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Monday, October 23, 2017

Bloomberg Dumping Additional $700,000 into Virginia Election for Northam, Herring

The Washington Post has the story here:
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the political arm of one of the nation’s largest gun control groups, is pouring an additional $700,000 into Virginia elections.

The organization announced Monday it would donate $400,000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam and $300,000 to Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring’s re-election bid in the final two weeks before election day.

That comes on top of an earlier $1 million dollar commitment from the organization bankrolled by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 
The article went on to remind us that Northam wants to ban so-called "assault weapons" and standard capacity (referred to by the gun ban lobby as "high-capacity") magazines. Northam also wants so-called "universal" background checks and to reinstate one-gun-a-month.

Also noted in the article is that Everytown is targeting minorities in the hope of increasing turnout for the gun ban candidates:
“African-American turnout will be crucial on Nov. 7 -- and we want to make sure black voters know what the stakes are in this race,” said Brynne Craig, an Everytown strategist. “Ed Gillespie walks in lock step with the NRA and his policies will make black communities less safe in the Commonwealth.”
It's actually safety concerns that prompt minorities, especially minority women, to buy firearms for self-defense, like this Chicago Tribune article notes:
It's why Chicago resident Chip Eberhart, a minority, trains others to use firearms for self-defense.

There is two weeks before election day.  Money doesn't win elections, votes win elections.  It is up to use to contact every gun owner we know and encourage them to vote on November 7th.

Herring Joins 16 Other State AGs in Letter Opposing National Carry Reciprocity

Democrat State Attorney Generals from 17 states have signed on to a letter to Congress opposing National Carry Reciprocity.  Virginia's Mark Herring is one of the 17 to sign the letter.  From the Seattle Times:
The top prosecutors from states including New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa and California sent a letter to congressional leaders in both parties on Sunday warning that federal reciprocity proposals being debated on Capitol Hill “will lead to the death of police officers and civilians, the proliferation of gun traffickers, and acts of terrorism and other mass violence.”
Never mind that concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding people in the nation, even more law abiding that police officers according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. But facts don't matter to the gun ban crowd.  If Mark Herring is re-elected Attorney General of Virginia, and Ralph Northam is elected Governor, it is very likely that Herring may once again try and attack Virginia's reciprocity agreements with other states.  That's why it's important to do all we can to defeat Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring on November 7th.  You can find NRA-ILA campaign GOTV events by clicking here or contact one of the Campaign Field Representatives below:

Richmond Region
Patrick DeStefano
Phone: 864-680-0399
Office Address:
8132 Forest Hill Ave Suite B
Richmond, VA 23235

Fredericksburg Region
Britton Ross
Phone: 919-902-1787
Office Address:
709 Westwood Office Park
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Norfolk/Virginia Beach Region
Sean Nottoli
Phone: 803-960-5487

Friday, October 20, 2017

Poll Shows Gillespie, Northam Deadlocked Ahead of Election

Politico has the story here.  Key points from the poll according to Politico are:
Virginia voters are sharply divided along geographic lines, the Monmouth poll shows. Northam leads in Northern Virginia — defined as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, along with the independent cities contained therein — by a 2-to-1 margin, 64 percent to 32 percent. But farther west, in broad expanses of the commonwealth west of Interstate 95, Gillespie leads by a nearly identical margin, 64 percent to 31 percent.
I had the opportunity to speak with NRATV's Cam Edwards on Wednesday about the article. Northam has pledged to be the most anti-gun governor the state has ever seen. Democrats are hoping to regain control of the House as well so they can redistrict the state to their liking after the 2020 Census. I told Cam that turnout will make the difference in this off-year election.

You still have time to get involved in this year's campaign. Simply contact the NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative nearest you to find out how you can help. Live in another area of Virginia that doesn't have a CFR? Just contact one of the names below and they will let you know how you can make calls from your home to gun owners to help get out the vote on November 7th.

Britton Ross

Patrick DeStefano

Virginia Beach Area
Sean Nottoli

New Lynchburg Range Set for Grand Opening Saturday

Roanoke indoor range and firearms retailer SafeSide Tactical will officially open their new location in Lynchburg on Saturday. The new indoor, state-of-the-art shooting range located in what was originally a 1940s lumber processing mill is in its "soft opening" now.  The range will offer firearm safety and training courses, conference spaces, retail space and 22 shooting lanes.

Co-owner Mitch Tyler told the Lynchburg News & Advance: “It’s a growing interest. I was told by the range designers that more ranges will open this year [2017] across the country than Starbucks.”

