Thursday, December 8, 2016

Will Fredericksburg's Annual Compensated Confiscation Event Instead Offer a Way For People to Score Cheap Used Firearms?

Jazz Shaw at had this article yesterday talking about how some enterprising folks are hoping to turn Fredericksburg's annual compensated confiscation (so-called "gun buy-back") event into an opportunity for some used firearms at cheap prices.  It's just one more example that these so-called "buy-back" programs are meaningless when it comes to getting guns out of the hands of violent criminals.  But don't take my word for it.  Look at what the U.S. Department of Justice's evaluation bureau, the National Institute of Justice said about the compensated confiscation schemes as part of a White Paper that NRA obtained in 2013:
Gun buybacks

Twitter summary: Buybacks are ineffective unless massive and coupled with a ban

Goal: Reduce access to firearms by incentivizing owners to dispose of their unwanted guns rather than transfer them to a more risky possessor

Evidence: Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.

The 1997 Australia gun buyback and its associated regulations is an exception to this. 1. It was large, buying back 20% of the firearm stock. 2. It targeted semi-automatic weapons. 3. It coupled the buyback with a ban on certain weapons and a nationwide registration and licensing program. There is strong evidence that it reduced mass killings (before the initiative massacres occurred on average once per year and none have occurred in the 15 years since).

The Australia buyback appears to have had no effect on crime otherwise. One study (Leigh & Neill 2010) has proven confusing in that its abstract suggests that Australia’s gun buyback reduced firearm homicide rates by 80%, but the body of the report finds no effect. Others (Reuter & Mouzas 2003) have used the same data and also found no effect on crime although they also noted that mass shootings appear to have disappeared in Australia. A third study (Chapman et al 2006) using Australian data from 1979 to 2003 shows that the firearm homicide rate was already declining prior to the firearm reforms and that there is no evidence that the new legislation accelerated the declines. This remains true when data through 2007 are added to the analysis (conducted by G. Ridgeway on 1/3/2013 at NIJ).
Shaw appeared on NRATV yesterday to discuss the "buy back" and the folks who are trying to turn the event into an opportunity for some inexpensive used guns.

NY Times: Gun Control Advocates Find a Deep-Pocketed Ally in Big Law

The New York Times reported yesterday that several big law firms have joined together to provide "pro-bono" services to gun control groups wishing to push their agenda through frivolous law suits:
After the Orlando nightclub massacre and a string of other mass shootings, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Covington & Burling; Arnold & Porter; and four other prominent law firms formed a coalition with gun control groups that until now have worked largely on their own. Together, the firms are committing tens of millions of dollars in free legal services from top corporate lawyers who typically bill clients $1,000 an hour or more.

This effort is highly unusual in its scale. Although law firms often donate time to individual causes, and some firms have worked on gun control on a piecemeal basis, the number and the prominence of the firms involved in the new coalition are unheard-of for modern-day big law. Other firms are expected to join in the coming months.
The Times reports that the coalition will seek to try new strategies to help push the gun ban lobby agenda:
Rather than fighting the political headwinds, the coalition is focusing on courts and state regulatory agencies, among the few places where they might still gain some traction. The coalition is drafting lawsuits and preparing regulatory complaints that could be announced as soon as next month, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nonprofit advocacy groups that helped form the coalition, along with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brennan Center for Justice, a legal think tank at New York University School of Law.

On one front, the coalition will seek to overturn state laws that have gone largely unchallenged, including new policies that force businesses to allow guns to be carried on their property. The group also plans to mount the first formal challenges to congressional restrictions on publishing government data on gun violence. Taking a page from the fight against big tobacco two decades ago, it will seek the help of regulators to challenge what it views as the gun industry’s attempts to stifle competition.
VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney Steve Halbrook talked about this new coalition on NRANewsTV's Cam and Company.
Now is not the time for complacency.  While we will have a pro-rights President and Congress, the gun ban lobby is not going to just close their doors and walk away.  Bloomberg has been taking his agenda to the states for the past several years.  Now we have deep pocket law firms following that strategy.  Now more than ever, gun owners need to join their state associations to help fight the coming battles.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IACP Resolution on Prohibition of Campus Carry

No real surprise here.  The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has often come out in favor of gun control.  Their membership is made up of  individuals who work Mayors or other municipal governing body officials who are anti-rights, so to keep their job, they tend to be too.

