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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Republican AG Candidates To Debate in Culpeper

The three Republican candidates running for Attorney General will debate in Culpeper on March 16th. The debate will be held at 7 p.m. at the Germanna Community College Daniel Technology Center and is open to the public. The Culpeper, Madison and Orange Republican committees are sponsoring the event. The debate is an excellent opportunity to see all of the candidates on the Republican side and learn where they stand on the issues - including the Second Amendment - and gun owners are encouraged to attend. Attendees typically have an opportunity to speak with the candidates after these type of local events.

The Office of the Attorney General is a very important office for protecting the rights of Virginia's gun owners. The last two AG's (Jerry Kilgore and Bob McDonnell) responded to opinion requests that directly affected the rights of gun owners - Kilgore responded that CHP holders could carry in state parks and McDonnell responded that the State Police CHP database was not public information. McDonnell also joined an amicus brief on the side of Heller in the D.C. gun ban case - taking a different position that Virginia's anti-rights Governor Tim Kaine, who supported the D.C. Gun Ban. While AG's opinions are just that - legal opinions - they often carry the force of law and may lead the General Assembly to act accordingly.

Only one of three candidates running on the Republican side has held an elective office that regularly deals with gun related issues - State Senator Ken Cuccinelli. He has been a strong defender of our rights and received an "A" rating from the NRA in his 2007 re-election bid for office. Virginia gun owners have no question about Senator Cuccinelli's pro-rights credentials.

Among the other two candidates running for the Republican AG nomination, is former U.S. Attorney John Brownlee. He served as U.S. Attorney, 2001-2008. Brownlee is also a retired U.S. Army officer, honorably discharged in 2001. Brownlee attended high school in Fairfax, is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and William and Mary School of Law. He currently teaches Trail Advocacy at UVA School of Law. Brownlee wrote in the January issue of the VSSA member publication, The Bullet, that he is a life long supporter of the Second Amendment and applauded the Heller Decision.

Dave Foster is the third candidate on the Republican side. He served two terms on the Arlington County School Board and is a graduate of the UVA School of Law. Mr. Foster also wrote in his January Bullet article that he supports an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Delegate Steve Shannon is the only Democrat running for AG. He received a "C" rating from the NRA in 2007. It appears that if gun owners are to have a pro-rights candidate for AG, it will come from the Republican side this year.

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