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Thursday, May 25, 2017

VSSA Member and Author Bruce Lawlor Discusses Takeaways from Manchester Suicide Bombing

Yesterday, VSSA Member and author, Maj. General (Ret.) Bruce Lawlor, was on NRATV's Grant Stichfield's program to discuss the suicide bombing in Manchester, England. Lawlor shares the takeaways from the attack to make sure that similar bombings don't happen in the U.S. Stinchfield airs live on NRATV weekdays at the top of the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.  Earlier this year, Maj. Gen. Lawlor's book When Deadly Force is Involved was published.  He is a former CIA case officer, first Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a former professor at Virginia Tech. He is certified as a firearms instructor in self-defense and has conducted research on the use of small arms and the rules of engagement for military personnel operating in heavily populated, civilian environments.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gabriella Hoffman: Warner's Inconsistency on National Concealed Carry Ignores the Facts

Media consultant and Virginia concealed handgun permit (CHP) holder Gabriella Hoffman has this Op/Ed in the Bristol Herald Courier calling out U.S. Senator Mark Warner for his flip-flop on National Carry Reciprocity.  Warner previously supported legislation allowing permit holders to carry nationwide.  He recently came out in opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  Hoffman writes:
Warner’s opposition to the bill is particularly troubling because our state is one of only 19 states that currently recognizes the valid permits of every other state in the country. Oddly enough, Warner has no issue with gun owners from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York exercising their right to self-defense when they come to Virginia. Yet he fails to apply this principle to his own law-abiding constituents desiring to exercise that same right in those states.

Warner even suggests expanding CHP rights would encourage more “gun violence.” How laughable.
Hoffman goes on to point out that CHP holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the country and cites Dr. John Lott's research showing CHP holders are more law-abiding than police officers:
By comparing crime reports and revocations of CHP permits in Florida and Texas, he found that permit holders are less likely to commit crimes than police officers. Lott found similar results across the country. Given this, Warner is either obfuscating the facts, or is eager to have billionaire gun control activist Michael Bloomberg continue to line his coffers with donor money.
She also points out what happened when Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring tried to end Virginia's reciprocity and recognition agreements with 25 states - a public outcry led to bipartisan support for legislation introduced to overturn that likely would have withstood a veto by Governor Terry McAuliffe.  This forced McAuliffe to throw his AG under the bus and reach a deal that not only restored the agreements with the 25 states, but actually expanded Virginia's reciprocity to include states not previously recognized.

Warner is used to flip flopping however when it comes to the issue of guns.  He originally opposed Virginia's CHP law but flipped when he ran for Governor.  He also signed more pro-rights legislation than any other Governor in recent memory.  But now that he is in the minority party in the U.S. Senate, he apparently believes he needs to toe the anti-rights line of the majority of his Senate Democrat colleagues.

Hat-tip to Cam Edwards of NRATV.com Cam and Company.

June Primary Endorsements

The NRA Political Victory Fund has posted grades and endorsements for the June 13, 2017, primary.  Besides the primary for the state wide offices, there are number of primaries in House of Delegate races.  As the state association affiliate of the NRA, VSSA supports the candidates that have been endorsed by the NRA and urges all VSSA members to support those candidates in the primary.  In races where there is no endorsement, VSSA members are encouraged to review the NRA-PVF grade when considering your vote on June 13.

In the race for Governor, all three GOP candidates received an "A" rating while both Democrat candidates received an "F".  In fact both Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and former Representative Tom Perriello, have been trying to "out gun control" each other for the past couple of months.  It is clear that no matter who wins the GOP primary, that candidate will be best able to work with gun owners to protect our Second Amendment freedom and to sign meaningful legislation that has been vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.

VSSA urges all gun owners to go to the polls on June 13th and let your voice be heard.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Will Gun Control Do More for Ralph Northam than Hillary Clinton?

Lt. Governor and current candidate for Governor Ralph Northam is making gun control a central part of his campaign for Governor this year.  NBC29 has the story.


Northam seems to think his experience in the state legislature will be helpful to do what others before him have not been able to do, pass gun control.

I'll be on NRATV.com this afternoon around 3:40 discussing this with NRANews Cam and Company host Cam Edwards.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Baltimore Considers "Guns for Bail" as Way to Reduce "Gun Violence"

The Baltimore Sun has the story here.
Trevor Brooks, a convicted murderer who attended a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship program after getting out of prison, has an idea he thinks could reduce the rate of gun violence in Baltimore: Let people use an app to turn in guns and make bail.

Given the choice between giving up a gun or sitting in Central Booking, "they're going to turn the guns in as fast as they can," Brooks said.

On Monday, the City Council took up a resolution that would lend its support to the idea. The council will consider the measure as the city scrambles to contain a surge in gun violence that has killed 118 people this year and wounded 200 more, and has city officials leaning on the federal government for help.

Councilman Brandon Scott, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, introduced the measure. He said Brooks' company, GunBail, could offer a new option.
This enterprising former convict has come up with a mobile app that allows someone to take a picture of the firearm from within the app, specify the inmate and his location, and pay the GunBail Shipping & Handling fee. GunBail will send box and tell the individual where to drop off the firearm, all while granting amnesty during the process.   According to the GunBail web site:
Once the firearm is surrendered it can take up to 3 days for local law enforcement to receive it. Once we've turned it over to them your loved one can post bail as early as 48 hours depending on the local law enforcement agency. Regardless the GunBail team is with you every step off the way to make sure your loved one gets released and illegal guns stay off the streets.
 It's a new twist on the so-called "gun buy-back" scheme, but now it will get a perp out of jail.  But supposedly, unlike the "buy-backs which rarely involve firearms that have been used in crimes, this would "target people in the criminal justice system" and get the guns they use in crimes.