At the 2016 IACP Annual Conference, IACP approved the following resolution:
Prohibition of Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) on College and University Campuses
Submitted by: University and College Police Section

WHEREAS, our nation’s colleges and universities are bastions of freedom of expression and learning, and must continue to address the most controversial subjects of the day. These environments continue to be safe havens for discovery and growth for our nation’s young adults. Introducing concealed weapons on our nation’s campuses jeopardizes those cherished values; and

WHEREAS, based on Mother Jones' Investigation: US Mass Shootings, 1982-2016, despite high-profile shootings, homicides at our nation’s colleges and universities remain rare events. There is no credible evidence to suggest that armed students, faculty, staff and community users would make our nation’s campuses safer; and

WHEREAS, in 2013, the homicide rate at our nation’s colleges and universities was 0.1 per 100,000 of enrollment, and by comparison. the criminal homicide rate in the United States was 4.4 per 100,000. Further, the Department of Justice found that 93% of violent crimes that victimize college students occur off campus. In 2013, 21 million students were enrolled on our nation’s colleges and universities, and only 24 were fatally victimized on campus; and

WHEREAS, in a 2013 poll at 15 colleges and universities, 94 percent of faculty members opposed concealed carry on campus and in a similar 2013 poll, 79 percent of students said that they would not feel safe if concealed guns were allowed on their campus, and

WHEREAS, research shows that approximately half of our nation’s college students binge drink or abuse illegal or prescription drugs, and nearly 25 percent of college students suffer from substance abuse and dependence, therefore, leading to an increased danger by adding the availability of a firearm to persons with a reduced ability to use appropriate judgement, and

WHEREAS, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college age young adults. On average, 1,100 college students commit suicide each year while another 24,000 attempt suicide. The firearm suicide rate of 18 to 21 year-olds is nine times higher than the firearm suicide rate of people 17 and under. Suicide attempts with guns are fatal 90 percent of the time; and

WHEREAS, allowing concealed carry firearms upon our nation’s campuses would have no positive effect on campus safety and would, inversely, decrease the actual and perceived safety of our students, staff, faculty and community users; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police promotes the prohibition of concealed carry weapons upon this nation’s college and university campuses.
States like Utah and Colorado have had campus carry for a number of years without any incidents involving legally carrying students or staff.  The same can be said with the new states added to the list like Texas, which has had campus carry at four year institutions since August, and Tennessee, which allows faculty and staff to carry.  Idaho has had campus carry for the last two years.  There have been no incidents.  So, it would seem that all those stories of drunk college students that would pull their firearm to settle an argument are about as prophetic as the "blood in the streets" predictions that were common when concealed carry began being the norm in state after state.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Va. Court of Appeals: Circuit Courts Cannot Require CHP Applicants to Provide Photo ID With Application

Robert Herron, the attorney for Kenneth Richards, sent along the following to the VSSA Office.  Richards challenged the practice of providing a photo ID as part of the concealed Handgun permit application process.
VIRGINIA BEACH — DECEMBER 5, 2016: Robert Herron Law, P.C., is proud to announce that the Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of our client in a case challenging whether the Norfolk Circuit Court can require a photo ID as part of a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) application. The Court of Appeals held that circuit courts cannot require a photo ID to be submitted with a completed CHP application.

This case is significant because several circuit courts across Virginia continue to impose additional requirements on CHP applicants, even though Virginia law specifically prohibits courts from requiring applicants to produce anything other than what is required by the code and on the application.

The case started when Kenneth Richards attempted to renew his concealed handgun permit with the Norfolk Circuit Court. After Richards submitted his completed application, the court requested that Richards provide a copy of his photo ID. Richards refused to provide a photo ID, and he even quoted the relevant statute to explain why he would not provide a photo ID.

