Thursday, May 21, 2015

UPS Moves to Stop Shipping Suppressors

Earlier this week, reported that UPS is moving to stop carrying shipments of firearms suppressors due to what they referred to as compliance issues:
“NSSF, in coordination with NRA and the American Suppressor Association, are in discussions with UPS to address their compliance concerns,” Lawrence Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel told “Vermont and Minnesota will likely soon join 39 other states that allow the possession of suppressors. In light of this, we hope to be able to have UPS reconsider its policy.”

Keane advised caution in allowing the industry to do its work, saying, “We strongly urge all Second Amendment advocates not to jump to conclusions about UPS.”
It appears to be a policy that was on UPS' books for years, but they just decided to enforce it.

Cam Edwards spoke with Knox Williams, president and executive director of the American Suppressor Association during Monday's Sportsman Channel's Cam and Company program.

This happens at a time when suppressor legalization legislation is increasing.
Hat tip to and Shall Not Be Questioned.

Gun Ban Lobby Views "Gun Violence Restraining Orders" As Road to Success

According to Discovery News, a new study by four researchers (three of which work for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Gun Policy and Research) gives the gun ban lobby the ammunition they need to push for what has become known as "Gun Violence Restraining Orders."
Gun control advocates are devising new measures that could decrease the likelihood of mass shootings and other firearm-related casualties, and appeal to a broad-enough slice of the political spectrum for new laws to pass. Gun violence restraining orders (GVROs) are one such promising avenue that could save lives, according to an article published this week in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law.

GVROs permit family members and intimate partners to petition a court to deny the possession or purchase of a firearm by an individual exhibiting dangerous or violent behavior. Currently, gun ownership restrictions generally apply to two groups, the mentally ill and criminals. This sort of prohibition must be triggered by an extreme event, such as an involuntary psychiatric commitment or a violent crime. Before such an event, “family members, intimate partners, or others often observe a pattern of dangerous behavior,” note the researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California, Davis. These warning signs are better predictors of violence than mental illness diagnoses.
Two of the researchers in the study referenced above also trotted out similar proposals at a University of Virginia Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy in 2013.  California has already passed such a law.  The idea is, since banning semi-automatic firearms and criminalizing private sales will likely be difficult to achieve in all but a handful of states, targeting people who are thought to have mental health issues will certainly be something we can all agree needs to be done.  The problem is, laws like this have few due process protections.

For instance, last summer, Robert B. Young, a private psychiatrist in Pittsford, NY, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association wrote the following at
These issues raise serious concerns:
  • What standards of evidence justify a seizure? Commitment for psychiatric treatment doesn’t necessarily imply danger with a firearm, let alone for 5 years. Most of those patients readily recover and many never again require that level of intervention. In domestic conflicts, there are sometimes false or exaggerated allegations. Convictions (not just charges) for violent misdemeanors may merit prohibition of gun possession for some time, but 10 years without recourse is longer than necessary or fair in many circumstances.
  • What sort of evidence is required to reverse the seizure? There’s no way to guarantee that someone will behave safely. It’s not possible even for psychiatrists to predict the likelihood of violent behavior beyond a day or two.
  • How does the initial seizure of property incorporate any due process, particularly since this contravenes a federal constitutional right? Yet emergencies do happen, and deaths might be prevented if weapons could be confiscated in time and with good judgment.
  • Police officers deserve great respect but there are always a few who abuse their powers. How can this be safeguarded?
  • What is reasonable about not permitting the subject to contest these decisions for a year or more?
With laws like this, the devil is always in the details. Dr. Young notes that people with mental illnesses are no more likely to commit violence than the general population and are far more likely to become victims.  He continues that the best intervention is good treatment. But, intervention or treatment for the mentally ill isn't the goal of the gun ban lobby, it's finding ways to keep people from owning firearms.

Concealed Carry Methods for Women

American Rifleman has this article over on their web site looking at five methods of concealed carry for women.  The types discussed include Belly Band Holsters, Compression Clothing, purse and sport bag carry, and the Bra Holster.  Regarding that last method, the author notes:
This is one system that only a woman can appreciate, so I handed this one off to my lovely wife to try out. Her comments were mixed. Yes, it successfully hides the gun from view. However, she feels that women wearing bra holsters will need to have an ample bust line and a flat stomach in order for even small pocket pistols to conceal successfully and ride comfortably. She also said the holster system rests against tender areas, so it may take a while to get used to wearing one.
If you are a woman, or have a female loved one or friend who carries, check out the full article.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Liberal Group Joins Call for Abolition of BATFE

The Washington Post reports that the Center for American Progress is joining the chorus to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
The lead federal agency responsible for tackling gun violence should be merged into the FBI to better protect public safety and reduce firearms crime, a liberal think tank with strong ties to the Obama administration said.

