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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Look to Oregon to Understand Why This Year's General Assembly Elections Are Important

You have probably seen the news that Oregon just criminalized the private transfer of firearms.  This happened because there is one party control in Oregon.  The only states where the gun ban lobby has made advances in passing more restrictions on the right's of gun owners is in states that have both a Democrat in the Governor's office and where the legislature is controlled by Democrats.  Yes, there are pro-rights Democrats but in more cases than not, the vast majority of elected Democrats are anti-rights.

Virginia has increasingly been friendly ground for Democrats in statewide elections.  And with the exception of Mark Warner, who signed 17 pro-rights bills as Governor, and Jim Webb, who supported our rights as a U.S. Senator, the Democrats elected statewide have been anti-rights.  This includes U.S. Senator and former governor Tim Kaine, current Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring.

That makes it vitally important that we re-elect pro-rights majorities in the State Senate and the House of Delegates.  Virginia's House districts are so gerrymandered, the GOP should retain their veto proof majorities at least until the next redistricting.  The State Senate however is a different story.  The races for retiring State Senator John Watkins and State Senator Charles "Chuck" Colgan are considered two of the most competitive.  But we also need to elect a stong pro-rights candidate in the 12th Senate District to replace retiring State Senator Walter Stosch.  On the GOP side, that race features former Delegate and VSSA member Bill Janis and three other candidates who have no voting record on the issue.  Bill is a strong supporter of our rights and was the chief patron of legislation in 2005 that protects Virginia gun ranges.  Janis carried that legislation at the request of VSSA.

Virginia has been able to beat back every gun ban attempt since 1994.  Campaign 2015 is our battleground.  Get informed and get active.

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