Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another Non-Resident Ensnared by D.C. Gun Laws

Roll Call reports that this time it is an agricultural lobbyist from South Carolina:
Capitol Police confiscated a 9mm Ruger handgun from the bag of Camden, S.C., resident Ronald William Prestage shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning at the Cannon House Office Building. Prestage, 59, was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a District of Columbia offense that carries up to five years in prison.
Are there really this many people that don't know about D.C.s gun laws and their propensity for make examples of anyone caught with a firearm inside the city?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Congressional Staffer Gun Case Highlights Problems with Patchwork Gun Laws

Roll Call has this story on the Ryan Shucard case.  Shucard is the press secretary to two term PA Republican Congressman Tom Marino who was arrested after allegedly carrying a firearm and ammunition into the Cannon House Office Building.  Shucard lives in Alexandra, VA where it is legal to own a firearm.  Roll Call notes that the Capitol grounds are not governed by DC Law.
...Jason Kalafat, a partner at Price Benowitz LLP who has been hired to represent Shucard in D.C. court, had no comment on his client’s status as a gun owner in Virginia. He said there is no allegation that Shucard had the gun unlawfully, and pointed out that he is not being prosecuted for the federal offense of carrying on Capitol grounds, which carries up to five years in prison.

Kalafat said the difference between gun regulations in D.C. and Virginia creates a “big problem.” 
Because the Capitol grounds are federal property, they are not subject to the District’s strict gun laws.
The same thing could happen in Virginia were it not for pre-emption, which prevents localities from passing their own gun laws.  Say for instance, if Virginia did not have pre-emption, a gun owner traveling from one state to the next would have to know all the gun laws for every locality between the starting point and the final destination to make sure they did not get ensnared by them.

Shucard's case reminds me of the cases where gun owners have mistakenly attempted to take firearms through airport security.  It's obvious that they intended no harm.  Unfortunately in the case of Shucard, DC seems intent on making an example of him.

NRA Kicks Off 2014 Campaign Season

The NRA has kicked off the start of the 2014 campaign season with this web site and video:
Protect your rights! Make sure all of your gun owning family and friends are registered to vote.

Monday, July 21, 2014

John Lott on Christie's Veto of NJ Magazine and Gun Ban Bill

John Lott had this op/ed over the weekend in The New Jersey Star-Ledger explaining that N.J. Governor Chris Christie's reasons for vetoing the magazine/gun ban bill were sound and on target:
But there is a reason that gun control supporters, such as Malloy, don’t provide evidence that Christie is factually in the wrong. There have been plenty of studies on assault weapon bans by criminologists and economists alike, but there isn’t any evidence that limiting magazine size helps fight crime.

Take the work of two criminology professors, Chris Koper and Jeff Roth. They were hired by the Clinton administration to evaluate the original assault weapons ban, which limited magazines to 10 bullets. They found: “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”

At the time, Koper and Roth suggested that after the ban had been in effect for more years, it might be possible to find a benefit. Seven years later, in 2004, they published a follow-up study for the National Institute of Justice with fellow criminologist Dan Woods that concluded, “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”
Even a bureau of the U.S. Department of Justice included Lott's article in their news clips for the day.

At least they don't completely dismiss the other side of the gun control debate as completely out of hand.

Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club 3d Archery Match

The Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club will hold a 3D Archery Match on Sunday, July 27th.  Sign-in, safety meeting, and warm-up begins at 8:30 and shooting begins at 9:00 AM.  Fee is $10.  Shooters should meet at the 100 yard rifle range.  The shoot will take approximately two hours and is open to the public so bring a friend or two.  Compound, recurve, and yes, even longbow shooters will be there.

To register, email

Saturday, July 19, 2014

VSSA High Power Rifle Team Update from Camp Perry

Just got a call from VSSA High Power Chairman Mike Jamison.  He reported that of our five two-man youth teams, VSSA #1 finished 20th out of 81 teams in the National Junior Team Match:

Coach: Darnell, Mike
Captain: Darnell, Mike
Team MemberStandingSittingProne RFProne SFAggregate
Thome, Dominic 95  - 3 95  - 3 94  - 0 184  - 4 468  - 10
Reinboldt, John 92  - 0 99  - 0 91  - 0 174  - 1 456  - 1

VSSS #2 finished 30th:

