House versions were reported out of Senate Courts on Wednesday and should also win final approval by Friday.
You can see the complete list of bills that died on the VSSA Legislative Tracking Form.

Here are a list of the bills still alive awaiting action by either the House or Senate:
HB 51: Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers.
HB 83: Federal firearms laws; enforcement.
HB 90: Possession of handguns by members of the Virginia National Guard.
HB 206: Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement.
HB 332: Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt.
HB 382:Control of firearms by state agencies; rights of employees.
HB 560: Brandishing a firearm; intent; penalty.
HB 766: Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders.
HB 768: Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course.
HB 783: Brandishing a firearm; law-enforcement officer; penalty.
HB 784: Possession of firearms by persons adjudicated delinquent; military service exception.
HB 809: Sale of firearms; persons not lawfully present in United States; penalty.
HB 810: Transfer of assault weapon; proof of citizenship.
HB 1087: Violation of protective order; possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon; penalty.
HB 1096: Regulation of firearms by state entities.
HB 1163: Recognition of out-of-state concealed handgun permits. 
HB 1234: School security officers; carrying a firearm.
HB 1281: Carrying concealed weapons; exception for certain retired officers.
HB 1386: Firearms shows; voluntary background checks; penalties.
HB1391: Protective orders; possession of firearms.
SB 49: Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty.
SB 175: Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information.
SB 178: Concealed handgun permits; reciprocity.
SB 187: Transfer of firearms; permit required.
SB 198: Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions.
SB 205: Purchase of handguns by certain officers.
SB 323: Possession or transportation of firearms; protective orders; penalty.
SB 479: Retired law-enforcement officers; concealed handguns.
SB 544: Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt.
SB 608: Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement.
SB 610: Recognition of out-of-state concealed handgun permits.
SB 615: Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers.
SB 626: Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders.
SB 677: Fees for concealed handgun permits. 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.
SB 713: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Advisory Commission.
SB 715: Firearms shows; voluntary background checks; penaltiesWith fewer bills they will move quickly as the session winds down
Categories: News

Registration Now Open for 18th Annual VSSA's Crush'n Clays

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 12:13
Registration is now open for the VSSA's 18th Annual Crush'n Clays.  Don't miss the chance to be part of the nation's longest running clay target charity event.  Over the last 17 years, VSSA's Crush'n Clays has raised over $300,000 to support the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the largest pediatric research facility in America established solely for the study of childhood cancer and other castastrophic diseases including pediatric AIDS and sickle cell anemia. Entries may now be made online using a credit card or download an entry form to pay by check.   Hurry, this event has sold out the last four years.



Categories: News

Dave Kopel on the Future of the Second Amendment After Death of Scalia

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 11:50
Yesterday, Dave Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute, spoke with Cam Edwards of NRANews' Cam and Company and discussed the impact of the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court and our right to keep and bear arms.

Scalia wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller,  acknowledging the individual right to keep and bear arms. Besides the essential gun rights decision in Heller and McDonald, Kopel said that Scalia brought two important things to the law: originalism, the Constitution’s meaning at the time of its enactment, and textualism, looking at the words on the paper, not some other outside intent. Kopel told Cam that if President Obama or his successor are able to change the balance of the court, Heller is likely to be overturned or so diminished that it will only allow a handgun in the home.As if the direction of the Supreme Court wasn't already going to be a focus of this year's election with so many justices in their upper 70's or older, Scalia's death makes it even more so.  National Review's Jim Geraghty shares some sobering numbers via this morning's Morning Jolt on the subject:
Strangely, the percentage of people who said they had “never heard of” Antonin Scalia increased from 29 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2005. Was that the Greatest Generation, who read newspapers, dying off and the Millennials, who never look up from their cell phones, entering the polling sample?

This is a free country, and you’re free to not care, and free to not pay any attention to, say, one-third and arguably our most powerful branch of government. I understand the sense that it would be a better world if we could spend more time thinking less about what government is doing about more pleasant things -- food, sports, movies, home furnishings, how awesome the finale of Gravity Falls was, etc.

But if you choose to pay no attention to these things, and refuse to read anything about them, watch anything about them, or learn anything about them . . . then I’d rather you left the voting to those of us who do care.

