VGOF

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caroline County Tables Noise Ordinance Proposal

On Tuesday, the Caroline County Board of Supervisors tabled proposed revisions to the county's noise ordinance that would have allowed law enforcement officers to use their personal discretion, not decibel meters, to ticket nuisance noise makers.

The proposed ordinance could have had an impact on residents who target practice on their private property.

About 30 people spoke at the public hearing and expressed concerns about the proposed ordinance. Some spoke of the importance of protecting target shooting.

The proposal was problematic because what one officer would consider obnoxious noise would not be to another officer. Leaving this up to the discretion of an individual instead of a specific standard invites trouble.

VSSA will continue to monitor this an let members know if further action is needed should a revised proposal come before the board.

Democratic Candidates for Governor and Gun Shows

All three candidates for Governor appeared at a debate in Blacksburg Wednesday night and all said they supported requiring background checks on private sales at gun shows. The three candidates are State Sen. R Creigh Deeds, former Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe and former House of Delegates Democratic Caucus leader Brian Moran.

Until this year, Deeds has consistently supported gun owners on this issue but it appears he believes to win the nomination he has to shift his position.

Moran took the opportunity point out Deeds is that voted earlier this month to override Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's veto of a bill that allows people with concealed weapons permits into restaurants that serve alcohol.

Moran is a little inconsistent too. He was working real hard to up his NRA rating a few years ago when he went from a "D" candidate for the House of Delegates in 2003 to a "B-" in 2005 and an "A" in 2007, likely in the hopes of helping his planned run for Governor. Who knew then that Terry McAuliffe would jump in the race and Moran would have to share the stage with someone from his home turf.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So This is What He Was Elected to Do?

A little off topic but worth a mention - Michelle Malkin points us to the Official White House Photo Page on Flickr. On it you will find photos of the President doing important things like this:

(taken last Friday)

and this:

I don't begrudge the guy some down time but these photos look like they were taken during the work day. Consider the fact that the government is quickly taking over vast portions of the private economy, you would think he would have more important things to do.

The media used to give President Bush grief for spending time at his ranch and I remember the left and the media complaining about the amount of time President Reagan spent at his ranch in California.

I despise double standards.

Ammunition Sales

I don't have to tell you that ammo is just as hard to come by as some models of firearms. Michael Bane has a great post over on his blog on the amount of ammo that was sold in December of 2008 (based on this report from AmmoLand.com), and how some firearms instructors are adjusting their training to cope with the situation.

Hat tip to Alphecca.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jimmy Carter and "Assault Weapons"

Today's New York Times features an Op/Ed by former president Jimmy Carter asking "What Happened to the Ban on Assault Weapons?" Carter uses the standard hyperbole in his column, but starts out talking about how he has owned guns for years to hunt. Here's a sample:

I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now own two handguns, four shotguns and three rifles, two with scopes. I use them carefully, for hunting game from our family woods and fields, and occasionally for hunting with my family and friends in other places. We cherish the right to own a gun and some of my hunting companions like to collect rare weapons. One of them is a superb craftsman who makes muzzle-loading rifles, one of which I displayed for four years in my private White House office.

But none of us wants to own an assault weapon, because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives. That’s why the White House and Congress must not give up on trying to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, even if it may be politically difficult.

Now, think about that for a minute. Carter believes that everyone who has been feverishly purchasing semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s since last October, are doing so with a desire to "kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see how many victims" they can "accumulate" before turning the gun on their families and then themselves. That would be news to one of my friends who told me recently he also made a purchase of those dreaded rifles.

Carter also has reached into the anti-rights' bag of talking points, blaming the NRA, which, according to Carter, is "heavily influenced and supported by the firearms industry." Next he trots out the talking point that the NRA is defending "criminals’ access to assault weapons and use of ammunition that can penetrate protective clothing worn by police officers on duty."

What Carter and others calling for an end to so-called "cop killer bullets" want is a ban on commonplace ammunition used for hunting, target shooting and other legitimate purposes by amending the federal “armor piercing ammunition” law, which currently restricts bullets made with certain metals and jacket constructions designed to penetrate protective vests worn by law enforcement officers. The change would ban any bullet that can be used in a handgun and that can penetrate the least protective vest worn by law enforcement officers. It should be noted that this concept has been rejected by the Justice and Treasury departments.

