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Friday, June 15, 2018

N.J Gun Range Owner Has Message Virginia Gun Owners Should Heed

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed six draconian gun control bills into law. Within minutes, the NRA and the Association of New Jersey Rifles and Pistol Clubs, VSSA's sister organization, filed a lawsuit against the ban on ownership of magazines holding more than ten rounds. Yesterday, while appearing on NRATV's Cam and Company, Anthony Colandro, owner of Gun For Hire Range in Woodland Park and host of Gun for Hire Radio, told host Cam Edwards that what happens in New Jersey will spread to the rest of the country.  He's right.  Look at the bills that were introduced in the 2018 session of the General Assembly.  It's isn't hyperbole or fundraising type of rhetoric.  It is a real threat.  And if we don't maintain our pro-rights majority in both houses of the General Assembly in the 2019 elections, it will happen here overnight with Governor Northam in office.  Watch the clip below and heed what Colandro says.  Then get involved.  Join VSSA if you are reading this and are not a member, or renew your membership.  If we sit back and are complacent, the rights we have enjoyed as residents of Virginia will be gone overnight.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Vote Nick Freitas On June 12

Tomorrow is the June primary to determine nominees for the GOP U.S. Senate candidate and several congressional races.  VSSA urges all Virginia gun owners to vote for Delegate Nick Freitas for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination.  Delegate Freitas, is a former Green Beret and he currently serves in the Virginia House of  Delegates. You may recall that VSSA shared his impassioned floor speech defending 2nd Amendment Rights in our weekly eBullet member newsletter. In that speech, viewed almost 11 million times on his Facebook page, Freitas challenged common myths regarding crime involving firearms and gun control before questioning why gun rights advocates have been treated unfairly in their representation by the media and his peers.
Frietas is endorsed by the NRA-PVF and by VSSA.   Please make sure you go out and vote tomorrow, and vote for Nick Freitas.  For more on Delegate Freitas' campaign, take a look at his interview on a May edition of NRATV Cam and Company.

Friday, June 1, 2018

A View From Our High Power Shooters

May was a busy month for VSSA's rifle shooters.  Included in the photos High Power Chairman Mike Jamison sent are a couple that give you an idea of what long range shooting looks like.  The first photo It is looking up at the 300 yard firing line from the target pit.

  This one is Mike working the target.
Mike Jamison and Phil Lowry entered the CMP Eastern Games at Camp Butner, NC as the VSSA Sniper Team, shooting Springfield 03A4 bolt action Period sniper rifles.  They were able to placed on a squad with friends from Virginia/NC who were also shooting.  Joining Mike and Phil was Alan Lashley, long-time VSSA coach and recently retired from the Virginia Guard, now living and fishing in Wilmington, NC, and Mark Chicowitz, another Virginian.

Phil Lowry is on the ground shooting, Mike Jamison is laying next to him , coaching him and reading the wind.  Alan Lashley ( former VSSA coach) is scoring.
 Marc Chikowitz is watching on the scope, (another Virginia shooter)

The VSSA Sniper team (Roanoke Branch) was in action May 19th and 20th at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  The rain let up Sunday just in time for a beautiful day at the range.  Mike Jamison and Don Hanley shot together.  Scores at 300 yards were competitive, but 600 yards is still giving them some trouble. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Continues to Undermine Heller Decision

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to take a case brought by the Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation challenging a decision by Alameda, a California county that includes Oakland and other east bay cities, to enact a zoning law so onerous it effectively bans gun stores.   By failing to hear the case, the court essentially tells Californians that they have no right to buy guns.  Reason.com has more:
At least Monday's decision serves one useful purpose: It exposes the federal judiciary's willingness to elevate some constitutional rights over others.

If a city enacted zoning laws that effectively outlawed abortion clinics, and a federal appeals court had permitted it, the Supreme Court would have stepped in a heartbeat later. Under precedents going back to Maher v. Roe (1977), any law representing "direct state interference" with abortion is evaluated using strict scrutiny, the most exacting standard of legal review. Few such laws survive. (The 9th Circuit did not apply strict scrutiny to Alameda's law.)

In today's California, even adult movie theaters enjoy greater legal protections than gun stores. In a 1986 decision, the Supreme Court said the First Amendment allows municipalities to restrict such theaters (apparently they were a thing before the Internet) only if zoning laws provide a "reasonable opportunity to open and operate an adult theater within the city."
The U.S. Supreme court has not taken any meaningful Second Amendment cases since McDonald.  There currently are not four justices that are willing to vote in favor of hearing cases on the issue.  This is possibly because one or more of the remaining four that voted in the majority in Heller and McDonald are unsure whether they have five votes to find in favor of overruling a gun control law that comes before them.  No one really knows, but what we do know is Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito have expressed frustration that this fundamental right becomes more and more marginalized with each case that is turned down.

The perils of this reverberate across the nation.  As cases like Maryland's so-called "assault weapons" ban, New Jersey's and Maryland's may-issue concealed carry law, and California's numerous onerous gun control laws continue to survive because SCOTUS will not hear them, the gun ban lobby will use such laws to craft legislation in other states.  Virginia is ever so close to turning anti-gun.  All it will take is to flip one seat in each house of the General Assembly for us to turn into California or New Jersey over night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

This is the Peril of Publicly Held Gun Companies

You may have heard that at Ruger’s shareholders meeting last week, a shareholder’s proposal which was basically a call for gun control, passed.  Ruger's Board of Directors had recommended that it be defeated. With its passage, Ruger is required to comply.  They did however fail in another proposal that would have loosened the companies ties to the NRA.

