Monday, April 20, 2015

Tim Kaine Pushing Gun Control Again

America's First Freedom (AFF) reports that Virginia's U.S. Senator Tim Kaine used the opportunity of the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting to push for "expanded background checks."
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., went to the floor of the U.S. Senate to mark the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings by reading the names of the 32 victims and calling for more background checks—ironically of the type that the mass murderer there had already passed.
As AFF noted, the Virginia Tech shooter passed a background check.  Had a so-called "universal background check" been law, it would not have stopped that horrible incident.  The reason the shooter passed the background check was because a state judge failed to involuntarily commit the shooter for mental health treatment, resulting in his name not being added as a prohibited person in the background database.

What may have reduced the number of deaths is what John Lott told WMAL"s Larry O’Connor last Thursday, putting an end to "gun free zones."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

General Assembly Fails to Override McAuliffe Veto of Gun Bills, Spikes Anti-gun Substitute Bill

Governor Terry McAuliffe had his way yesterday with the three vetoes he issued to pro-rights bills in late March.  The State Senate failed to override the veto of SB948, a bill that would have protected concealed carry permit (CHP) holders from the fishing expeditions of law enforcement in states that do not have permit reciprocity with Virginia. The vote fell three short of the 27 needed to override the veto and mirrored to vote on passage during the regular session.  The Senate also failed to override the veto of SB1137, Senator Tom Garrett's bill that would have allowed CHP holders to carry loaded long guns in their vehicles.  Senator Garrett requested the bill go by for the day rather than subject it an override vote that was likely to fail.  Senator Garrett has vowed to try again next year.  Finally, the State Senate failed to override McAuliffe's veto of HB2009, a bill that would have established uniform approval standards across the Commonwealth for NFA items by requiring when the certification of a chief law-enforcement officer is required by federal law for transfer of a firearm as defined in the National Firearms Act, such certification must be provided within 60 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm. If the applicant is prohibited by law from receiving the firearm, the chief law-enforcement officer or his designee shall notify the applicant in writing of the reason for the prohibition.  The House of Delegates has overridden the veto earlier in the day but the Senate vote was actually four less than the vote on passage during the regular session.  The vote to override was 21-18, while the vote on passage in February was 25-14.

There was some good news however yesterday.  The House rejected McAuliffe's amendment to HB2286.  As passed by the House and Senate, HB2286 provided that the prohibition on the possession and transportation of firearms and ammunition by convicted felons does not apply to a felon whose right to possess firearms or ammunition has been restored under the law of another state.  Governor McAuliffe submitted an amendment in the nature of a substitute that added new misdemeanor crimes for any person who knowingly and intentionally possesses, transports, or carries any firearm following a misdemeanor conviction for an offense that occurred on or after July 1, 2015, for the offenses of (i) stalking in violation of § 18.2-60.3 when the victim was a family or household member, (ii) sexual battery in violation of § 18.2-67.4 when the victim was a family or household member, (iii) assault and battery of a family or household member, or (iv) any offense substantially similar to clause (i), (ii), or (iii) in the laws of any other state or political subdivision thereof is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.  A bill with these provisions had previously been defeated in both the House and the State Senate.  Yesterday, the House ruled that the substitute was not germane.  The original bill is now before the Governor and he may sign it as is or veto it.

Yesterday's votes show the importance of this year's General Assembly elections where all 100 members of the House and 40 members of the State Senate are up for re-election.  Gun owners need to gain at least three Senate seats to have the opportunity to advance pro-rights legislation in the next two years.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Have a Conversation With Kids About Firearm Safety

NSSF's Project Childsafe released a new video earlier this month featuring champion shooter Julie Golob that offers some tips for parents who may not know how to talk to their kids about firearm safety.  It starts out with how to talk to young children and progresses to talking with teens.