Carter's ban would affect virtually all center-fire rifle ammunition and many calibers of handgun ammunition, because many rifle bullets can be used in hunting and target handguns, and minimum-protection vests are not designed to protect against center-fire rifle ammunition or the more powerful varieties of handgun ammunition, regardless of how their bullets are constructed. I guess Carter only hunts with a shotgun or he would already know his rifle hunting ammo would be no longer available under his ban.

One of the biggest proponents of such a change in the law is none other than Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy has claimed that he is not trying to ban hunting ammunition, but an NRA-ILA Fact Sheet notes that he has objected to private citizens having .30-30 Winchester ammunition, the most popular deer hunting ammunition in American history and the ammunition that I use every year during Virginia's general firearms deer season.

Finally, Carter reaches into the anti-rights bag of talking points to pull out the "U.S. assault weapons are ending up in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels" a fact that Carter says only the NRA disputes.

Wrong Mr. President! Fact Check.org questions the numbers being used by your companions in the anti-rights movement. A number of journalists who still value the definition of what that term means have questioned the numbers being used.

And while we are correcting your facts, lets look closely at this statement:

An overwhelming majority of Americans...support modest restraints like background checks, mandatory registration and brief waiting periods before purchase.

Maybe Carter should take a look at the latest Gallup Poll on the subject that showed support for increased gun control is at an all time low. Americans already submit to background checks for the overwhelming number of firearms purchases (private sales being the only exception - and the real target of the anti-rights crowd like Mr. Carter). The majority don't support mandatory registration and why do we need waiting periods when we have background checks?

I suggest that Mr. Carter go back to Georgia and go back to what he did so well until 1994 when he reemerged from exile to jump back on the world stage - build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Culpeper Star Exponent Op/Ed Smears NRA

This morning an Op/Ed was published in the Culpeper Star Exponent that says the NRA is undermining responsible gun ownership with it's rhetoric.

The evidence for the charge? According to the author, Robert Legge,

After the 1994 sieges at Waco and Ruby Ridge, the NRA leadership whipped up anti-government hysteria, culminating in a famous fundraising letter warning of jackbooted thugs ... (who could) break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and injure or kill us.”
Legge even follows DHS Secretary Janet Napolotano's lead by dredging up Tim McVeigh.

Timothy McVeigh bought into that kind of incendiary rhetoric. A week after that NRA letter was sent, he blew up the federal Murrah building, killing many of the U.S. federal agents he so despised.
Legge should know that the NRA (or Wayne LaPierre who's name is not used but the term "leadership" is clear code word for the target of the charge) was not the first to use the term "jackbooted thugs." For those who don't know, it was a U.S. Congressman, a Democrat at that, Representative John Dingell (D-MI), who referred to ATF this way:

...a jack-booted group of fascists who are perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today.
First, people outraged at what the government is doing don't need the NRA to get riled up. All you have to do is look at what is going on - from attempts to pass further restrictions on firearms freedom, to spending our children 's and grandchildren's inheritance, to making our nation less safe by telling our enemies they no longer have to worry about being subjected to having water poured in their face or spending a few hours with the insect they most hate. There are plenty of reasons to be outraged at the government and our elected leaders.

To say that the NRA foments violence against the government is absurd. Go to any function attended by NRA members, like the NRA Annual Meeting or a Friends of NRA Dinner, and you will find that NRA members are some of the nicest people you can ever have the pleasure of coming in contact. If someone is going to take the rhetoric used in NRA fundraising letters and turn it into a reason to commit mayhem against the government, those people were already inclined to violence and it is safe to say those people would have found any excuse as the reason for their actions. The NRA has nothing to do with it and this gun owner believes that the NRA and its state associations are doing a great service to gun owners by holding the feet of our elected officials to the fire.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brady and Lautenberg Take Gun Show Attack National

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) joined Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke at a press conference to introduce legislation taking Brady's attack on gun shows and private firearm sales national. Referring to the so-called "gun show loophole" Lautenberg said:

There is no rational reason to oppose closing the loophole. The reason it’s still not closed is simple: the continuing power of the special interest gun lobby in Washington.
No senator, the reason the bill has not passed is because there is no "loophole."

