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Monday, November 2, 2009

Delegate Dan Bowling and the "Gun Show Loophole"

Over the weekend, I was asked why VSSA did not endorse Delegate Danny "Dan" Bowling (D-3) in his House of Delegates re-election race. There is a good reason for VSSA making this decision. While Delegate Bowling has been a good friend of gun owners on most issues, in 2008, he pulled a Creigh Deeds on the so called "gun show loophole." In 2008, House Bill 745, was introduced, adding the definition of firearms show vendor to state law and would have required background checks on the private sale of firearms at gun shows. The bill was assigned to the Militia, Police and Public Safety committee on which Delegate Bowling is a committee member. When the vote came to "Pass By Indefinitely" (PBI- to kill the bill), Delegate Bolling was one of seven committee members voting "No" on killing the bill.

VSSA does a very thorough review of votes cast by legislators to determine who is deserving of our endorsement. The gun show issue is very important to VSSA members and gun owners in general. While questionnaires give an indication of what a candidate says he or she will do, a voting record is a true indication of where a candidate really stands. It is because of the vote on HB 745 in 2008 that Delegate Bowling did not receive the endorsement of VSSA. In addition, the NRA-PVF gave Delegate Bowling a rating of "B" likely because of his vote on HB 745. Bowling's opponent, James W. "Will" Morefield does not have a voting record therefore VSSA did not make an endorsement (he did receive an "AQ" from NRA-PVF based on his questionnaire). Gun owners in the 3rd House of Delegates district should decide who is likely to be a better friend, a candidate that voted against their interests when it comes to gun shows, or a candidate that has indicated on his NRA questionnaire that he will be with us.

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