According to the News & Advance, SafeSide serves three types of customers: members of law enforcement, first-time gun buyers and regular shooters.
“First-time gun buyers don’t want to go into an old school gun shop,” he said. “We present a facility like this, for someone who’s not a gun person can still feel comfortable. They go from never holding a gun to making an educated decision on what gun to buy. We built the facility to cater to them.”
Tyler was spoke with NRATV's Cam and Company on Thursday about the new range and Saturday's Grand Opening.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Campaign 2017 Volunteer Opportunities Near Richmond

There is less than a month till Election Day and we need to do our part to protect our Second Amendment Rights. On November 7th, Virginians will have the opportunity to make their voice heard at polling locations across Virginia.

VSSA is assisting NRA-ILA to get the word out about volunteer opportunities for gun owners.  Volunteers are helping every day of the week and each Saturday is the NRA Day of Action! RSVP now or stop by the Richmond NRA-ILA Field Office every Saturday to get involved.

Every Saturday Through November 4th 10am-2pm
NRA-ILA Richmond Field Office
8132 Forest Hill Avenue
Richmond, VA 23235

Phone banking and door knocking to turn out the pro-gun vote is going on continually. With your help, we can contact that many more voters; and secure our victory in November!

If you are interested at all in any of the volunteering opportunities, please contact Patrick DeStefano directly and let him know the days you are interested, otherwise visit the Richmond NRA-ILA Field Office.

Volunteers who are not near the Richmond, Fredericksburg, or Tidewater Field Offices are welcome to make phone calls online in support of pro-gun candidates at your convenience. Simply contact Patrick and let him know of your interest. You can contact him by phone at (864)680-0399 or email at

Monday, October 16, 2017

Democrat Candidates Protest at NRA

We all know that Ralph Northam and his Democratic ticket mates support gun rationing as well as gun & magazine bans.  This weekend, they were protesting with local gun ban activists outside NRA Headquarters.

If anyone doubted the animosity toward our gun rights by Northam, Fairfax and Herring, lending their active support to a gun control demonstration against NRA clearly shows that all of them have earned their NRA-PVF “F” ratings!

If we want to make sure we don't have four more years of good firearm rights legislation dying on the desk of the Governor, we need your activism in the remaining weeks leading up to Election Day—November 7.

Never has it been clearer about the importance of electing Ed Gillespie as Governor, Jill Vogel as Lt. Governor and John Adams as Attorney General.

To ensure gun owners and Second Amendment supporters are fully engaged in grassroots efforts around Virginia, NRA-ILA deployed Campaign Field Representatives (CFRs) months ago. CFRs have been recruiting volunteers, making calls, knocking doors, and attending events…all with the goal of launching a massive Get Out The Vote campaign in support pro-rights candidates.

Please contact the CFR nearest you to volunteer!

Britton Ross

Patrick DeStefano

Virginia Beach Area
Sean Nottoli

Please take a few hours of your time between now and Election Day to help preserve your Second Amendment rights! Contact your CFR TODAY!  If you don't live near one of these locations, simply call one of the CFRs and they can help get you set up to make phone calls from home.

For more information on candidates running in Virginia this year, visit

The Federalist: Bipartisan Bump Stock Bill Would Ban All Semi-Automatic Rifles

As was posted last week, Diane Feinstein's bill purportedly banning "bump stocks" would ban more than that single firearm accessory.  Sean Davis wrote at The Federalist that the "bipartisan" House version of the bill, which is virtually identical to the Feinstein bill, goes a lot further than just banning "bump stocks."
The legislation, which was drafted by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, never bans bump stocks by name. Instead, the proposal bans any person from possessing or making any part that could be used to increase the rate of fire in any semi-automatic rifle. The lead co-sponsor on the gun control bill is Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and U.S. Marines veteran who completed four tours of duty in Iraq.

“It shall be unlawful for any person … to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle,” the bill states. At no point does the proposed legislation specify a base rate of fire against which any illegal increases would be judged, a potentially fatal flaw in the bill’s drafting. As a result, the proposal arguably institutes a federal ban on any and all parts that would allow the gun to fire at all, since the mere ability to fire a semi-automatic weapon by definition increases its rate of fire from zero.

The design of semi-automatic weapons uses the recoil of the weapon generated by the gas explosion in the chamber when a round is fired to automatically chamber a new round, and prepare the weapon to be fired again. Because of this, any parts used in that process would likely be subject to the federal ban proposed in the Curbelo/Moulton bill, since they serve to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon. Gas tubes, gas blocks, buffer springs, magazines, charging handles, ejectors and extractors, and even triggers themselves could potentially be banned under the bipartisan bump stock ban language proposed by Curbelo and Moulton.
Davis notes that the proposal also does not contain any grandfather provisions for existing gun owners or manufacturers, and fails to provide any means by which gun owners and manufacturers could turn in their weapons to federal authorities to avoid running afoul of the bill’s effective ban on the possession of any semi-automatic firearms or parts. As Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned noted in the above linked article, this is what happens when you have badly drafted legislation.