Who were the shareholders that made the proposal? According to the New York Times, a coalition of religious women and health care networks which are members of the shareholder advocacy organization Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, representing the Sisters of the Holy Names and 10 other "faith-based organizations" and Catholic Health Initiative.  Members of the group bought shares in Ruger and Smith and Wesson two years ago hoping to influence the way the companies do business. Ruger's largest shareholder, money management firm BlackRock and Vanguard, another large investor in the company, backed the "shareholder's activist resolution" which is how Ruger described the proposal. John Richardson at the blog No Lawyers, only Guns and Money, has a great breakdown of what occurred.  Ruger's response is below:
"The proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That's it. A report," Killoy said. The company will follow through on its obligation to produce that report, he said.

"What the proposal does not, and cannot do, is to force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do, and cannot do, is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business."
One of the shareholders, Rev. J. Michael Solberg — a pastor in Hinsdale, Ill., who is also a leader of the Metro IAF's Do Not Stand Idly By campaign; objected to CEO Kilroy's characterization:
"We are not gun control advocates," Solberg said. "We are not encouraging you not to make certain weapons. We are encouraging you to take the reputational risks of this issue seriously, and engage with those who want to make a difference."
While it does not require Ruger to change the way they do business, it does demonstrate the perils faced by publicly held gun companies.  Malcontent shareholders were able to wield more power than the numbers of shares they likely hold would normally have allowed because they were able to convince large shareholders like BlackRock and Vanguard (which have been a target of Parkland activist David Hogg's boycott calls) to support their efforts. The same coalition will be pushing identical efforts at the shareholder meeting of American Outdoor Brands Company (Smith & Wesson) later this year.

Being a public company provides access to capital, but it does come at some price - like activist investors. It's likely most of the time companies are able to beat back such attempts.  This time however nervous large investors like BlackRock and Vanguard helped push these shareholders over the finish line.  Will this give pause to other firearms related companies that are looking to go public?  Only time will tell.

Vote Nick Freitas in the GOP Primary June 12th

Gun owners have an opportunity to nominate a true champion of the Second Amendment on June 12 to run against anti-gun U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in November.  While all three GOP candidates have responded to the NRA Questionnaire in strong support of our firearms freedom (based on their NRA-PVF ratings), one candidate stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that candidate is Delegate Nick Freitas.  Because of his strong record in the General Assembly, Delegate Freitas has earned the endorsement of the NRA Political Victory Fund and has earned the support of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association.  Readers of this blog may recall earlier this year, we shared a floor speech that Delegate Freitas made in support of our rights during the General Assembly session.  The video of the speech went viral and has had over 16 million views.

Delegate Freitas enlisted in the United States Army after High School. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Nick served two combat tours as a Green Beret in the Middle East. After Nick’s service as a Green Beret, he became Director of Operations for a service-disabled, veteran-owned defense contractor. Nick is currently serving his second term as a Virginia House of Delegates member, originally elected in 2015.   Nick and his wife, Tina, and their three children live in Culpeper, VA.

Gun owners need to do all they can do between now and June 12 to help Delegate Freitas win the primary.  You can find out how to contact the campaign by clicking here.

Yesterday, Delegate Freitas spoke with NRATV host Cam Edwards.  He spoke about the 2017 off-year elections where Virginia went from a two-thirds pro-gun rights majority to a one-vote majority in the House of Delegates. Freitas also said progressives don't want a few "common sense" limitations - they want to gut the Second Amendment. He said it's time to respect the constitutional rights of gun owners. They must stop trying to use the government to disarm us.  You can watch the entire interview below.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Delegate Todd Gilbert: Virginia Gun Rights in Jeopardy

During last weekend's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits,  NRATV host Cam Edwards ran into Virginia House of Delegates Majority Leader Todd Gilbert of the exhibit floor.  Delegate Gilbert talked about how after the 2017 off-year elections, Virginia went from a two-thirds pro-gun majority to a one vote majority in the House of Delegates. With an anti-gun governor, lt. governor, and attorney general, everything is at stake for gun owners. Gilbert said it shows how energized and organized the progressive left is. They hate President Trump so much they turned out while gun owners stayed at home. They want "universal background checks," a firearms registry, one-gun-a-month and outright bans of semi-auto long guns.  He said it's not enough to vote. Gun owners must talk to their friends and family to make sure they turn out to vote for pro-gun candidates in the fall.  If we don't start working now to protect and expand the pro-gun majorities in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, with a snap of the finger, much like the Marvel character Thanos in the current blocker buster movie Avengers Infinity War, Virginia will become California or worse, New Jersey, when it comes to gun laws.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gun Craft Beer at NRA Annual Meeting.

While walking by the DSArms Booth yesterday, I saw this on the table:

It's Gun Craft Beer and according to the booth staff, it is sold in Illinois where it is manufactured, and available online in 34 states.  It appears from the web site that Virginia is one of those states as we were not in the list of states the site specifically said they could not ship.  Those states are:
Alabama Arkansas Delaware Kentucky Massachusetts Maryland Minnesota Mississippi Montana New Jersey Oklahoma Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Dakota Texas Utah. Just one of the neat things you find when walking the NRA Exhibit Hall floor.