Kahr Arms Showcases New Gen2 at NRA Annual Meeting

Kahr Arms used the NRA Annual Meeting to showcase their new Gen2 Premium line of handguns ahead of this summer's availability.  With tighter tolerances and many upgrades, the company's web site notes the Gen2 "truly is the second generation of Kahr pistols."  Some of the new features include:
  • shortened trigger stroke allowing for quicker firing rates – 30% shorter than premium model
  • integrated trigger safety
  • accessory rail for lasers and lights
  • front slide serrations on 5” and 6” barrel models
  • 6” compensated barrel model
  • Leupold® Deltapoint™ Red Dot mount (5” barrel models) with tall target sights
  • Leupold® Deltapoint™ Red Dot optic included with 6” barrel models
  • TRUGLO® TFX™ Tritium/Fiber-Optic Day/Night sights standard on 3.5” and 4” barrel models
  • Safe-Cam striker-fired action
  • double recoil spring system for reduced felt recoil
  • redesigned magazine base and grip for a sleeker look
  • slide machined from the highest quality of stainless steel available for firearms
  • erial tag on grip frame
  • ergonomic single stack grip frame fits most hand sizes from small to large
  • ships with 3 magazines and a lockable, hard, polymer case
Outdoor Channel's Michael Bane spoke with Kahr Arms' Frank Harris about the new offerings showcased in Nashville.
Kahr rolled out eight of the firearms in Nashville but a total of 12 models will be available by December 2015 with four barrel lengths and three calibers including 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Premium doesn't only describe the model, it could also be used to describe the price.  The MSRP on the new series will range from $976 to $1668.  The 9mm and .45 ACP will be available in July/August 2015 and the .40 S&W will be available in December.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

VSSA Member Ascends to NRA Presidency

Yesterday, the NRA Board of Directors elected Allan D. Cors President of the NRA.  From the NRA Blog:
A lifelong hunter and competitive shooter with a passion for collecting World War II military vehicles, Cors has served as president of the NRA Foundation and is a member of the NRA’s Executive Committee. He was a principal advocate for the establishment of the NRA’s Political Action Committee. Cors served as a counsel with the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as the director of government affairs and senior vice president at Corning for 34 years.
Cors has been a member of VSSA since 1978.  He will serve a term of two years and will likely be succeeded by Pete Brownell, who was elected 1st Vice President.

Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Increase Bullying of Kroger on Firearm Policy

It appears Bloomberg's gun ban groups have not given up on bullying Kroger to change their policy related to open carry of firearms in their stores. Forbes reports that Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety and  Moms Demand Action have joined together to released a video ad targeting Kroger that the groups plan to market online. They've also stood up a "microsite" called Groceries not Guns where supporters of the gun ban groups can enter the total of groceries purchased at Kroger competitors:
A representative of the two groups made it clear they’ll carry on pressuring Kroger until the supermarket chain agrees to ask customers to forgo their guns while grocery shopping. Their expenditure on this campaign is just shy of the $1 million mark to date.
Interestingly enough, of the competitors Moms Demand lists as alternatives to Kroger that I frequent (Costco and Target), I don't recall seeing signs posted regarding firearms in Virginia Costco and Target stores.  Please continue to let Kroger know you appreciate them honoring the firearm laws of the states in which they do business.

Update: It appears Costco does have a policy against firearms - they just don't post it.

Women of Weatherby A Resource for Female Shooters

During the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, Michael Bane had the opportunity to speak with the Women of Weatherby, Haley Heath, Rachel Ahtila, and Karissa Phantz at the Outdoor/Sportsmen Channel Booth.  The ladies talked about how Weatherby has created a resource for the fastest growing segment of the firearms community.  According to the Women of Weatherby web site:
The Women of Weatherby team is comprised of three women known for their fierce independence, positive influence and unconditional love of the outdoors. Their vast experience and authenticity as hunters provide the perfect foundation to inspire the dreams of women at every level of hunting and shooting.
Haley and Rachel noted that simply making firearms in purple, pink, and teal do not make them a woman's gun.  They said every woman is different and through the Women of Weatherby, the company has made a commitment to ensure that all women have the resources to make the right choice when it comes to owning and using firearms.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Moms Demand Pathetic Excuse for Demonstration in Nashville

All of my favorite blogs have posts about the Moms Demand Action so-called demonstration on Saturday during the NRA Annual Meeting.  My entire family went to Nashville so we took some time away from the Music City Center Saturday afternoon to take a walk down Broadway and get some ice cream at Mike's Ice Cream.  We must have missed the "protest" because we had walked all the way down to the river where it was held and there were no protesters at the time we were there but we passed four people with red Moms Demand t-shirts on our way back up Broadway. One of them had an arm full of t-shirts. Needless to say, according to folks who did see the dismal turnout, the crowd was much less than the 400 Moms Demand predicted.  My favorite photo though had to be the one that explained how Moms Demand made it look like there were more people than there actually were:
Bob Owens of Bearing Arms had this photo from the walking bridge above in comparison to one hallway at the Music City Center.
Bob also had this prediction:

Marco Rubio: We are at a Turning Point with the Second Amendment and National Security

I've attended, or at least watched via the video feed in the convention center, or after I returned home, a number of NRA Annual Meeting Leadership Forum speeches since they began in 2008.  More times than not, speakers touch on the Second Amendment then go on to a laundry list of other issues that would fit more with a GOP Convention than a non-partisan organization.  While it may be safe to say a lot of gun owners fall on the conservative side of the aisle, what about those gun owners who aren't?  Are we discouraging those folks from being NRA members? 