After the circuit court denied his application, Richards appealed to the Court of Appeals. On October 31, 2016, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in Richards’ favor, holding that the Norfolk Circuit Court was not permitted to require a photo ID as part of a completed CHP application. The Court of Appeals also ordered that Richards’ application should be processed without a photo ID, as he originally submitted it.

“Hopefully, this will prevent someone else from having to go through the same thing,” said Richards. “The law is clear. They are not allowed to require additional information. Surely a court should follow the law? It’s that simple.”

Richards’ attorney, Robert Herron, of Virginia Beach, says this case is important because of the principle. “Virginia is a ‘shall-issue’ state,” according to Herron. “The legislature has said courts cannot set their own standards for a concealed handgun permit. A photo ID might not seem that important, but it could get worse and worse, to the point that an individual judge might arbitrarily choose which people can defend themselves. That’s not how it works in Virginia.”

A PDF of the Court of Appeals’ opinion can be found at
Robert Herron Law, P.C., practices criminal defense and firearms law throughout Virginia.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

AP: Gun-rights Backers Vow to Go on Offense During Trump Years

An Associated Press report was carried in several print news outlets over the weekend, picking up the theme of Wayne LaPierre's latest video posted shortly after the election.  In that video, LaPierre told viewers "Our time is now."

The AP story, this one from the San Antonio Express reported:
Firearms enthusiasts who embraced Donald Trump's campaign and his full-throated support of the Second Amendment are expecting a sweeping expansion of gun rights under his administration and a Congress firmly in Republican hands.
At the top of the list is concealed carry "National Reciprocity."  As they have done in the past, the anti-gun crowd says it would be ironic that Republicans who usually support "states rights" would trample them by forcing states to accepted concealed carry permits they did not issue:
In pursuing their agenda, the gun lobby and its GOP supporters could find themselves at odds with two other tenets of Republican orthodoxy: states' rights and local control.

"It would be ironic to see conservatives who long have professed a belief in states' rights override states' choices in this area," said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law.
Chemerinsky also told the AP that congress probably doesn't have the constitutional authority to order states to recognize concealed carry permits from elsewhere.  Yet, our drivers licenses are good from state to state, and concealed carry reciprocity is the same principle as requiring states to accept drivers licenses.

With the White House and both houses of Congress in pro-rights hands for at least the next two years, now is the time to push our agenda.  We don't know when we will have a better opportunity than this.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Toledo Blade: Calls Renewed for Campus Carry shared this article from the Toledo Blade noting that calls for campus carry have been renewed in Ohio after Monday's car/knife attack at Ohio State:
Monday's attack at Ohio State University has renewed calls to allow students to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses.

Current law prohibits such weapons on campuses, but the state Senate is expected this week to consider a bill in lame-duck session to allow schools to decide for themselves whether to allow those with concealed-carry permits to carry on campus.

Even on campuses where the bans would remain in place, a violation would be reduced to a minor misdemeanor, eliminating the risk of jail time if the offender proves within 10 days that he has a legal permit to carry.

"Fortunately, an OSU police officer was close by and able to shoot and kill the suspect to stop the attack," said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "But even so, those being attacked were unable to defend themselves effectively because Ohio law forbids carrying a concealed handgun on school campuses, even if school authorities may be willing to allow it."
The gun ban crowd promptly responded with a commonly heard refrain that adding armed civilians to the mix would make it hard to determine who the good guys were and that the scene would be chaos.  Never mind there is no evidence that has been the case in the past.

The Ohio State University campus newspaper notes there is a bill winding it's way through the state legislature that would allow an "opt-in" provision for campuses that want to allow campus carry:
House Bill 48, as it is referred to, passed in the Ohio House of Representatives a year ago, but is now working its way through Ohio’s Senate. The bill would allow concealed carry-permit holders to carry guns inside day care facilities and within certain areas of police stations and airports.

The legislation includes an “opt-in clause” for public universities, allowing institutions to independently decide whether students can carry or not. For universities that decide not to opt-in, House Bill 48 would reduce the charges of licensees carrying on campus from a felony to a misdemeanor.
The OSU President is not in favor of the idea.