Using the shootings of Columbine as their backdrop, Lautenberg and Brady held their press conference one day after the 10th anniversary of the shootings and a few days after the 2nd anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting to unveil the legislation. Omar Ramaha, the brother of a Virginia Tech shooting victim and who last week shared the stage with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he unveiled an attack ad against Virginia GOP candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, was also present.

What would Lautenberg's bill do?

  • The bill will define gun shows as any event where 50 or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale. Under this bill merely “offering” to “exchange” a firearm at an “event” could be banned. The National Matches at Camp Perry and your local gun club’s Sunday trap shoot would be defined as “events” subject to the bill’s provisions. Even talking about a gun at an “event” could be seen as an illegal “offer” to sell a gun. Even if you are not a dealer, but you display a gun at a gun show, and then months later sell the gun to someone you met at the show, you would be subject to the same requirements as if you completed the sale at the gun show. If you are at home with a collection of 50 or more firearms, it would be a five-year felony to “offer” or “exchange” a single gun -- even between family or friends -- unless you first registered with the BATFE and paid a fee, the cost of which would be at BATFE’s discretion.
  • Gun show promoters would be required to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), maintain a list of vendors at all gun shows, and ensure that all vendors acknowledge receipt of information about their legal obligations. This means that a person who attends a show, even without a gun, who even discusses the possibility of selling a gun, would be required to sign “a ledger with identifying information.” That's because a promoter cannot know whether a person who attends his show will discuss the sale of a gun, he will have to require every customer to sign the ledger, and check every customer’s ID to verify the information required on the ledger. Gun show promoters would have to retain the ledgers indefinitely for inspection by the BATFE.
  • Requires that all firearms sales at gun shows, including those by private sellers that may be selling one or more pieces of their private collection, go through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). A private seller would be required to use an FFL at the gun show to complete the transaction. The FFL would be required to maintain records of the transaction just like they do for any transaction they make for their business. This means that at any time the FFL goes out of business, that information would be transferred to the ATF.

Lautenberg also took the opportunity to trot out the latest talking point of the anti-rights crowd, relating U.S. gun control to drug cartel crime in Mexico.

Thirty percent of the guns that go to Mexico are bought at gun shows. We don’t know whether they’re bought from unlicensed dealers, but logic would say let’s have some idea who it is that bought those guns and what their intentions might be.
At a time when President Obama is doing everything he can to avoid talking about guns and gun control, the anti-rights lobby and their lap dogs in congress are making it priority #1.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chucky Schumer, Gillibrand Call on Obama to Remove Tiahrt Amendments from 2010 Budget

Last Friday, New York U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles "Chucky" Schumer called on President Obama to keep the Tiahrt Amendments out of the FY 2010 Federal Budget, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Specifically, Gillibrand and Schumer are urging the President to reinstate a 90-day retention period that existed before the current 24-hour period was implemented by the Bush Administration in 2004. They are also calling on Obama to end a provision that they say restricts states and localities from having full access to aggregated trace data.

Schumer and Gillibrand (who has supported Tiahrt in the past) are not being honest. Neither the congressional language nor ATF rules prohibit the sharing of trace data with law enforcement conducting criminal investigations, or place any restrictions on the sharing of trace data with other jurisdictions once it is in the hands of state or local law enforcement.

The President signaled last week during his joint press conference with Mexican President Calderon that repealing the Tiahrt Amendment related to trace data would be more doable at this time than reinstating the ban on semi-automatic rifles. It is also one of the priorities listed on the White House Agenda website under the heading Urban Policy -Crime and Law Enforcement.

The fact is the only people affected by the Tiahrt Amendment are big city mayors who want to go on a fishing expedition using the trace data to sure gun manufacturers and dealers out of business. NRA News host Cam Edwards gave a great explanation of the Tiahrt Amendment recently.

Governor "Fast Eddie" Rendell and Wayne LaPierre Debate

Sunday's Face the Nation featured a continued discussion of the "Assault Weapons" ban for a good portion of the show. First White House advisor David Axelrod said now is not the time to take the focus off the economy to push for a renewal of the ban. Then Pennsylvania Governor "Fast Eddie" Rendell debated Wayne LaPierre on the subject. Even Rendell agreed that while he wants to see the ban renewed, he agreed with the President (and Senator Diane Feinstein) that now is not the time to bring this issue up.

