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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Gun Talk Media Broadcasting Live from SHOT Show

 If you are interested in new products being introduced at this year's SHOT Show, Gun Talk Media is broadcasting live from the show.

Only One Firearm Related Bill on Senate Judiciary Docket Wednesday

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on Wednesday, 1/2 hour after adjournment.  There is only one firearm related bill on the docket, SB207which  removes the requirement that a sworn law-enforcement officer be employed in a full-time capacity at the time of his retirement to purchase his service handgun.  This bill has no impact on non-law enforcement gun owners.

It's a New Day in Virginia

A pro-rights majority took the reigns of control in the House of Delegates as the General  Assembly gaveled into session last Wednesday.  Not much legislative work took place as the Assembly waited for the new statewide office holders to be sworn into office.  That happened on Saturday and if Governor Glenn Youngkin's actions live up to the rhetoric of his inaugural address, good things are ahead for Virginia.  The Daily Wire described Youngkin's address as a "Rousing Speech" that championed "Liberty" and a "New Day for Virginia".   While not mentioning gun rights, it was clear from his remarks that Youngkin believes deeply in the rights of individuals and that government needs to get out of the way and let the individual flourish.

In the General Assembly, there are a number of bills that have been introduced in the House and a couple in the State Senate to undo the restrictions placed on gun owners in 2020 and 2021.  Many of those bills are awaiting assignment to committee. There are very few gun ban bills as of today and the last day to introduce legislation is January 21.  There is a bill to eliminate the ability of private citizens to build their own firearms (so-called "ghost gun" legislation").  VSSA's legislative team will be at the Assembly everyday of the session working to pass the many bills restoring our rights and defeating what are now less than a handful of bad bills.  There were no firearm related bills on the docket in yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee.  VSSA will keep members informed of what is going on at the Assembly.  You can track legislation by clicking here, and by following VSSA's FacebookTwitter, and Gettr feeds.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Gun Ban Advocates Frustrated with Biden

We don't usually put much stock in anything posted at the Bloomberg gun ban mouthpiece known as The Trace, but in this case, it is probably pretty accurate when they write today that gun ban advocates are disappointed in the lack of results from Biden on their issue.

Many gun reform advocates say they are disappointed by how little Biden has accomplished in his first term. His record pales in comparison to the expansive agenda he ran on in 2020. He had promised, amid a surge in gun violence, to enact sweeping overhauls that gun reform advocates like Oliver supported. Biden’s gun agenda was central to his campaign, and distinguished him from competitors like Senator Bernie Sanders, which raised expectations even higher.

Leaders of major gun reform groups predicted that his first year in office, with Democrats also controlling Congress, would be an unprecedented period of progress. Now Democrats are expected to take losses in the House and Senate midterm elections — and Biden could be running out of time.
Biden has been reduced to so-called "executive actions" and rule making (which can be just as bad a legislation) but the big promises like banning modern sporting rifles can't be achieved without legislation.
When faced with repeated high-profile mass shootings, President Barack Obama turned to executive actions to promote his policies in areas where Congress wouldn’t budge. Biden is pursuing a similar strategy, but with less vigor. Earlier this year, as part of a first set of actions on guns, Biden directed the ATF to crack down on unserialized, difficult-to-trace ghost guns. The agency issued a proposed rule in May.

And in June, the ATF proposed new regulations on stabilizing braces, a type of device that effectively turns handguns into short-barreled rifles. The shooter in a March supermarket shooting in Boulder, Colorado, used this configuration. Biden directed the ATF to crack down on gun dealers who have a history of breaking rules, and he directed the Department of Justice to issue model laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from dangerous people, known as red flag laws. Another rule requiring gun stores to sell secure firearm storage devices compatible with the firearms they’re selling is set to go into effect in February.
The gun ban groups don't think Biden has used the full force of his office.  
Still, there are questions about whether Biden is using the full might of the executive branch to curb gun violence. These actions fall short of his campaign promises, some of which he could fulfill without legislation: Using the power of the presidency, Biden could create a voluntary gun buyback program, enhance background checks, prohibit the importation of assault-style weapons, and reinstate an Obama-era policy aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of people unable to manage their affairs for mental health reasons.
Gun owners need to continue to be vigilant as we enter this election year.  The closer to the election we get, the harder it will be for Biden to get anything through legislatively, which means he will continue his "executive" overreach approach. 