Despite the fact there are very few national Democrats who vote the right way on the Second Amendment issue, resulting in most of the organization's national support going to Republicans, there are still states around the country that have Democrats who support the Second Amendment.  They receive support from the NRA when they are on the right side of the issue.  The NRA is a non-partisan single issue organization.  Support that issue and the NRA will support your re-election.

So, it was refreshing to hear Florida Senator Marco Rubio use his time Friday to speak almost entirely on the Second Amendment and how it relates to national security. The phrase "The Second Amendment is the Original Home Land Security" isn't just a slogan, and Rubio made the case on how the right to keep and bear arms and how it intersects with national security. 

Eddie Eagle Gets a Facelift

One of the things I picked up at the NRA Annual Meetings was the just released updated Eddie Eagle video.  If you have children, you have probably seen the one dimensional cartoon that debuted in 1988.  With the wide use of computer generated images (CGI) for today's animation, the old version is a bit outdated.  The new video pairs Eddie with new friends known as "The Wing Team" to teach children what to do if they find a firearm.

The NRA has also updated the program web site.  It's still a program for young children but the update should make it more appealing and help get the message to kids that if you see a gun "Don't Touch, Leave the Area, and Tell and Adult."

Jim Shepherd: Hillary Gives NRA Last Word

The Shooting Wire's Jim Shepherd ended today's edition with a wrap-up of the NRA Annual Meeting and started with a pronouncement that something that happened hundreds of miles away from Nashville may do more to unite the NRA's membership than the upbeat positive event that just ended:
As the one hundred and forty-fourth annual meeting of the National Rifle Association wrapped up in Nashville, Tennessee's Music City Center yesterday, one of the most galvanizing actions for the NRA's membership took place hundreds of miles away.

With Hillary Clinton's virtual announcement of her formal candidacy for president, the NRA and the many Second Amendment groups in attendance finally have the face of the anti-gun movement firmly fixed in their political sights. As the parade of potential Republican presidential candidates rolled (slowly) across the stage on Friday, many of them took pointed shots at President Obama's record, but others took advantage of the opportunity to let the NRA faithful in attendance know they were ready for "Madame Clinton" when her apparently inevitable other shoe was once again digitally tossed into the ring with considerably less invective than a rumored ashtray was passed to her husband in the White House.
We've been down this road before where we focus on defeating Hillary Clinton and ended up with someone as bad if not worse.  In 2008 most anyone would have said that Clinton was going to be the Democrat nominee. She had the early start, the popular (among Democrats at least) former president husband, and it looked like she could not be beat.  Sound familiar?  So you can excuse me when I heard a focus on Hillary at Friday's NRA-ILA Leadership Conference as maybe just a little bit of déjà vu.

With no other announced candidate on the Democratic side of the race, it makes sense to focus on the known.  There is talk however that former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley may jump in an that he would possibly run to Hillary's left (as if that is possible).  His record on Second Amendment issues are just as bad.  Let's hope this year, if there ends up being a competitive Democratic primary race, we will get the word out on how each of the candidates stand on our issue.  Because, as more than one person has noted, the more people who see Hillary, the less they like her.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Guns and Politics at First Day of NRA Annual Meeting

While thousands walked the exhibit floor, a sold out crowd heard a line up of GOP current and former elected officials tout there ability to protect our Second Amendment rights as well as other issues they believe are important to those in the crowd.
Senator Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received some of the loudest applause from the audience. Cruz claimed he was the one who had consistently fought for conservative  principles, even when it was not popular.  Walker talked about his modest upbringing.

Jeb Bush, who has been tagged as the "establishment" candidate, said he would put his record on the Second Amendment while Governor of Florida up against any other candidate.
Former Governor Rick Perry said he is undecided on whether he will run again but gave a spirited speech none the less. Not long after I received a fundraising email from Perry's PAC touting his Life Membership in the NRA.
Other speakers included Governor Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio.  You can watch all of the speeches of the day at NRANEWS.COM.  You can also watch today's Annual Meeting of Members live on several NRA video platforms, including NRANews.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Crowded Music City Center

The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits and there are wall to wall people in the Music City Center.  The Wall of Guns Raffle is also very active in the hall way of the third floor.