So, even though the media keeps pushing the issue, we know that while the President does not want to touch this issue with a ten foot pole right now, you can bet that at such time as the economy turns around, President Obama will most certainly try and find some way to bring this issue to the front burner.

Fast Eddie hasn't changed any of his talking points in a decade. He makes the comment during the debate "Who needs an 'assault weapons'? Not hunters, not Olympic shooters." Later when trying to get LaPierre to agree to handgun rationing he asks, "Who needs more than 12 guns in a year?"


Watch CBS Videos Online

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bob McDonnell Leads Three Democratic Candidates

Just two days after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came into Virgina in an attempt to influence the governor's election by pounding on Bob McDonnell for not supporting the "Gun Show Loophole" bill, pollster Scott Rasmussen reported in a head to head match up with the three Democratic candidates running for governor, McDonnell leads all three. To some extent this could be due to McDonnell having higher name ID (though it would be hard to image that the name Terry McAuliffe is completely unknown).

The former attorney general and lone GOP candidate, and Brian J. Moran, a former state delegate from Alexandria. McDonnell now leads Moran by 10 points, 44% to 34%.

The highest profile Democrat in the race is next. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidant and former national party chairman, trails McDonnell by 12 points, 45% to 33%.

State Delegate R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County continues to fare the worst against his Republican opponent. McDonnell leads Deeds by 15 points, 45% to 30%. Deeds is the only Democrat in the race that has had a dependable pro-rights voting record.

Virginia Democrats will pick their gubernatorial nominee in a June 9 primary and Rasmussen reports that the Democratic Primary competition is having an impact on the General Election polls. According to Rasmussen, each of the three Democratic candidates attracts a relatively low level of support from within their own party in the current polls and a correspondingly large number of Democrats who are undecided.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama Still Believes Assault Weapons Ban is Good Policy

During a joint Q&A session with the Mexican President yesterday, both President Obama and President Calderon were asked about the expired American ban on certain semi-automatic firearms.

President Obama was asked if he had backed off on his campaign promise to push for a renewal of the ban and if so, how would he explain his broken campaign promise to the American people? Obama responded:

I haven't backed off at all from my belief that the assault weapons ban made sense...Having said that, none of us are under any illusion that reinstating that ban would be easy. What we've focused on is how we can improve our enforcement under existing laws.

It's interesting that he chided "those who have put off the hard decisions" in a speech earlier in the week during a speech at Georgetown University, but I digress.

The President went on to day that he continue to believe that we can respect and honor the Second Amendment right in our Constitution, throwing out the obligatory support to the rights of sportsmen and hunters. He even mentioned the rights of those who want firearms for self-defense (this from a man who was quoted on the campaign trail as being an opponent of concealed carry). But he immediately returned to the talking points on the teleprompter by saying we can respect the rights of all of these people and still help Mexico fight the crime committed by the drug cartels.

Both Obama and Calderon referenced the now debunked figure of 90% of illegal guns in Mexico come from the U.S.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coalition To Stop Gun Violence Jumps on DHS Bandwagon

Just one day after it came to light that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers Second Amendment activists, veterans, and other law-abiding citizens to be possible "right-wing extremists," the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) sent out an email adding talk show host Glenn Beck and Fox News to the list.

They wrote
...the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is growing increasingly disturbed by violent, anti-government, pro-gun rhetoric that is now being disseminated by "mainstream" media news sources.

Apparently CSGV does not like the fact that Mr. Beck is outspoken about his support for the 2nd Amendment and his opposition to the policies of President Obama.

In their email titled Insurrection Goes "Mainstream" CSGV writes:

Glenn Beck is just one of many right-wing commentators who have been encouraging Americans to arm themselves against what they describe as a "totalitarian" Obama Administration and Democratic Congress.
I don't know anything about Mr. Beck specifically encouraging people to "arm themselves" against the Obama Administration but if all it takes to qualify as an insurrectionist is to express an opinion against the policies of the government, I presume CSGV will soon write about their disdain for Jefferson, Henry, Samuel Adams, and the other Founding Fathers.

Mexico Wants Stronger U.S. Gun Laws

While Mexico has agreed to submit more of the guns they seize to the U.S. for tracing, the Washington Post reported today that the Mexican government wants the Obama Administration to reinstate a ban on importing "assault weapons" that was lifted by President George W. Bush in 2001. On Face the Nation this past weekend, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. repeated the l lie that most of the "assault weapons" coming into Mexico are coming from the US.