(This is also a key data point for those who think the next Supreme Court justice will be a pivotal issue in the 2016 elections. This matters to the bases of each party, but not the less-engaged, less-interested voters.)It is our task over the next 8 months to make even the most apolitical gun owner understand what this election means to their right to buy and own firearms.
Categories: News

Virginia Gun Collectors Association Show March 12-13

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 12:16

The Virginia Gun Collectors Association (V.G.C.A.) will hold their first show of 2016 on March 12-13 at the Prince William County Fairground. Show hours are Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 9am - 4pm.

V.G.C.A. emphasizes their focus on firearms and firearm related equipment at their shows. They are proud to maintain a "no junk" policy and a positive collectors atmosphere. What you will find at the show, are knowledgeable vendors with quality firearms, as well as ammunition and shooting supplies. V.G.C.A. provides a firearms evaluation table where experienced collectors will provide you with an estimate on your firearm's value and help you learn about your current collection pieces.

Sales tables cost $65.00 each and Display tables are FREE. No sales may be conducted from Display tables. If you have any special needs, questions about available tables or show rules, please contact Rick Nahas, the Show Administrator, at 571-215-8761 or via email at [email protected]

V.G.C.A. is excited about the show prospects for the first show of  2016, as recent gun shows have drawn large crowds. The V.G.C.A. Show has a free firearms appraisal table that was instituted at the show two years ago and has proven very popular, contributing to increased show attendance. Through monetary awards V.G.C.A. also encourages educational displays (Display tables) that promote Gun Collecting and Firearm History. This is just one feature that sets the show apart from others in the area. V.G.C.A. provides 24 hour security and enforces strict safety rules to ensure the well being of all participants. There is ample free parking, and food service for breakfast and lunch is available. There are local motels in Manassas for those who are visiting from out of town.

You do not need to be a member of V.G.C.A. to reserve a table at the show. If you are interested in reserving one or more tables, please return a completed table application (click here for an application in convenient .pdf format) along with a check for the proper amount made out to V.G.C.A. You may request tables to be held for you over the phone but reservations cannot be confirmed until V.G.C.A. receives your signed application and check.

The V.G.C.A. looks forward to seeing you at the show and pledge their support for a great weekend among fellow firearm enthusiasts, shooters and collectors.
Categories: News

VSSA Legislative Update

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:23
As we approach the halfway point of the 2016 Virginia General Assembly, some very important legislation has now passed both houses of the legislature.  In the House of Delegates on Wednesday, the bills that are the vehicle for moving the concealed carry reciprocity/recognition agreement between Governor Terry McAuliffe and the GOP leadership cleared the chamber.  The Senate has also moved all three of its bills tied to the deal. The agreement restores and expands concealed carry reciprocity, requires State Police to be available for voluntary background checks at gun shows, and prohibits individuals under permanent domestic violence protective orders from possessing a firearm under state law.  More importantly, the House bill (HB1163) that is the mechanism for restoring and expanding reciprocity takes the responsibility of approving agreements out of the hands of the Attorney General and puts it in the hands of the State Police.  The Senate bills will be conformed to the House versions when they are taken up by the House.

House Bill 1163, carried by Delegate Michael Webert (R-Fauquier), establishes reciprocity with any state that has a concealed carry permit program.  The legislation also prevents individuals who have had a Virginia permit revoked from having an out-of-state permit recognized in Virginia. The Superintendent of the Virginia State Police has 60 days after the bill becomes effective to enter into reciprocity agreements. House Bill 1163 passed the House 72 to 26.

House Bill 1386, carried by House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee Chairman Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), requires the Virginia State Police to be available at every gun show to administer voluntary background checks for private sales. The House Appropriations Committee has committed to fully funding this bill in the House budget.  House Bill 1386 passed 96 to 3.

Finally, House Bill 1391, carried by Delegate Murphy (D-Fairfax), prohibits individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearms.  This legislation is limited to permanent protective orders granted by judges after a full hearing with the opportunity for representation by counsel, which ensures due process protections for all parties involved.  House Bill 1391 passed 96 to 3.

In other legislative action this week,  HB 1096, Delegate Webet’s bill to overturn McAuliffe's state-agency gun ban passed its second reading and will be voted on today on the House Floor.  Senate Bill 626 passed in the Virginia Senate with bipartisan support on a 32-8 vote. Patroned by state Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27), SB 626 would allow the petitioner of a protective order to temporarily conceal carry without a permit, thus affording them immediate self-defense options while waiting for their carry permit to be approved. A companion bill, House Bill 766, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15), had already passed the House and is now awaiting action in the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.  SB 677, Senator Chase’s bill to make the $10 fee that is charged by a Circuit Court Clerk for processing a concealed handgun permit optional.  The bill was reported from the Finance committee and heads to the Senate Floor.