Campus Carry will again be on the agenda in several states in 2017 and will likely pass in some.  Virginia has yet to seriously consider bills introduced on the subject and with Governor Terry McAuliffe in office, is not expected to give any attention to the bills this year either.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

King George 4H Shooting Team Wraps Up Great Year

The King George 4H Shotgun Club had a great 2016 season! The club would like to thank everyone who helped make the season such a success - Northern Virginia Gun Club (NVGC) for the great facility and for providing targets from the clubs shotgun budget as well a club sponsors Friends of NRA and the Virginia Shooting Sports Association, and Terry Misch, King George Extension Agent. Below is a summary of the team's most recent accomplishments.

2016 4-H Shotgun Championships at Conservation Park of Virginia.
On September 24th, five King George Shotgun Club Members attended the 2016 4-H Shotgun Championships at Conservation Park of Virginia. The King George 4H Team consisted of Jackson Parker, John Parker, Paul Sevier and Joseph Parker and Jordan Stevens. 4H certified instructors Jon Yagla, Joe Primerano and Jody Sevier, also attended. Jordan Stevens finished second and Paul Sevier finished in fifth in the Junior Division high overall championship. Jordan Stevens received a nice trophy for his efforts. Jordan tied for first in wobble trap with a perfect 25 (and got his ball cap blown apart by fellow shooters at the end of the Awards Ceremony). John Parker posted his first 25 straight in skeet. Only five shooters posted 25’s all day, and we had two of them!
King George 4H Shooting Team.  Left to right, Jon Yagla, coach, Joe Parker, Paul Sevier Jordan Parker, Joe Primerano, adult leader, Jack Parker, John Parker, Jody Sevier, coach.

Jordan Stevens, 2nd Place, Junior Division
2016 VTA Grand Old Dominion 24-25 September
Richard Dodson (NVGC Member) and Kendall Rhodes (King George 4H Shotgun Club member) attended the VTA Grand Old Dominion Trap Shoot at Winchester VA on 24 September. Kendall shot a 94/100 in the16 yard event, in a strong wind, coming in second in the junior category (1st place was a 95). She also tied for first place in Class C. She has been invited to participate in JMU Shotgun Club practices at the school by Kurtis Russell, JMU Clay Target Team Head Coach and NRA Level 2 Coach.

2016 State 4-H Shoot at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center
Six King George Shotgun Club Members attended the 2016 State 4-H Shoot at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center in Appomattox VA on 10 September 2016. The KG team consisted of Jackson Parker, John Parker, Matt Macaluso, Kendall Rhodes, Paul Sevier and Jordan Stevens. 4H certified instructors Joe Primerano and Jody Sevier served as trappers for the Trap field throughout the day. We had a lot of first time shooters at the formal competition for trap and skeet and they performed well. A big ATTABOY goes to NVGC Members Jon Yagla, Joe Primarano, Jess Riggle and Jody Sevier for coaching and preparing everyone for the event. The King George Shotgun Team earned several gold, silver and bronze ribbons for top level shooting.
King George Shooting Team at Holiday Lake

Both the Northern Virginia Gun Club and the King George 4-H Shotgun Club are VSSA affiliated clubs.  You can read the entire summary of the team's 2016 accomplishments by clicking here.  Congratulations on a great season and a special thanks to team coach Jon Yagla for passing along the report.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VSSA Club Home to Olympians and National Champions

On November 23rd, Arlington/Fairfax IWLA, a VSSA affiliated club, held a reception for two members who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics,  Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher and Lucas Kozeniesky.  Both Thrasher and Kozeniesky are Fairfax natives and both are products of the Arlington/Fairfax air rifle program.  The Fairfax Board of Supervisors presented the two with resolutions recognizing their accomplishments and Congress Woman Barbara Comstock present Ginny with a Congressional Resolution.  Attendees were treated to hamburgers and hotdogs by the club.
Ginny Thrasher and Lucas Kozeniesky with Bucky Sills, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and Fairfax Board Member Pat Herrity
Congressman Barbara Comstock presents Ginny Thrasher with Copy of Congressional Record recognizing Thrashers accomplishment.

Ginny Thrasher with Bucky Sills

Kozeniesky and Thrasher with Fairfax Board members Kathy Smith, and Pat Herrity