Davis appeared on NRATV's Cam and Company on Friday to discuss his article.

Are Millennials Moving Rightward on Guns?

That's the question that Politico asked in this article last week.  Looking at recent Pew Research data, those ages 18-29 are least likely to support a ban on so-called "assault weapons".
Polling in gun politics is notoriously murky—much lies in the crafting of the question—but demographers have consistently reported a conservative streak in millennial attitudes on guns. Respondents aged 18-29 are the least likely in the country to support a renewed ban on assault weapons, at 49 percent, a fact that has helped drive nationwide support down to a record low. Pew’s data suggest that those falling in the youngest age range have dropped the furthest in support for “gun control” since 2000 (when the alternative is presented as “gun rights”). And when the question concerns the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority, concealed carry, millennials appear to lead the country. According to Gallup’s version of the question in 2004, the notion that concealed guns made for safer spaces polled at 25 percent; 11 years later, it registered at 55 percent nationally. The greatest support came from those ages 18-29, at 66 percent, a full 10 points greater than the next highest scoring demographic.
While the same group is the most favorable to socialism, when it comes to the issue of guns, it remains one of the few arenas in which a younger generation’s views are not moving leftward. For the gun ban crowd which seems to think their time will come as the gun owning population gets older and dies off, "the data can disappoint".   Later in the article however the writer notes that while this segment of the population may not be as supportive of gun control as other demographic groups, they also are not monolithic.  They tend to support concealed carry but are not absolutists, which is where the writer gives the gun ban lobby hope:
Speaking with Malden, I was struck by the sense that I was staring into the eyes of the gun control movement’s best opportunity: White, gun-owning males disillusioned by the NRA. This was the next wave of undecided citizens, still making up their minds about guns. Roper told me he thinks the tens of millions of gun owners who lie beyond the NRA’s reach—like him—are the fulcrum in the gun debate. Where will they go? The NRA? Or someplace else?

“A lot of people are waiting,” Roper said, speaking of young gun owners. “A whole lot.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Upcoming Match Information

The NOAAWIVA Sportsmen Inc, a private shooting club near Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is holding a GSM Clinic with As-Issued Military Match on November 4, 2017.  The location of the range is: NOAAWIVA Sportsmen Inc. in Oak Hill, VA(T’s Corner).  Clinic Begins: 9:00AM. For more information you may contact the match director: David Poyer at 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Complacency is the Gun Owner's Worst Enemy

Earlier today, VSSA Executive Director, Lu Charette, forwarded to me the weekly ISRA member email. In the email, ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson talks about complacency in Illinois.  It got me to thinking.  In a state like Virginia where we haven't had a new gun control law passed or signed into law since 1993 (one gun-a-month), and since 1995 we have had many pro-rights victories, even the repeal of the one gun-a-month, it is easy to slip into the same behavior.  As Pearson noted, complacency is certain death for gun rights or any other civil right.

Pearson went on to write in his email to ISRA members, the one thing the "bump stock" controversy after the Las Vegas shooting did do is pull the mask off of gun ban leaders like Diane Feinstein.  Feinstein's admission that what they are proposing would do nothing to stop these type of events tells us all we need to know about their real goal.  Whether they are at the national, state or local level, these people are dangerous and should not be underestimated.  These people have unlimited money thanks to Michael Bloomberg and the only way to stop them is to join organizations like our sister organization ISRA and VSSA to fight them.  When people become complacent, they drop their membership in state associations like ISRA and VSSA, thinking that NRA is all they need.  As Pearson said, that is always a mistake.

Diane Feinstein's "Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act" is a prime example of what the gun ban lobby always tries to make out of something like the "bump stock."  While she says her bill is narrowly written, what is proposed is anything but narrow. In fact, the bill bans any “accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.” I've seen YouTube videos where people do exactly what the "bump stock" is designed to do, simply by placing their thumb on the trigger and placing it in a belt loop on their pants.  As Dr. AWR Hawkins writes,
This language is very crucial because it goes after bump stocks for being exactly what the ATF described—an accessory, not a conversion device.

It is already illegal to convert a semiautomatic into an automatic and Feinstein’s bill is a way for leftists to make it illegal to add an accessory that allows the gun to fire rapidly without being converted to automatic.