Looks like everyone is reading from the same talking points.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NY Times Laments "American Way"

In this morning's New York Times, Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert laments what he calls the "American Way" - multiple deaths caused by the evil firearm. Herbert recounts the shootings in recent weeks - shootings carried out by very troubled people for a variety of reasons from the economy to people making fun of the way the shooter (an immigrant) talked.

I wish just once one of these guys would write to complain about the lenient sentencing in cities with major crime problems as the reason they experience so much crime.

Herbert then goes on to blame the NRA and what he terms "so-called conservative" legislators whose "goal is to get ever more guns into the hands of ever more people." He even calls out Texas for considering a bill to allow concealed guns on college campuses.

This is just one more example in the last week of the media trying to do what the Obama Administration up until now has been avoiding - using high profile crimes to push their agenda to restrict the rights of law abiding gun owners.

From the Katie Couric interview of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Diane Sawyer 20/20 hit piece on gun shows and concealed carry, to the 60 Minutes piece on the increase in gun sales and gun shows, all of this is to try and paint guns and gun shows (though the 6o Minutes piece to a lessor extent) in the worst possible light in order to try and get the public to clamour for more gun control.

Problem is, according to the Gallup Poll, support for gun control is at an all-time low. But we need to remain vigilant. Remember, Senator Diane Feinstein didn't say she was giving up on banning semi-automatic firearms - just that she was going to do it when she thinks the time is right.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bloomberg Funded Group Attacks Bob McDonnell

Americans United for Safe Streets, a group funded by anti-rights New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference in Northern Virginia this morning to unveil what they said was a new ad to push for background checks on private sales at guns shows. Even press reports billed the press conference as a campaign to close the so-called "gun show loophole." But as you see from the ad below, it is actually an ad targeting Republican candidate for Governor, former Attorney General Bob McDonnell, because he supports the right of private gun owners to sell one or more of their firearms to other private citizens.

It's no surprise that Bloomberg would go after McDonnell. Two years ago McDonnell's office supported legislation that put an end to Bloomberg's gun dealer entrapment scheme.




Using the same tired rhetoric, the ad claims the McDonnell is "protecting criminals instead of protecting us." I guess facts mean about as much to Bloomberg as they do to Tim Kaine. The fact is a Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report on “Firearms Use by Offenders” found that fewer than 1% of U.S. “crime guns” came from gun shows, with repeat offenders even less likely than first-timers to buy guns from any retail source.

Update: Here's what Bloomberg and Americans United for Safe Streets (AUSS) did not tell you about Bob McDonnell:

1. In the weeks that followed the Virginia Tech shootings, McDonnell worked with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), to block gun sales to people involuntarily committed to inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment.

2. McDonnell supports background checks for all sales at gun shows made by licensed gun dealers.

3. It is a Class 6 felony in Virginia to sell a firearm to a criminal or anyone else who cannot legally own a gun, including those with mental deficiencies, and McDonnell believes we must do more to enforce this strong law which is already on the books.

Friday, April 10, 2009

ABC's "If I Only Had A Gun"

We're only ten minutes in to this and it is very clear that the theme of the program is that ordinary citizens are not prepared to use a firearm in self defense. They give several hours of training to three students at a small college then put them in a scenario to see how they react. Predictably, they fail.

No one I know who advocates concealed carry suggests that people who plan to carry a firearm should do so without constant practice at the range. I should not have expected anything less from the lame stream media.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Juan Williams Calls for End to "Lock and Load Mania"

Yep, so says the Fox News political analyst. Williams is just one of many who equate the Second Amendment right to keep and bears with the privilege to drive a car.

Newsflash Juan - The Second Amendment guarantees a God given right. A license to drive is simply a way for the government to exact a tax through a fee -thus the predictable increase in the fee every time there is a budget shortfall (at least in the Commonwealth).

At least Mr. Williams is honest. He freely admits he would ban all guns for private use if he had the opportunity (though he claims to support the "sporting use of firearms as long as they are kept on military bases or at places where target shooting is practiced). That is more than can be said by the various anti-rights groups pushing for "reasonable" gun regulations.