Finally, Senator Tom Garrett's SB178 was reported out of Senate Courts on Wednesday.  SB178 is another bill that would overturn Attorney General Herring's unilateral action to end recognition of concealed carry permits issued by 25 states.  The difference between Senator Garrett's bill and the bills that are part of the McAuliffe Agreement (SB610/HB1163) is SB178 would make the General Assembly, in consultation with the AG's office the entity to determine whether another state's permit requirements meet the standards set by Virginia for recognition of those permits. SB178 now heads to the full Senate.

Regular updates throughout the week are posted on this blog and the VSSA Twitter and Facebook feeds.  The weekly updates are included in the Friday eBullet.  Email alerts are only sent when your action is needed on specific legislation so be sure to check this blog and the VSSA web site regularly for the latest news on the progress of legislation.
Categories: News

Prince Willam County Board Proposal to Lower CHP Application Fee Dies on Tie Vote

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:59
Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman, Corey Stewart had a proposal before the Board last night that would have lowered the fee for a concealed handgun permit to $10.  That is the fee that the Circuit Court Clerk is required to charge under current law.  The measure died on a tie vote.

It should be noted that Senator Amanda Chase has a bill in the State Senate to make the $10 Circuit Court fee optional.  That bill advanced in Senate Finance on Wednesday and is headed to the Senate Floor.
Categories: News

McAuliffe on Receiving End of New Bloomberg Newspaper Ad

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 08:07
The Washington Post reports this afternoon that the battle between Governor Terry McAuliffe and Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety escalated today to include a full-page newspaper ad in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
The ad quotes several of the governor’s statements about the gun deal, declaring each one “false” and providing a detailed analysis to back up that conclusion. Words that Everytown takes exception to are marked in red ink, as a teacher might when grading a test.

McAuliffe dismissed the criticism during an appearance in Northern Virginia, saying “everybody supports [the gun deal] except one gun-safety group out of New York City.”McAuliffe's response about support among gun ban groups doesn't square with what other groups told the Post.
“I’m so angry at the governor for his comments,” said Jennifer Herrera, the volunteer leader of the state’s Moms affiliate. “We are Virginians and we are the people doing the work. So to hear him repeat this line that it’s this outside group — we have met you. You’ve stood with our survivors. You’ve been at our events.”It could be a long second half of the General Assembly as it approaches the halfway mark on February 16th.  The group seems intent on making McAuliffe's life miserable.

Update: The Richmond Times Dispatch has a much stronger article that was posted on its web site Tuesday evening that points out the Everytown exagerations of McAuliffe's statements used in the ad.

Categories: News

Webert's HB1163 Greatly Improves Reciprocity Agreement Overturning Herring Action

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 14:51
Last Friday, VSSA posted on Twitter that the legislative team had serious concerns about changes to the bills (SB610 and HB 1163) that are the vehicles for overturning Attorney General Herring's unilateral action on recognition of out of state permits:

Breaking: Yesterday's floor changes to SB610 bill overturning Herring concealed carry actions may render bill useless.— VSSA (@VSSA) February 5, 2016
Section 2 of SB610 was added yesterday. It basically voids rest of the bill if AG does not enter into new agreements https://t.co/Foh1gzQCeO— VSSA (@VSSA) February 5, 2016 The specific language stated:
That within 60 days of the effective date of this act, the Attorney General shall enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition of concealed handgun permits or licenses with states where such agreements were in existence as of December 1, 2015, as required by the provisions of this act; otherwise the provisions of this act shall not become effective.Also on Friday, HB1163 was amended in committee to mirror SB610 with the bad changes at the end of the bill. The VSSA legislative team went to work on Friday working with patrons and alerting friends to the problems in Friday's changes.  This work continued into Monday.

 Today, a floor substitute to HB1163 was offered by the patron and was agreed to on the floor and engrossed setting up final passage tomorrow.  The floor substitute removes the enactment clause that was added on Friday and makes the State Police the entity to enter into reciprocity/recognition agreements and the Attorney General will only be involved if another state requires the signature of that office on the agreement.

VSSA will continue to monitor these bills as they continue to move through the process.  The House will likely amend SB610 to mirror HB1163.  The Senate will then have to agree to the changes.