Redistricting Maps Finalized

Just before the New Year, the Virginia State Supreme Court finalized new state legislative and congressional districts.  The State Supreme Court was thrust into the process because the "bipartisan" commission established to draw the maps could not come to an agreement on new districts based on 2020 Census data.  You can see all three maps here.  Looking that the Congressional map, one has to wonder exactly what the court's "Special Masters" were thinking when they drew these maps.  For instance, the first district, which is mostly rural, has a piece that stretches to the left and elbows into suburban western Henrico and western Chesterfield, completely separating those sections from districts that are more like those areas.  You can search the map using your address to see in which district you now live.  You can search for your State Senate district here and your House of Delegates district here.

Monday, January 3, 2022

2022 Legislative Session Starts January 12

Happy New Year!  We are a little over a week away from the start of the 2022 General Assembly.  Prefiling of bills has begun and there are a handful of firearm related bills already in the hopper - all pro-rights - and all in the House of Delegates.  Most of the bills so far have been introduced by newly elected Delegate Timothy Anderson.  You may recognize that name as he is an attorney in the tidewater area and he posted a number of videos about various gun ban bills throughout the 2020 session.  He is also a certified gun safety instructor. According to his website, he has "organized and sued entities over the infringement of Virginian’s Second Amendment right". His bills include:

HB 10 - Resident concealed handgun permits; fees (Eliminates the fees that may be charged for the processing of an application for or issuing of a resident concealed handgun permit,)

HB 11 - Concealed handgun permits; penalties (Changes the penalty for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit from a felony to a civil fine for  the first offense and reduces the criminal charges fro subsequent violations from felony to misdemeanor) ; 

HB 14 - Handguns; limitation on purchases; and, (Repeals handgun rationing)

HB 26 - Firearms; control by localities of possession or carrying. (Repeals law passed in 2020 that allows localities to pass gun ban ordanances)

Delegate Wendall Walker has introduced:

HB 23 Dangerous weapons; carrying to place of religious worship (Repeals the prohibition on the carrying of dangerous weapons in a place of worship without good and sufficient reason while a meeting for religious purposes is being held).

The likelihood of additional gun control passing and becoming law in Virginia over the next four years pretty much ended with the November election of Glenn Younkin as Governor.  VSSA will be working to pass legislation to repeal the gun ban bills passed in 2020.  With Democrats still controlling the State Senate, full repeal may not be until after the 2023 legislative elections but it's clear the at least two members of the House of Delegates aren't waiting.

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Reload: Are Young People Moving Away from Gun Control?

In an article (it is behind the member subscriber paywall) posted yesterday on the Reload site, writer Jake Fogleman looks at some recent poll data and what he finds seems to point to a shift of attitudes by people aged 18-29 on the issue of gun control, a group of the public that shifted heavily in favor of gun control after the Parkland school shootings.

A series of recent polls have shown Americans taking an about-face on the issue of gun control, with younger adults playing a significant role in that switch in attitudes.
An April 2021 ABC Poll found that only a minority of adults aged 18-29 now support new gun laws. Youth support is down a staggering 20-points from the 65 percent who said the same at the height of youth activism in 2018. That was the sharpest decline of any demographic polled. 
A November Quinnipiac poll found more 18-34-year-olds now oppose stricter gun laws than support them. 
A Gallup poll the same month found while support for stricter gun laws was consistent among all age brackets, 18-34-year-olds were the age group most likely to say that gun laws should be less strict. The poll also found 18-34-year-olds were least likely to support a ban on the private ownership of handguns compared with older respondents. 
Even among dedicated partisans, a significant enthusiasm gap now exists between younger Americans and older Americans on the issue of guns. A new Reuters report on the issues that motivate Democratic voters found 78 percent agree on the idea “it is too easy to access guns in the United States.” However, a breakdown of the party’s voters by age shows a significant disparity in intensity of feelings toward the issue. 
The majority of Democrats aged 55 and older report said they would be angry if the US Government acted in opposition to their views on guns. However, their younger Democratic counterparts had far less passion for the issue.
Fogleman concludes it's possible the higher support for gun control among this group was simply a short-lived reaction to the tragedy of Parkland that created the idea of a youth movement passionately in favor of gun control for years to come, or it could be a more fundamental ideological shift in attitudes.  If you are not a subscriber to The Reload, it is well worth the subscription fee, and it costs less than a trip to Chik-fil-a.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

