Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Roanoke Considering Ban on Certain Types of Firearms in Public

WSLS has the story here:
The idea is to prohibit loaded weapons, including semi-automatic guns that hold 20 rounds or more. Currently a handful of Virginia localities have the ban including Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Richmond and several counties in Northern Virginia. Soon Roanoke could join that list.
Update: The Council made no decision and one member had strong objections to the proposal:
The council made no decision on including the idea. A majority seemed to favor it, but with strong objections from Councilman Ray Ferris, who argued it will never pass and will only stir up debate on the issue and divide the city.

The idea was sparked by a local gun control group called the Blue Ridge Coalition Against Gun Violence, apparently in response to “open carry” demonstrations near the Berglund Center in recent months.

VSSA Annual Meeeting Wrap-up

A good crowd turned out for the VSSA Annual Meeting on Saturday at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Club and enjoyed an afternoon of shooting and fellowship, then came together for dinner and the meeting part of the event.  Attendees heard from two great speakers, Delegate Michael Webert and State Senator Bryce Reeves.  These legislators were the driving force behind overturning Attorney General Mark Herring's ruling that would have ended concealed carry reciprocity/recognition with 25 states.

Before the attendees left for the evening, a young member drew the names for this year's raffle.  The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: Smith & Wesson M&P9 with Green Laser
Elwood F. Harrison
Mechanicsville, VA

2nd Prize: Special Edition Henry Boy Lever Action .22 (#10 of 10)
Louis E. Seigel
Cumberland, VA

3rd Prize: $100 Cabela's Gift Card
Adam Joseph
Newport News, VA

A special Thank You to both of our speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak at this year's meeting.  As Executive Director Lu Charette said, while giving all due respect to all of our previous speakers, this year's speakers were the most informative since then Attorney General Jim Gilmore spoke before he went on to win the 2007 gubernatorial election.

The Problems With That New Harvard/Northeastern Study of Gun Owners

You may have seen stories in news outlets like NPR and The Guardian reporting the results of a new study on gun owners.   The big headline is 3% of gun owners own 50% of the guns in America.  While this new study says there are more gun owners now than in 1994, that increase has not kept up with the rate of increase in the overall population, so there are actually a smaller percentage of Americans owning firearms.  Setting aside for a moment a large number of gun owners likely aren't honest when an unknown person calls them on the phone and asks if they own guns and if so how many, a huge problem with this study is the Harvard/Northeastern University researchers anonymously released their top line findings to the media, and the actual data will not be available for people to dig into until fall of 2017.  According to the Federalist blog, the researchers said this is because it is still being peer reviewed.  So, the study's peer review has not been completed but you can go out and announce the findings?  From the Federalist:
This type of behavior raises all kinds of troubling questions about the underlying data, as well as the motives of the researchers who put it together. If peer review is incomplete, why on earth are the study’s conclusions already being released? And if these reviewers are widely respected experts in the field, why must they remain anonymous, even as the study’s conclusions are being broadcast to the world? And finally, on what planet does it take more than a year to review the results of a simple poll?

None of the likely answers reflects well on the people who put this study together, because this is not how scientists conduct themselves. This is how political actors conduct themselves. This is how people with political motives and political objectives conduct themselves.
Ask any gun shop owner or firearms instructor and you will hear about all of the first time gun owners coming in to their stores or seeking firearms training.  This study is just one more piece of propaganda intended to add to the narrative that the number of gun owners in American continue to decrease and that a relative few are holding the rest of the country hostage when it comes to passing "commonsense" gun laws.

Update: Dr. John Lott has more:
— But there is a general problem with survey data. Hard data, such a the number of permits that are required before someone can own a gun in some states such as Illinois, show a dramatic increase in gun ownership at the same time that these surveys for those states are showing a drop in gun ownership. The likely reason that all these surveys on gun ownership are biased against showing an increase is because gun owners have been relatively less willing over time to tell pollsters that they own guns.