Speaker Pelosi Hints at Compromise on Semi-auto Ban

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday morning (April 7th). The topic of the Pittsburgh shooting came up. After mentioning "53 people have been killed between March 10th and April 5th" by gun violence, she said we "have to have answers to this and a level of compromise." She called the D.C. gun rights amendment on the D.C. Voting Rights bill "draconian". She also admitted the ball is in Congress' "court" to renew the "assault weapons" ban.

Sounds like her comment immediately following Attorney General Eric Holder's call for a renewal of the semi-auto ban were just words masking her true intent.

Hat tip to VA-Alert.

Update: Seattle Gun Examiner Dave Workman adds this about the segment:

Responding to a question from ABC’s Robin Roberts, Pelosi said that while Congress apparently does not want to take anyone’s guns away, “We want them registered.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kaine Wins Three Out of Five Vetos

What was shaping up to be a good day for gun owners turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment thanks to the State Senate. Governor Kaine was able to pick up enough votes to sustain vetoes on three of the five bills he vetoed.

Vetoes overridden:

SB877 would allow "retired" law enforcement officers to carry concealed in a restaurant that serves food and alcohol. Unlike SB1035, this bill applies only to retired law enforcement officers and does not prohibit them from consuming alcohol.

SB1528 states that the safety course required for obtaining a concealed handgun permit, conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor can be done electronically or online.

Vetoes sustained:

HB1851 would exempt active duty military personnel or Virginia National Guardsmen from Virginia’s handgun rationing (“one-handgun-a-month”) law. The House overrode the veto but the Senate fell short one vote - 26-14. This was probably the biggest surprise of the day as this passed the Senate 31-18.

HB2528 would establish that no locality or entity may participate in a compensated gun confiscation (“buyback”) program, where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality, unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the gun “buyback.” The House overrode the veto but the Senate fell three votes short at 24-16.

SB1035 would permit a Right-to-Carry permit holder to carry concealed in a restaurant like Applebees, Olive Garden or any other restaurant that serves food and alcohol, provided he or she does not consume alcohol. The Senate vote fell short 24-16.

Today shows the importance of having a pro-rights governor. VSSA will be working hard to help elect such an individual during this year's election. Gun owners will be critical to this effort. More to come on this later.

Senate Overrides Veto of SB 1528

Governor Kaine is not doing so well today. Only one of his vetoes has survived in the House of origin - Senate Bill 1035 - the restaurant ban repeal. The remaining four, SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851 and HB 2528 are all now in the other house for consideration. The House has to vote on SB 877 and SB 1528. Those bills just left the Senate so action should come in the House within the hour. The Senate is now taking up the House bills with Governor's amendments. After they complete these bills they will take up the vetoes.

Senate Sustains Veto of SB 1035

The State Senate on a vote of 24-16 sustained Governor Kaine's veto of SB 1035 - the bill repealing the ban on carrying concealed handguns in restaurants that serve alcohol in addition to food.

Disappointing but not unexpected.

Senate Overrides Veto of SB 877

Senate Bill 877 - the bill allowing retired law enforcement to carry concealed handguns in restaurants like Applebees, Olive Garden, or other restaurants that serve food and alcohol.

The bill now moves to the House for a vote to override the veto.

No Senate Action on Vetoes

The State Senate spent a lot of time fighting over a parliamentary question earlier in the day and they are still on the Governor's Amendments portion of the calendar. They should hopefully be to the veto portion in the next hour.

House of Delegates Overrides Veto of HB2528

The House of Delegates just overrode Governor Kaine's veto of HB2528 by a vote of 71-Y 28-N. HB2528 is the bill that provides some much needed sunshine on localities that want to run compensated gun confiscation ("gun buyback") schemes. Localities would have to pass an ordinance allowing them to operate "buyback" before holding it (this would give the public notice that taxpayer funds would be used for such a scheme). The bill also makes clear that localities would have to dispose of the firearms taken in by either making them available for sale to an FFL or dispose of them in some other appropriate manner.

The bill now moves to the Senate for an override vote.

House of Delegates Overrides Veto of HB1851

The House of Delegates just overrode the veto of HB1851 on a vote of 73-26. HB1851 is the bill that allows active duty service members of the United States Armed Forces or the Virginia National Guard to purchase more than one handgun within a 30-day period.