In other words, a semiautomatic firearm with a bump stock is still a semiautomatic firearm; it only fires one round per each pull of the trigger, period. Yet Feinstein wants to ban them and—because she has to focus her ban on accessories—it means the ban is broad enough that it already includes numerous other devices that do not convert semiautomatics into automatics either. Her legislation explicitly lists “a trigger crank” as something that would be banned as well.

Did the Vegas attacker use a trigger crank? No, he did not. Yet it would be banned because Feinstein wants to ban any accessory that allows the gun owner to “accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.”

The language of her bill would include bans on other devices, bans that are only implicit at this point. It would simply come down to a bureaucrat deciding the threshold at which semiautomatics are being fired too fast and any accessory that allowed a gun owner to meet that threshold would be banned.

Feinstein’s bill currently has 38 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrat. But numerous Republicans—including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL)—have voiced openness to gun control via bump stock legislation and/or hearings on such legislation. 
In Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has indicated he plans to introduce legislation on the way out the door that would ban "bump stocks" and Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Ralph Northam has indicated he will also push to ban modern sporting rifles (he calls them "assault weapons) if he is elected.

Now is the time to join or renew your VSSA membership.  We need every Virginia gun owner to fight this battle.  And, we need every gun owner engaged in this year's election to insure that a pro-rights Governor is elected.   You can find out how to get involved in the election by clicking here.

Don't let complacency doom us to another four years of good legislation dying in the Governor's Office.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dave Kopel: Are There Really 'More Mass Shootings Than Days in the Year'?

The answer is no and Kopel did a great job in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece yesterday explaining why that is an incorrect statement.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut responded to last week’s Las Vegas massacre by issuing a statement in which he claimed: “Already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year.” That was last Monday, the 275th day of 2017. Can Mr. Murphy possibly be right? Certainly not by the ordinary definition of “mass shootings,” which includes attacks such as the one in Las Vegas this month, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016, and at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999. Of late such infamous crimes have hit the national news several times a year—nowhere near a daily basis. Gun-control advocates like Mr. Murphy seek to alarm the public by exaggerating the scale of the problem.

The FBI defines “mass murder” as “four or more victims slain, in one event, in one location.” Starting with the FBI’s definition of four or more fatalities, the Congressional Research Service reported that from 1999 through 2013 there were an average of 20 to 22 mass shootings in the U.S. annually. In an average year, four of these would be “mass public shootings”—the kind that often get national media attention. Of the rest, about half were “familicides”—killings within a family or estranged family, usually taking place in a private residence. The other half were “attributable to an underlying criminal activity or commonplace circumstance,” such as armed robbery, gang activity, insurance fraud or romantic triangles.

The website Mass Shooting Tracker, by contrast, counted 340 mass shootings in the U.S. between New Year’s Day and last Monday—consistent with Mr. Murphy’s claim of more than one a day. The site uses a much broader definition of mass shooting: “an incident where four or more people are shot in a single shooting spree. This may include the gunman himself, or police shootings of civilians around the gunman.” Under this definition, the shootings needn’t be fatal.
But that's what gun ban groups do, they use inflated numbers to press their case in the hope of confusing the public and to push restrictions on legal gun owners.  As Kopel noted later in the op/ed, it's a major reason why a 2013 Pew Research survey found that 56% of Americans thought that crime was higher then than it was 20 years earlier.

Kopel noted that over the last 25 years, homicide involving firearms has declined by half nationwide. Additionally, overall crime involving firearms is down by three-fourths. In this same period, the American gun ownership grew by 80 million resulting in there being slightly more than one gun per person in the U.S.

Update: Kopel was on NRATV's Cam and Company Tuesday afternoon to discuss his article.

Friday, October 6, 2017

RTD: McAuliffe Says He'll Seek New Gun Restrictions in Virginia After Las Vegas Massacre

If we did not already know that this year's election is important to gun owners, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported earlier today that Governor Terry McAuliffe will seek new gun ban initiatives as he walks out the door.  McAuliffe, who cannot seek reelection, knows any such legislation faces an uphill battle, but according to the RTD, his intent is more cynical than realistic, hoping to put GOP candidates in a tough position in the final weeks of the campaign having to defend their opposition to his proposals after the Las Vegas shooting:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday that he'll seek new gun-control legislation in Virginia in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, including bans on bump stock devices, high-capacity magazines and "military-style assault rifles."

McAuliffe has already pushed unsuccessfully for universal background checks and restoring the state's scrapped one-handgun-a-month law, but the Republican-controlled General Assembly has routinely blocked new gun restrictions.