This hard data indicates such a large increase in gun owners relative to the polls that it makes it mathematically impossible for the claim to be true that gun sales are being driven by a small group of gun owners.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Green Top's Ladies on Target Event

Do you know a lady that has expressed an interest in the shooting sports but doesn't know how to get started?  Green Top has just the event for you.  They will host a Ladies on Target Shotgun, Rifle and Archery event this Saturday, September 24th at Black Creek Gun Club in Mechanicsville.  Check-in begins at 8:00 AM and you can pre-register for the event in the store or online by clicking here.
The event is limited to 100 participants.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beware Fake News Reports

It seems that some people never tire of spreading misinformation in the hope of getting folks to share news links or forward emails to hundreds of their friends.  The latest is a story from a web site titled "Associated Media Coverage" with the amusing tagline "News You Can Trust."  The story was posted on the web site on September 9th (I am not going to link to it and help increase their site hits) and popped up on Facebook newsfeeds.  It claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) is implementing a new regulation that would set a minimum age for hunting at 18.  Additionally, they would create an online hunter safety "academy" that would have to be completed before new individuals could start hunting, at the tune of $197.  IT is actually a slightly changed report that was originally circulated in 2014 that claimed the agency was raising the minimum hunting age to 21.

The "news report" comes complete with quotes from people who supposedly work for USFWS and ATF.  Because of the current administration's propensity for executive fiat, it is not hard to believe they would institute such a regulation, but it's just not true.  Any proposed regulation has to be publicly announced and a public comment period has to be made available.  While the story claims such a comment period took place, you can believe that if it really had, pro-gun and pro-hunting groups would have jumped all over it.  In this era of social media and emails urging recipients to forward to their friends, it pays to do a quick search on things that sound too real to be true.

BearingArms.com: Democrats Plan Scripted Gun Control "Day of Out Rage" Today

Bearingarms.com has the story here:
A memo from minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s office calling for a “gun violence prevention day of action” today includes a long itinerary of scripted actions to be taken by Democrat representatives under orders from the 76-year-old gun control zealot.  The actions called for are tightly controlled, right down the the tweets the powerful California Democrat wants the staff of representatives to use on social media on her orders.

Characteristically, the tweets scheduled to begin at a 12:30 PM ET “tweetstorm” are factually inaccurate.
The tweets referred too include rants with inflated numbers of  "mass shootings" that have supposedly taken place during the summer, tweets about the so-called "gun show loophole" and more of the same tired rhetoric of the gun ban lobby.  Expect this stunt to do as much to advance gun control as the Twitter hashtag campaign by the White House did to release the young girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram two years ago.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Senator Bryce Reeves to Attend and Speak at VSSA Annual Meeting

Senator Bryce Reeves will attend this year's VSSA Annual meeting.   Senator Reeves, was the sponsor of Senate Bill 610, which was the Senate bill to reverse the decision by the Attorney General’s office in December 2015 to end Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states. 

VSSA previously announced that this year's featured guest will be Delegate Michael Webert, the sponsor of the House bill reversing the AG's December concealed carry reciprocity actions.  Having Senator Reeves, who is also a VSSA member, join us will give our members special insight into what went into the final agreement to overturn the AG's actions as the two people most responsible for this legislative victory will speak.  Delegate Webert and Senator Reeves worked together to craft the agreement.  Earlier this year, Senator Reeves' effort on behalf of Virginia's gun owners was recognized by the NRA when they awarded him the 2016 Defender of Freedom Award at this year's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

The 2016 VSSA Annual Meeting begins at 12:00 Noon, Saturday September 17, and will take place at the Arlington Fairfax IWLA.  The event includes an afternoon of shooting followed by dinner at 6:00 PM and the Meeting of Members at 7:00 PM.

Volunteer for the Richmond NRA-ILA Day of Action to Elect Pro-gun Candidates

NRA-ILA is looking for Second Amendment activists to come out on Saturday, September 24th for the NRA's National Day of Action in the Richmond area! Volunteers will be doing a neighborhood walk to get the word out about pro-gun candidates running in the upcoming election. Training will be provided as well as plenty of complimentary NRA gear!