Captain: Jamison, Michael
Team MemberStandingSittingProne RFProne SFAggregate
Allison, Robert 90  - 0 97  - 3 93  - 1 178  - 3 458  - 7
Slota, Anne CIV 89  - 2 98  - 5 84  - 2 176  - 1 447  - 10

VSSA #3 finished 38th:

Coach: McKaig, William CIV
Captain: McKaig, William CIV
Team MemberStandingSittingProne RFProne SFAggregate
Sawyer, Benjamin CIV 89  - 1 96  - 2 97  - 2 187  - 5 469  - 10
Kissik, Anthony 75  - 0 93  - 2 90  - 1 165  - 1 423  - 4

VSSA #5 finished 56th:

Coach: Jamison, Michael
Captain: Darnell, Mike
Team MemberStandingSittingProne RFProne SFAggregate
Imel, Tyler  CIV 76  - 0 90  - 1 85  - 0 179  - 2 430  - 3
Moore, Collin 85  - 1 63  - 1 83  - 0 173  - 4 404  - 6

VSSA #4 finished 68th:

Coach: MSgt  Hicks, Donnie ANG
Team MemberStandingSittingProne RFProne SFAggregate
Cavender, Samuel CIV 74  - 0 87  - 1 82  - 0 166  - 3 409  - 4
Ross, Andrew CIV 83  - 0 87  - 0 61  - 0 132  - 0 363  - 0

In the CMP-USMC Jr Highpower Clinic EIC Match, Dominic Thome finished 40th,  out of 146 shooters, Anne Slota finished 66th, John Reinboldt finished 72nd, Samuel Cavender finished 77th, Andrew Ross finished 89th, Robert Allison finished 90th, Collin Moore finished 96th.  Benjamin Sawyer finished 96th, Tyler Imel finished 107th, Anthony Kissik finished 122nd.

In the National Trophy Junior Team Individual, Benjamin Sawyer finished 27th out of 170, Dominic Thome finished 30th, Robert Allison finished 52nd, John Reinboldt finished 58th, Anne Slota finished 71st, Tyler Imel finished 105th, Anthony Kissik finished 113th, Samuel Cavender finished 131, Collin Moore finished 138th, and Andrew Ross finished 157th.

Mike and his team of coaches have worked hard to recruit new youth shooters to VSSA's high power rifle program.  Congratulations to all of the shooters and look for more updates from Perry as our teams, adult and youth continue to compete.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Don't Recall Liberals Calling For Republicans to Change Senate Filibuster Rules

Roll Call has an op/ed today by Nan Aron, president of  Alliance for Justice, that praises the rules change Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rammed through earlier this year and how that change has allowed a number of President Obamas court appointees to clear confirmation by the Senate:
A rule-or-ruin campaign by the Republican minority had turned the filibuster from a rarely used tactic reserved for extreme circumstances into a weapon of mass obstruction, used routinely to block nominations and paralyze entire government agencies.

That’s why the Senate had to change its rules to end filibusters with a simple majority vote. But now a months-long Republican temper tantrum is wasting the Senate’s — and the American people’s — time, necessitating new countermeasures.
I don't recall Aron making the same complaint about the Democrats when they were in the minority during the Bush Administration and how they held up, and in some cases killed, a number of Bush court appointees, using the exact same "weapon of mass obstruction."  And, maybe given the likelihood that Democrats may lose control of the Senate this year, she may wonder if she should have been more careful for what she wished.

D.C. Leaders Blame Virginia's "Permissive" Gun Laws for Navy Yard Shooter Getting Guns

The Washington Post reports that District of Columbia leaders are not happy that a Congressional Republican wants to keep the City from using congressionally appropriated funds to enforce gun laws that make it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase firearms.  They even went so far as to say that the city's restrictive gun laws forced the Navy Yard shooter to go to Virginia to buy his guns because their laws are more permissive.
“That gun was not purchased in the District of Columbia,”  (Mayor Vincent) Gray said. “That gun was not gotten from the District of Columbia. It came from a neighboring state, Virginia, whose gun laws are far more permissive than the District of Columbia and doesn’t have the level of background checks that we have.”
Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie, the main congressional sponsor of the budget amendment, correctly pointed out that those restrictive gun laws did nothing to stop the killer.  It should also be noted that the problem was not Virginia's "permissive" gun laws, but the fact that several law enforcement people who came into contact with the killer prior to his purchasing the firearms did not take the extra step to report his erratic behavior, which may have prevented him from being able to make the legal purchases of the firearms he used.