The legislation McAuliffe called for Friday would also face steep odds, but the announcement might put Republican lawmakers on the defensive with all 100 seats in the House of Delegates up for grabs in next month's election.
This is a call to action for Virginia gun owners to get involved in this year's election.  You can find out how you can help by clicking here.

VSSA Annual Raffle Winners

On September 30th, the winning tickets for this year's Annual Member Raffle were drawn.  The winners are below.

First Place - Kimber Micro 9 Dessert Tan -  C. Shaw, Ashland, VA
Second Place - $200 Cabelas Gift Card  - P. McWilliams, Alexandria, VA
Third Place – $100 Cash - G. Hartsell, Chesapeake, VA

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all of our members for making this one of the most successful raffles that we have held.

Chris Cox Corrects the Record on NRA and Bump Stocks

After NRA released a joint statement yesterday from Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, some took it that NRA was in favor of banning "bump stocks". I heard such a report on a local radio talk show here in Richmond.  But on last night's Tucker Carlson Tonight program on Fox News, Chris Cox corrected the record and told Carlson that the NRA will not allow a Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer-led legislative circus to threaten the right of every law-abiding American to protect themselves with a firearm. He said Congress should let the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) review whether bump stocks comply with federal law and instead focus on passing National Concealed Carry Reciprocity.


Banning Bump Stocks are Just the First Step

The gun banners think they have finally found something that will get them a win - banning "bump stocks."  But as talk show host and NRA member Mark Levin pointed out last night on his program, that is just the first step.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi again began pushing so called "universal" background checks, even though the Las Vegas shooter passed numerous background checks. Nothing that the gun ban crowd is pushing would have stopped the shooter.  Apparently, the White House is ready to jump on board too and have a "conversation" on gun laws.  Levin opened his program with these comments:

Levin went on to talk about a New York Times op/ed by Bret Stephens titled "Repeal the Second Amendment."  Levin said such an attempt would not happen because you currently would not get two thirds of congress or the states to go along with it but it does show the thinking of the gun ban crowd.  Then he took apart Stephens argument.

Listen to both clips. There are great points on why we should not give in to the gun ban talking points.

Rob Pincus on Banning "Bump Stocks"

It appears that politicians have decided you battle mass shootings by banning a gun accessory like bump stocks because that is what is said to have been used by the Las Vegas shooter.  In a later post I'll share some very good points on the subject made by talk show host and NRA member Mark Levin, but I saw this on firearms trainer Rob Pinus' Facebook Page this morning and it is some of the best commentary I've seen to date on the subject.
Anyone who has followed my work in regard to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms knows that I'm not one to pound the podium and yell "Shall Not Be Infringed!".

"Shall not be infringed" isn't an argument, it's not a discussion, it's not a remotely compelling statement to make at someone who has already taken a Anti-Gun stance. Furthermore, it's non-sensical to use it as a point to prevent further infringement of our rights. I don't think anyone actually involved in the US Government or Politics has had a serious conversation about going back to "shall not be infringed" in almost a century. We are infringed. There was a series of decades in our county where our gun rights were eroded (infringed upon) more and more leading up to the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. At that time, the leaders of the firearms owning community in the US finally started fighting a real fight based on the Constitution and the right to own tools of Defense instead of hiding behind "sporting traditions" or "hunting" as justifications for individual firearms ownership.

That started a twenty year push for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms that has reclaimed much lost ground. There is incredibly less infringement of our Concealed Carry Rights nationwide and Federal Courts have ruled in favor of our side in almost every case.

To open up a negotiation on restricting "bump stocks" or any other accessory or type of gun is to accept that some level of infringement is not only acceptable, but that gun owners will be complicit in its establishment. "Shall not be Infringed" is the starting point... the basis for all the arguments and the reason for discussions on gun rights. Give that up and we conceptually give up the Constitutional Basis for anything else we decide we actually want to keep or fight for.

We are on the precipice of another arbitrary set of regulations restricting our Right to Keep and Bear Arms that will do nothing to stop killers, tragedies, accidents or those with any criminal intent. Accepting the idea that a "bump-stock" was in any way responsible for a death last week isn't simply being reasonable. Trading "bump stocks" for anything isn't a simple political compromise. Moving our baseline position away from "shall not be infringed" is tantamount to us setting up a Slide-n-slide on Capitol Hill and trying to walk down the incline without falling... with Bloomberg, Pelosi and a million well meaning but Misinformed Moms trying push, trip and shove us the whole time.

It's not time to cave to emotional and political pressure, but it's also not a time to over-simplify with rhetoric and the same old talking points. We need articulate arguments, reasonable discussions and Real Leaders willing to put in the work to not only defend, but also continue to regain our currently infringed gun rights. -RJP