The Center for American Progress — after a two-year investigation and more than 50 interviews with people in both agencies — concluded that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is plagued by inadequate management, insufficient resources, burdensome restrictions and a lack of coordination. The center’s 182-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is scheduled to be released Tuesday.
Someone needs to tell the Washington Post that the purpose of the BATFE is not to "tackle gun violence," it is a regulatory agency.  Then again, if BATFE views itself as the lead agency to fight gun violence, that could explain why it has been scandal ridden the last six years - it has lost site of its actual mission.

Monday, May 18, 2015

17th Annual VSSA Crush'n Clays Sold Out

VSSA's Crush'n Clays® is now sold out.  The event will be held on Saturday, June 13, and benefit's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Over the last 16 years, more than $300,000 has been raised for this worthy cause.  Crush'n Clays® has become a must attend event.  It has been so successful because of our sponsors, volunteers, the good folks at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA (a VSSA affiliate club), and of course our participants.  Thank you for making this the longest running clay target event in the nation.

Below is a video that an attendee from a previous year posted after attending.

NRA Political Victory Fund Posts Endorsements for June 9 Primary

Last week we shared the NRA-PVF and VSSA Endorsements for Bill Janis in the 12th Senate District.  Today, the NRA-PVF posted additional endorsements on its web site.  Additionally, VSSA posted an endorsement for incumbent State Senator Steve Martin in the 11th State Senate District.

NRA-PVF also endorsed Senator Martin.  Additionally Dessert Storm and Navy Veteran Bill DeSteph in Virginia's 8th Senate District, Senator John Cosgrove in the 14th District, and Senator Emmett Hanger in the 24th also received endorsements.

The Richmond area is home to both the 11th and the 12th Senate Districts.  The 12th District primary is to fill the seat of retiring State Senator Walter Stosch.  There are four candidates vying for the nomination.  The winner will likely be the next Senator from the 12 District.  Two of the other three candidates received "AQ" ratings (meaning they answered the questionnaire in a manner that merited an "A" but they have no legislative record) in the race. One candidate received a question mark meaning the candidate did not return the questionnaire which should be considered indifference to the issue or could mean outright hostility to our rights.

There is a similar situation in the 11th District.  Incumbent State Senator Steve Martin, who earned an "A-" NRA-PVF rating is facing two challengers.  One of those challengers received an "AQ" rating. One candidate received a question mark.  The winner of the 11th District Primary is also in a good position to coast to victory in November.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hunting Big Game with an Air Rifle

Boy have air rifles come a long way.  A couple weeks ago a friend shared a video on Facebook about an air rifle that shoots a .45 caliber slug.  Interestingly, this week, an article also ended up in my email inbox with even more about this air rifle.  The article started out like this:
Can you imagine an air rifle that shoots a 350 grain 45 caliber slug at velocities high enough to shoot completely through a big wild boar? Better start believing.
It's the AirForce Texan Big Bore Air Rifle and it has the ability to fire .45 caliber projectiles at over 1000 feet per second with energy levels of over 500 foot pounds according to the AirForce web site.  AirForce says the Texan is the world’s most powerful production air rifle.   The video below gives you more information about the Texan.
If you want to watch a little longer video (this is the one my friend shared) you can see the Texan in action on the range.

Quantico Shooting Club and VSSA Help Shooters Get Started in Highpower Rifle Shooting

Earlier this spring, the Quantico Shooting Club and VSSA conducted an entry level rifle clinic aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. While intended primarily for junior shooters the clinic was opened up to all QSC members. The intent was to provide information and assistance for those interested in getting started in high power rifle competition. Instructors for this event were Mike Darnell (VSSA Jr. Chair) and VSSA Board member Bill McKaig. Despite marginal weather, 23 shooters participated.

The day’s schedule was split into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session was devoted to classroom instruction and the afternoon would be set aside for application down range on the firing line.

The presentation covered a variety of topics including: Equipment, courses of fire, match mechanics and individual responsibilities. As you would imagine, the majority of the classroom phase focused on shooting fundamentals that every shooter should apply on the firing line: Position development, sight alignment,breathing, trigger control, and follow through.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t let up and the afternoon live fire portion was postponed. Overall, the day was still a success with participants calling for more clinics in the future.

For questions about getting started in highpower competition, or setting up a clinic for your local club contact Mike Darnell at

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Less Than 20 Spots Left for 17th Annual Crush'n Clays

VSSA's 17th Annual Crush'n Clays Benefiting St. Jude Children's Hospital will be held on June 13th at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA.  If you are planning to participate in this year's even you need to hurry and register because there are less than 20 shooting spots left.