The problem with this idea is, according to the article, "nonviolent" offenders in custody would be the ones that are eligible, and, like the "buy-back" schemes, law enforcement would agree not to investigate whether the gun had been used in any other crimes.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mark Warner Comes Full Circle to Pre-2001 Gun Control Stance With Opposition to National Carry Reciprocity

Politico reports that Virginia Democrat U.S. Senator Mark Warner will oppose National Carry Reciprocity:
Warner (D-Va.), who supported a similar measure in 2013 and whose support for gun control initiatives has fluctuated over the past several years, said in a statement Wednesday he'd been moved to oppose the bill in light of the numerous mass shootings occurring in recent years in the U.S.

"With the tragic rate of gun violence today, I simply cannot support efforts to further weaken our nation’s gun laws," Warner said. "That includes renewed efforts this Congress to relax the standards for issuing concealed carry permits or to establish a national system that would further erode state-level concealed carry standards."
Prior to 2001, Warner opposed Virginia's efforts to pass "shall issue" concealed carry, among other gun ban policies he supported.  When he ran for Governor in 2001 he did an about face in an effort to keep the NRA from endorsing his Republican opponent.  As Governor, he signed 17 substiative pro-rights bills and did not veto any pro-rights legislation.

But since 2012, he has slowly crept back to his old positions.  He supported outlawing the sale of firearms by private individuals with support for so-called "universal" background checks in 2013. He has now come full circle, opposing putting concealed carry permits on par with drivers licenses by allowing someone from say Virginia to carry concealed in any state in the union with a valid Virginia permit.

Warner's excuse is the "tragic rate of gun violence today" but concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding people in the country which begs the question Senator Warner, exactly how does keeping National Carry Reciprocity reduce "gun violence" when permit holders are not the people that are committing crime?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Seen at the 2017 NRA Annual Meeting - F&D Defense Folding AR

One of the new products getting a lot of buzz at last weekend's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits was F&D Defense's XAR Folding AR.  The prototype is an AR-10 but it will soon be available in an AR-15.

Regarding the question of retaining zero, Eric of  IraqVeteran8888 You Tube channel tried it out ahead of the show and that doesn't appear to be a problem.


According to F&D Defense's promotional information:
F&D Defense’s previous innovation of the 4-bolt lock up system is the prime reason the XAR technology is even possible. By removing the limitations of a barrel nut and adding the XAR folding innovation, F&D Defense has created the most compact, fastest deployed AR rifle in the industry, without sacrificing the reliability, durability, and accuracy demanded and expected. Faster deployment, faster takedown, no loose parts.”
F&D Defense will release the XAR Invicta in the summer of 2017. For more information on F&D Defense, the XAR technology, or the F&D Invicta, visit FDDefense.com.

Hat tip to Matthew Moss at taskandpurpose.com

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Delegate Todd Gilbert Receives the NRA Defender of Freedom Award

On Friday, April 28, Delegate Todd Gilbert was presented the 2017 NRA Defender of Freedom Award at the NRA Annual Meeting's and Exhibits.  Delegate Gilbert has been a tireless defender of our firearm freedom in the Virginia House of Delegates.. He has sponsored numerous bills to restore our freedoms and has worked to defeat bills that infringe on those freedoms.  This year, he was the House sponsor of legislation that would have allowed victims of domestic violence to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after a protective order was issued. The bill also provided that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which would serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit.   Governor McAuliffe vetoed the legislation.  He spoke with NRATV while he was at the Annual Meeting.

Sig Sauer's John Hollister on Prospects for Hearing Protection Act

At the NRA Annual Meetings last weekend, John Hollister of the SIG Silencer Team and Michael Bane of The Outdoor Channel talked Suppressors.  During the conversation Bane asked about the prospects for passage of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA).  Hollister said he believes it will pass, but not this year (at the 4:38 mark of the below video).
I had the opportunity to speak with Hollister in the hotel Saturday afternoon and he said he believes it may take several years to pass the HPA but he does believe it will eventually pass.  I told him my fear was if it is not done in the next two years, or at least the next four, our window of opportunity may close due to politics and political changes in Congress or the White House.  He said every gun owner needs to go to the American Suppressor Association web site and complete the form that will send an email to your congressman and senators to support the Duncan-Carter Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 367) in the House and the Hearing Protection Act (S.59) in the Senate.  

April Background Checks Second Highest on Record

But, Bloomberg's mouthpiece, The Trace leads with "Gun background checks were down 16 percent month-over-month in April."  By contrast, Fox News' headline on the subject read that sales (background checks are not a perfect indicator of sales but trends can be projected) remain near record levels.  Add this to the fact that this year's NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits saw the second highest attendance ever behind just 2013's meeting in Houston, and we get a picture that in post Obama America, the industry and the public's interest in firearms is still strong.

In the Trump era, where attacks on our rights from the White House are, for now, a thing of the past.   That is not to say there are no attacks. As I.C.E. Training owner Rob Pincus posted on his Facebook page from the NRA meetings, attacks are still coming at the state level and that is where the fight will continue for now:
The election for Governor this year could determine the direction for our rights for years to come as the next Governor will determine how state legislative districts are drawn.  If the next Governor is anti-rights like Terry McAuliffe, you can guarantee he will veto any redistricting plans that do not give his party more seats in the legislature.

Now is the time to join VSSA if you are not already a member, and get involved in this year's election.  That is the only way to protect our rights.