Update:  The enactment clause was also in HB1391, the vehicle for the protective orders part of the McAuliffe deal and HB1386, the bill for the voluntary background check portion of the deal.  It appears to be someone's way to make sure the Governor did not go back on his word.  Unfortunately, while the enactment clause could have been appropriate in the case of the protective order and voluntary background check portions of the agreement, it would have completely destroyed the reciprocity part of the agreement.
Categories: News

Washington Post: McAuliffe Spokesman Lashes Out at Bloomberg Group

Sun, 02/07/2016 - 14:04
It appears Governor Terry McAuliffe is getting tired of getting beaten up by Bloomberg's gun ban group Everytown for Gun Safety.  This from the Washington Post:
Brian Coy spoke dismissively of Everytown for Gun Safety, which is associated with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, as a “group from New York” that does not have the interests of Virginians at heart.

“One group from New York and its affiliates are upset, but that does not represent Virginia views on this,” Coy said. “We had no interaction with Everytown, the national folks, until after this deal became public. We wouldn’t have even known who to call.”The Post reminded Coy that Bloomberg came through when McAuliffe wanted money to buy the Virginia Senate during last year's election but, according to the Post, Coy did not back down from his comments:
“He talked to Howard Wolfson. Wolfson’s a political adviser to Bloomberg,” Coy said.” I don’t think he’s a policy advocate from this group. We’ve never heard from anybody at the staff level until now, after the deal has been finalized.”The Post noted that Coy's comments were made to the Post two days after Everytown unleashed a social media campaign against McAuliffe for agreeing to a deal with GOP leadership to overturn Attorney General Mark Herring's unilateral action to break concealed carry recognition agreements with 25 states.

For Everytown's part, they turned to Andy Parker, a gun ban advocate whose daughter was killed on live TV by a disgruntled former colleague in August, to counter Coy:
“Governor McAuliffe can’t have it both ways,” Parker said. “He stood side-by-side with me and other Virginia survivors from the Everytown Survivor Network and worked closely with Everytown on the Whatever It Takes rally at the U.S. Capitol in September. I am his constituent and friend — I would have happily taken his call and pointed him to the right policy experts before he struck this dangerous deal with the gun lobby.”Everytown also released emails to show just how much McAuliffe's office and the group had been in contact over 18 months.

McAuliffe's office also claimed they let Lori Haas, a Virginia gun ban advocate whose daughter was injured during the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 was made aware of the deal, a claim that Haas disputes.  She told the Post that she was only made aware of it less than 48 hours before the Post broke the story.

This just shows that McAuliffe is not above throwing all of his friends under the bus if he thinks it benefits him.  If he is willing to do this to his friends, we should remember he can still do worse to us if it suits his agenda.

Hat tip to the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
Categories: News

VSSA Legislative Update

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 09:31
With a number of the bad gun bills disposed up last week, the VSSA lobbying team has been watching as some good bills have made it to the floor of the House and Senate.  The following bills have passed the House and the Senate:

HB 51 - Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers. Allows officers of certain agencies to purchase, at a fair market price and with approval of the agency head, weapons other than handguns that are issued for personal use of an officer so long as the weapon is a type and configuration that can be purchased at a regular hardware or sporting goods store by a private citizen without restrictions other than the instant background check. Current law allows this type of purchase only for the Department of State Police.

HB206 - Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement. Allows Virginia residents to purchase a firearm by presenting only one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. The bill provides that a member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia. Current law requires photo identification and another document that establishes residency, such as a lease or utility bill, and that includes an address that matches the photo identification.

HB 332 - Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt. Provides that a judge or retired judge of the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit.

HB766 - Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty.

HB810 - Transfer of assault weapon; proof of citizenship. Makes consistent the type of identification and other documentation that a purchaser of a firearm must present when purchasing any type of firearm from a licensed dealer by removing the additional requirement for the purchase of an assault weapon that a person who purchases such a weapon must present proof of citizenship. The bill does not alter the provisions prohibiting the sale of assault firearms to noncitizens who have not been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

HB1281 - Carrying concealed weapons; exception for certain retired officers. Decreases from 15 to 10 the number of years of service required for certain retired officers to be exempt from the prohibition on carrying a concealed weapon.

Bills that have passed the State Senate are:

SB175 - Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information. Provides that information on concealed handgun permittees in the Virginia Criminal Information Network shall not be shared with law enforcement in states that do not have reciprocity agreements with Virginia for the carrying of concealed handguns.