Crush'n Clays is the longest running shooting charity that supports the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the longest consecutive running charity shooting event in the country! Over the last 16 years, VSSA has raised over $300,000 to support the important work of St. Jude.

Don't get left out this year.  You can register online and be part of this annually sold out event.

Monday, May 11, 2015

NRAPVF, VSSA, Endorse Janis for 12th Senate District GOP Nomination

Earlier today, the NRA Poltical Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) and VSSA announced the endorsement of former Delegate Bill Janis in the GOP primary for the 12th Senate District seat being vacated by retiring State Senator Walter Stosch.  Both the NRA and VSSA cited Janis' long record of not only voting for pro-rights legislation, but spearheading efforts to regain rights lost in earlier years.  For instance, in 2004, Janis was the first member of the legislature to successfully begin the rollback of Virginia's gun rationing scheme known as "one gun-a-month."  In 2005, VSSA requested then Delegate Janis to carry legislation (HB2282) that would protect Virginia's shooting ranges from localities changing noise requirements that could result in putting the ranges out of business.

Janis is currently in a four person race for the nomination.  He is the only candidate with a voting record on the issue important to gun owners in the 12th District.  VSSA urges gun owners and sportsmen in the 12th State Senate District to get involved and help Bill between now and June 9th.  Most importantly, please go to the polls on June 9th and vote for Bill Janis.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Look to Oregon to Understand Why This Year's General Assembly Elections Are Important

You have probably seen the news that Oregon just criminalized the private transfer of firearms.  This happened because there is one party control in Oregon.  The only states where the gun ban lobby has made advances in passing more restrictions on the right's of gun owners is in states that have both a Democrat in the Governor's office and where the legislature is controlled by Democrats.  Yes, there are pro-rights Democrats but in more cases than not, the vast majority of elected Democrats are anti-rights.

Virginia has increasingly been friendly ground for Democrats in statewide elections.  And with the exception of Mark Warner, who signed 17 pro-rights bills as Governor, and Jim Webb, who supported our rights as a U.S. Senator, the Democrats elected statewide have been anti-rights.  This includes U.S. Senator and former governor Tim Kaine, current Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring.

That makes it vitally important that we re-elect pro-rights majorities in the State Senate and the House of Delegates.  Virginia's House districts are so gerrymandered, the GOP should retain their veto proof majorities at least until the next redistricting.  The State Senate however is a different story.  The races for retiring State Senator John Watkins and State Senator Charles "Chuck" Colgan are considered two of the most competitive.  But we also need to elect a stong pro-rights candidate in the 12th Senate District to replace retiring State Senator Walter Stosch.  On the GOP side, that race features former Delegate and VSSA member Bill Janis and three other candidates who have no voting record on the issue.  Bill is a strong supporter of our rights and was the chief patron of legislation in 2005 that protects Virginia gun ranges.  Janis carried that legislation at the request of VSSA.

Virginia has been able to beat back every gun ban attempt since 1994.  Campaign 2015 is our battleground.  Get informed and get active.

Bloomberg's Gun Safety Fail

Michael Bloomberg's Moms Demand Action gun ban group, which likes to think of itself as a "gun safety" group, has come up with a new project that appears to borrow from two well known programs, NRA's Eddie Eagle and NSSF"s Project Childsafe, as well as the Brady Campaign's Ask campaign, but in the end misses the target. 

Known as the Be Smart campaign, it brings former child star Melissa Joan Hart out of mothballs to appear in a new video as the spokesperson for the program.  Hart, who was associated with conservative messages during the 2012 presidential campaign has taken small steps into the gun ban movement. She appears to have jumped head first into the movement with this project. Bob Owens of gave his thoughts on the video yesterday.
You may have noticed that the video title, "a conversation about kids, guns and safety" is similar to this one:
But that is where the similarities end.  Bob mentioned via Miguel at the Gun Free Zone blog, some of the technical issues with the Be Smart video, like, what's up with the NYPD police officer locking away the ammunition in the safe but leaving the handgun out, even if it is secured by a cable lock?  Most importantly though, unlike the NSSF video above, the Be Smart video includes no discussion with kids about gun safety.  The NSSF approach of fully engaging your children in the process is what really works.  And, having someone who actually knows something about firearms and gun safety like NRA Mom and World Champion shooter Julie Golob doesn't hurt either.

In the end, the Be Smart campaign isn't really about gun safety, it's about telling people if they have kids, they should not have guns.  With the public's attitude toward firearms shifting dramatically toward the pro-rights side, Moms Demands' new campaign is likely to fall as flat as their annual protests of the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.