But facts are inconvenient things to gun banners.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Virginia Shooters Score Big at Junior Olympic and CMP Championship

Olympic Dreams Begin Here is on the banner, but the hard work takes place on ranges like the Norfolk County Rifle Range (NCRR) in Chesapeake, VA.  On June 27, during the 2014 National Junior Olympic 3P Air Rifle Championship held at Camp Perry, Ohio,  the 4-H Patriot Shooting Club precision air rifle team shot these scores: 

Robert Hudson 577, Claire Zanti 579, Anika Corsi 583, Madeleine Godwin 591, Sarah Osborn 593. Madeleine placed 5th, and Sarah Osborn was named the USA Shooting National Champion for 2014.  She was awarded the coveted USA Shooting jacket and a spot on the Junior National Development Team.
USA Shooting’s Youth Development Director Michael Theimer, Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Virginia), Kristyn Trump (DuBois, Pennsylvania), Director of Civilian Marksmanship (Emeritus) Gary Anderson.
The 4-H Patriot Shooting Club precision team set a new National Record for a 4-H Team in a 3x20 match by shooting a score of 2344. Below is a photo of the Friday Junior Olympic award ceremony. 
On June 28, the 4-H Patriot Shooting Club precision team competed in the 2014 CMP National Championship held at Camp Perry, Ohio.   The 4-H Patriot Shooting Club precision team shot these scores:

Anika Corsi 577, Robert Hudson 583, Claire Zanti 591, Madeleine Godwin 591, Sarah Osborn 593.  Claire placed 4th,  Madeleine placed 3rd with a Bronze medal, and Sarah Osborn placed second with a  Silver medal. Sarah set 4 National records for kneeling with her score of 200 with 19 center tens (of 20 shots).

The Patriot team set three new National Records for a 4-H Team, Club team, and Overall in a 3x20 match by  shooting a score of 2352. This is the highest team score ever in Junior Air Rifle Shooting. The 4-H Patriot Shooting Club is the 2014 CMP National Champion Precision Air Rifle Team.
Anika Corsi, Madeleine Godwin, Claire Zanti, Robert Hudson, Sarah Osborn, and coach Lynn Wheeless
The prestigious Junior Distinguished Badge for excellence in three-position air rifle competitions was awarded to Claire Zanti, Madeleine Godwin, and Robert Hudson.
Madeleine Godwin was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for being the highest scoring high school senior.
The team wishes to thank all of the adults from around the state whose cumulative efforts to support junior shooting sports in Virginia contributed to their success.
Scores can be found  hereNational Records are here.

Thanks to Norfolk County Rifle Range (NCRR) for submitting this news.  NCRR is a 100% VSSA membership club.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gun Politics and the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act

As was noted yesterday, the prospects for passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 looks to have dimmed after it overwhelmingly cleared the initial hurdle that opened debate Tuesday.  Roll Call has an article this morning that all but predicts the bill will fail in the highly partisan fever of the election year, preventing endangered Democrats in red states from being able to take a vote on bipartisan legislation back to their states as part of their campaign.  It was originally Harry Reid's way of giving what looked like an easy vote to his colleagues facing tough elections.  But, it looks like he got out flanked by the Republicans.
The 2014 strategy on the sportsmen’s bill differs from a 2012 effort, in which legislation from then-in-cycle Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., was scheduled prior to the election for a vote in the lame duck. Tester got credit from local media, but he avoided any chance of a legislative belly flop on the floor.
Still, sources on the ground said the issue didn’t seem to have much resonance in North Carolina race yet. Republican challenger Thom Tillis’ campaign was pointing to the differences in the two records on gun issues, including Hagan’s “F” rating from the National Rifle Association, but it wasn’t clear what kind of response to the sportsmen’s bill there might be.
The Washington Post Politics blog reports a little more hopeful (but not by much) outlook for the bill:
As the fighting continues, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) began using procedural steps Wednesday to advance the hunting and fishing bill, leaving open a slim possibility that Democrats and Republicans will agree to votes on gun-related­ amendments and pass the bill. If such an agreement can’t be reached, the measure could be quickly blocked and defeated.

Update: The bill is now the casualty of a filibuster as several Democrats joined a majority of Republicans in voting against Reid's move to block a number of the filed 81 amendments.