The bill now moves to the Senate for an override vote.

Veto Session

Results will be posted as soon as votes are taken. House and Senate convene at Noon. First up on the House Calendar are the vetoes. The Senate will take up vetos after dealing with amended bills. I will also be twittering the results so if you have a Twitter account and are following VSSA, you will get notified immediately.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last Day To Contact Legislators on Vetoes

As previously posted, Governor Tim Kaine vetoed five important self-defense and pro-gun bills which passed with strong bi-partisan support in both the State Senate and House of Delegates. The General Assembly will meet tomorrow, April 8, to consider overriding the Governor’s vetoes.

Today through tomorrow morning before 11:30 AM will be your last chance to make your voice heard and to urge that your state legislators vote to override the Governor’s veto of the following bills:

SB1035 would permit a Right-to-Carry permit holder to carry concealed in a restaurant like Applebees, Olive Garden or any other restaurant that serves food and alcohol, provided he or she does not consume alcohol. SB1035 was amended by the House, improving it by removing the requirement that Right-to-Carry permit holders notify the alcohol beverage manager when they carry concealed in their establishment. After vetoing SB1035, Governor Kaine said, "Allowing concealed weapons into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol puts the public, the employees, and our public safety officers at risk. I take seriously the objections of law enforcement to this measure." It should be noted that last year Governor Kaine signed a bill permitting Commonwealth Attorneys to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense in restaurants even while consuming alcohol.

SB877 would allow "retired" law enforcement officers to carry concealed in a restaurant that serves food and alcohol. Unlike SB1035, this bill applies only to retired law enforcement officers and does not prohibit them from consuming alcohol.

SB1528 states that the safety course required for obtaining a concealed handgun permit, conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor can be done electronically or online.

HB1851 would exempt active duty military personnel or Virginia National Guardsmen from Virginia’s handgun rationing (“one-handgun-a-month”) law.

HB2528 would establish that no locality or entity may participate in a compensated gun confiscation (“buyback”) program, where individuals are given anything of value or money in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality, unless the governing body first passes an ordinance authorizing the gun “buyback.” The legislation also requires that any locality holding compensated gun confiscation programs sell the firearms to a federally licensed dealer “or be disposed of in any appropriate manner” if they could not be sold. This bill provides some much needed sunshine on these schemes. It should be noted that there is no empirical evidence to support claims that these schemes remove guns used by criminals. There is no margin for error on this vote. While Senator Lucas voted yes on the amended bill she intended to vote nay - meaning it passed with 27 votes - the minimum needed to override the veto.

It is very important that you contact your State Senator and Delegate TODAY and respectfully encourage them to support Virginia's law-abiding gun owners and override these anti-gun vetoes. You can find contact information for your senator and delegate here.

If you live in the district of one of the following members of the State Senate, please be sure to give your special attention to them as each has been targeted by the anti-rights crowd in their lobbying efforts:

Senator George L. Barker
Phone: (804) 698-7539
district39@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528

Senator Harry B. Blevins
Phone: (804) 698-7514
district14@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851, HB2528 (voted against introduced bill and voted for version that passed)

Senator Charles J. Colgan
Phone: (804) 698-7529
district29@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851, HB 2528

Senator R. Creigh Deeds
Phone: (804) 698-7525
district25@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1035, SB 1528 , HB 1851, HB 2528 (voted against introduced bill and voted for version that passed)

Senator John S. Edwards
Phone: (804) 698-7521
district21@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1035, SB 1528, HB 1851, HB 2528)

Senator Mark R. Herring
Phone: (804) 698-7533
district33@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851

Senator L. Louise Lucas
Phone: (804) 698-7518
district18@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, HB 1851

Senator John C. Miller
Phone: (804) 698-7501
district01@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, HB 1851, HB 2528 (voted against introduced bill and voted for version that passed)

Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
Phone: (804) 698-7503
district03@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851, HB 2528

Senator Ralph S. Northam
Phone: (804) 698-7506
district06@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1528, HB 1851, HB 2528

Senator Chap Petersen
Phone: (804) 698-7534
district34@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1035 (Did not cast vote on SB 1528), HB 1851, HB 2528 (voted against introduced bill and voted for version that passed)

Senator Frederick M. Quayle
Phone: (804) 698-7513
district13@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877. SB 1035, SB 1528, HB 1851