SB198 - Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions. Adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by the Department of Corrections pursuant to subdivision 11 of § 53.1-10 retired from the Department of Corrections to listed individuals who may carry a concealed handgun, provided that he carries written proof of the need to carry.

SB205 - Purchase of handguns by certain officers. Adds employees of the Department of Corrections with internal investigations authority to the list of retired law-enforcement officers who may purchase their service handguns for $1.00.

SB544 - Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt. Provides that a judge or retired judge of the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit.

SB608 - Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement. Replaces current requirements that law-enforcement agencies report information regarding confiscated firearms to the Department of State Police with a requirement that information be reported to a firearms tracing system maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bill requires law-enforcement agencies to return stolen firearms to the rightful owner unless the person is prohibited from possessing the firearm or it is needed in a criminal prosecution.

SB615 - Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers. Allows officers of certain agencies to purchase, at a fair market price and with approval of the agency head, weapons other than handguns that are issued for personal use of an officer so long as the weapon is a type and configuration that can be purchased at a regular hardware or sporting goods store by a private citizen without restrictions other than the instant background check. Current law allows this type of purchase only for the Department of State Police.

The VSSA lobbying team is watching very closely SB610, Senator Reeves' bill to restore and expand concealed carry reciprocity/recognition.  The patron has asked that the bill be passed by for the day several times.  It will again be up for final passage today. (Update: SB610 Passed the Senate on Thursday on a vote of 27-13.)

There will not be a meeting of the Militia Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 today.  There are several bills of interest to gun owners on Friday's Militia Police and Public Safety's full committee docket.  Be sure to check the VSSA web site and blog for the most up-to-date legislative information.
Categories: News

Washington Post: Bloomberg's New Target - Terry McAuliffe

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:17
The Washington Post reports this morning that Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety has turned its fire on Governor Terry McAuliffe via social Media:
On Wednesday, Everytown launched a social media campaign against McAuliffe, who last week stunned gun-safety advocates by announcing that he had struck a gun deal with Republican legislators and the National Rifle Association. It shows side-by-side photos of McAuliffe and the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.

“What do VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe and NRA head Wayne LaPierre have in common?” one version reads. “Both Gov McAuliffe and NRA Head Wayne LaPierre support allowing dangerous people to carry hidden loaded weapons in Virginia.”

While clearly a lower-budget affair than last fall’s TV blitz, Everytown’s social media campaign against McAuliffe was a stunner, given how closely he worked with gun-safety groups since his 2013 campaign for governor. He narrowly won the race while bragging about his “F” rating from the NRA. McAuliffe's office says he stands by the deal that was announced on Friday and during his radio blitz on Monday, McAuliffe said that his job is to keep Virginia safe and gun ban groups who are against the deal are more interested in pushing a national agenda.

This Post article also infers not only did McAuliffe throw Attorney General Mark Herring under the bus, he did the same to the gun ban lobby:
The deal that the McAuliffe administration hammered out with GOP legislative leaders and the NRA caught gun-safety groups off guard. In December, Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) had severed reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states with concealed-weapons standards looser than Virginia’s — a move that had infuriated gun-rights activists even though state law has long dictated that reciprocity be limited to states with standards on par with Virginia’s.

The McAuliffe deal, which still needs General Assembly approval, reversed Herring’s action — and then some, directing him to strike reciprocity deals with every state that offers them. In that sense, the deal expands gun rights. VSSA noted on its Twitter feed last Friday that McAuliffe's comments during the official announcement of the deal sounded like he was adding it to his resume for Vice President for his buddy Hillary Clinton:
Sounds like @GovernorVA adding another check mark for resume for Dem VP slot— VSSA (@VSSA) January 29, 2016The Post notes he also touted the deal with asked how he thought Clinton's gun control would play in New Hamshire:
Matthews asked McAuliffe, a close friend of Clinton’s and chairman of her failed 2008 bid, how the former secretary of state’s strong gun-control rhetoric might play in a rural state like New Hampshire. McAuliffe answered by touting the “historic agreement” he had just struck on guns.

“If you can do it Virginia, which is the home of the NRA, working together, we can do this anywhere,” he said. “People want, folks, they want their legislators to come together, to work with their governors to make them safe.”Wonder how Bloomberg likes those bus tire tracks across his back.
Categories: News