Where:Martin's Food Market Parking Lot
10250 Staples Mill Rd #6433
Glen Allen, VA 23228

When:
Saturday, September 24th
10AM-3PM
 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Swap Meet to Benefit Air Rifle Electronic Target Fund

The Arlington/Fairfax IWLA (a VSSA affiliated club) will hold a swap meet on Sunday, September 25, from 1PM to 5PM, at the club's air rifle range to raise money for it's Electronic Target Fund.  There will also be raffles during the event.  To get more information about tables or anything else about the event, contact Helen Martin at HelenLMartin@verizon.net.



Thursday, September 8, 2016

Obama's Shifting of Federal Courts to Left Will Impact Gun Rights for Years

Lawyer and blogger Dave Hardy had this post at Arms and the Law sharing a Reuters article about the massive shift in the make up of the federal circuit court districts.  In 2009, only the 9th Circuit was predominantly made up of Democratic appointees with the 2nd Circuit split 50-50.  Today, less than half (the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th) are majority Republican appointees.  Hardy notes that both the Democrat and Republican circuits have massive imbalances in appointees:
...What's also interesting in both Repub dominated and Demo dominated circuits, the proportions tend to be overwhelming, 66-33% or more.
While some say Obama's overreach on environmental issues is his crowing achievement, it is his imprint on the federal courts that will haunt gun owners likely for a generation.  Much of what we have regained of our Second Amendment rights have been won in select cases in the federal courts.  This could be much harder to do going forward, especially if Hillary Clinton is elected president in November.

Hat tip Sebastian at Shall Not be Questioned.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Looks Like Massachusetts AG Did Not Learn Lesson From Mark Herring's Mistake

The Boston Globe has the story here:
Attorney General Maura Healey’s controversial assault weapons crackdown has become yet another political land mine threatening the Bay State’s already shaken Democratic Party as it seeks to mount a serious 2018 challenger against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

In deeply blue Massachusetts, the Democratic Party is turning into its own worst enemy.

“There are a lot of Democrats who aren’t happy with her decision, but they don’t want to come out against one of the party leaders,” said state Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), one of 58 lawmakers who signed onto a letter opposing Healey’s ban.
You will recall that last December, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring had a major blunder when he summarily ended reciprocity/recognition agreements with 25 states.  That move was so unpopular that when the General Assembly convened Governor McAuliffe read the tea leaves and saw he would be overridden if he vetoed bipartisan bills that were winding their way through both houses of the legislature.  McAuliffe decided to throw Herring under the bus and worked out a deal that allowed him to tell gun ban groups he got something in return (they did not really buy his spin).  Maybe Healy should have paid more attention to what happened in Virginia.

Hat tip to Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned.

Gun Ownership Increases Among Seniors, Women, Minorities

This week, two articles, one in the Kansas City Star and one on the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal Blog continue to show gun ownership among three specific groups are on the increase. First, from the Kansas City Star:
People 65 and older make up one of the most solidly growing demographics for the firearms industry. They’re acquiring guns and getting training — for recreational target practice and a perceived need for self-protection.

The National Rifle Association reports a fourfold jump since 2010 in the number of older Americans taking basic firearms training courses taught by certified NRA instructors. That is greater than the 265 percent increase in all demographics taking firearms training during the same period.

That helped push the overall number of Americans participating in target shooting from 34.4 million in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The increase is not only seniors. The number of women of all ages who target shoot has jumped nearly 57 percent since 2006. Target shooters also increasingly are people who live in cities or suburbs.
The Daily Signal has a similar report:
She added that in recent years, an increasingly diverse group of women has sought to learn about guns for the first time. They include single mothers and married women, from 22 to 82, in occupations such as nurses, small-business owners, social workers, accountants, and lawyers. They travel from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as other parts of Massachusetts.

Roberts also sees a potential political shift.

“Women are voting typically on the Democratic side because over the last two or three generations self-defense and firearms were demonized,” she said. “Women were told they can’t take care of themselves. That’s changing.”
These trends appear to be verified by a new Pew Research survey showing that 44% of American households have at least one firearm.