Senator Kenneth W. Stolle
Phone: (804) 698-7508
district08@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1035, SB 1528, HB 1851

Senator John Watkins
Phone: (804) 698-7510
district10@senate.virginia.gov
Voted for SB 877, SB 1035 , SB 1528, HB 1851, HB 2528 (voted against introduced bill and voted for version that passed)

Monday, April 6, 2009

ABC Funds Omar Samaha Gun Show Buying Spree

Last year when the Virginia Crime Commission was studying the "Gun Show Loophole," Omar Samaha, the brother of a Virginia Tech victim, testified that he wanted to see for himself how easy it is to buy a gun at a gun show. He told the commission that he walked into a Richmond area gun show and was immediately greeted with offers from "unlicensed gun dealers."

On the heels of two shootings from last week, ABC decided to trot out a story they have apparently been working on for over a year. And thanks to ABC, we now know where Mr. Samaha got his funding for his investigation of gun shows. According to this Good Morning America story, ABC News followed Mr. Samaha for "the better part of a year" giving him $5000 to see what he could buy.

Well at least that explains why Samaha thought nothing of buying guns and then turning them over to the police (according to his crime commission testimony). I wondered why anyone would take one's own money and basically throw it away by buying items one had no intention of keeping. It wasn't his money. He apparently did not deem it important to share that part of his story as all of the press accounts tended to follow the line used in the Washington Post.

I guess ABC is more interested finding an individual with a cause to help set up a story with a preordained outcome rather than talk to a gun show promoter and do a story that shows what really happens at gun shows.

It is my understanding this is the first of a series that Good Morning America is running all week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lynchburg Paper Says Gun Buyback Efforts Best Left With Localities

The Lynchburg News and Advance editorialized yesterday that the decision to hold a compensated gun confiscation (gun buybacks) is best left to local governments. If local governments were interested in doing what in the best interest of taxpayers I might agree but that simply is not the case. How else can you explain that a local government would use taxpayer money to support a scheme that there in no empirical evidence supporting its success?

But as Governor Kaine's staff said earlier this week, "it is irrelevant what is the evidence..." it's what Tim Kaine, and apparently anti-rights local governments, think that count.

But what is even more disturbing, the News and Advance editors apparently don't care about facts either because when writing about the veto, they repeated the falsehood put out by Kaine - that HB2528 "would have required that firearms recovered in gun buyback programs be sold by public auction or by sealed bids to a licensed gun dealer" This simply is not true and all the News and Advance, as well as Kaine's staff had to do was read the bill. The version of HB2528 that passed would simply make it clear that one means available to localities is to sell the guns taken in at "buybacks" is to sell them to an FFL.

When writing about the important part of the bill that did survive - the part that places some much needed sunshine on these schemes by requiring localities to pass an ordinance allowing them to hold a buyback, the News and Advance writes:

The latter provision would have created a bureaucratic requirement aimed at
discouraging gun buyback programs, which have proven effective over the years in
getting guns off the streets and out of houses where people don’t want
them.

So, let me get this right - when a news organization howls because it no longer can get the information on concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders, that's bad because the public has a right to know. But when the taxpayers want to know whether the hard earned money they are forced to fork over is being put to use in ways that actually reduce crime, that's bad.

Because that is exactly what the provision requiring passing an ordinance does. Localities have to post public notice when they want to enact a new ordinance and apparently the lords of the manor don't want their subjects to know how they are spending our money.

Oh, and for gun owners who live in the Lynchburg area - you might be interested to that the Lynchburg Police Department, the Lynchburg Police Foundation and Churches United for Service are planning such a compensated gun confiscation scheme with the first event being held on April 25 at 301 Grove St.

As an enticement to participate, each person who turns in a gun will be given a chance to win a retired police cruiser that has been restored by Lynchburg Transmissions.

The News and advance reports that Police Foundation President Curtis Roberts said the groups are looking for other businesses in the city to join in the effort to spruce up the car for the lucky ticket holder.

Isn't that ironic - if the idea is to get "illegal guns" off the street through a "buyback" one presumes the owner of an "illegal gun" is a criminal. And one lucky criminal could when a refurbished police car as a prize.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kaine vetoes

Great editorial in today's Washington Times.