State Senator and VSSA Member Bryce Reeves Announces Run for Congress

On December 8th, State Senator and VSSA member Bryce Reeves announced that he was running for the Republican nomination for the newly proposed 10th Congressional District.  From Senator Reeves' website:

“Upon seeing the new proposed maps put out by the Supreme Court, I’m planning to run in the new proposed 10th Congressional District. I’ve proudly represented much of this district as State Senator in Spotsylvania, Orange, Culpeper and Albemarle counties. I’m eager to continue my service to the community. I’m also excited to reacquaint myself with the folks in the northern part of the district, many of whom I’ve had a great relationship with for many years.  The incumbent Democrat, and Joe Biden’s policies, don’t represent the values of this district and it is time our citizens have had a voice in Washington that serves them.” 

Senator Reeves is a longtime friend to Virginia's gun owners. While VSSA has not officially endorsed any candidate at this time, we encourage Virginia gun owners to learn more about candidates that will be running in this new district and to contact Senator Reeves to learn more about his campaign.

Update: The redistricting maps changed from the time Senator Reeves announced his candidacy to what was approved by the State Supreme Court.  Senator Reeves is now in the 7th District and he will continue to run for the Republican Nomination in the new 7th District.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Election '21 Post Mortem - Freedom Won

In short, freedom won Tuesday night.  As I right this, the Virginia Public Access Project has called all three races for the GOP.  They also show that the GOP flipped control of the House of Delegates and now have a two seat majority.  Noted in those results is that Roanoke area Delegate Chris Hurst, a vocal advocate of gun control after the shooting of his girlfriend while doing a news story, lost by approximately 11 percent.

These wins put an abrupt stop to the race to make Virginia more like California.  Gun control is dead in the state legislature. for now.  There will be no McAuliffe gun ban.  There will be no so-called "ghost-gun" ban.  But, gun owners must also be prepared for no immediate roll back of the anti-rights laws that passed in 2020 with  the State Senate still controlled by the Democrats.  We likely won't see a concerted effort to roll back those laws until at least 2024, and then only if the GOP retains control of the House and flip at least one or more seats in the State Senate.

Turnout was higher in 2021 than in 2017, and that was driven by voters that favored the GOP candidates.  Clearly, Youngkin and the GOP House candidates did their job of turning out their voters.  And, when you look at the vote totals for the top three races, there was a large number of straight ticket voters as the totals for those candidates were very similar.

Take away from this election?  This is what happens when people turn out to vote.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Defend Firearms Freedom - Defeat McAuliffe

As November 2nd approaches, guns are garnering attention in the campaign to become Virginia's next Governor.  It isn't so much from the candidates themselves but what one "new media" outlet has discovered in the last two weeks.  Stephen Gutowski's The Reload has been the leading media source for news related to the Governor's race and guns. 

Just this weekend, Gutowski published an article that detailed how the political action committee for Dominion Energy is a major source of funds for a "shadowy group" buying ads against Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin that attempt to suppress gun owner turnout for the candidate.

According to The Reload, the group was created in July 2021 by the consulting firm Mele, Brengarth, & Associates, which boasts about providing services to “the most active, progressive Super PAC’s in the 2012 and 2014 cycles” on its website. Accountability Virginia is also using ActBlue, a fundraising portal for Democrat candidates and progressive causes, to collect donations.
 The power company gave $200,000 to the Accountability Virginia PAC. You can find that article here.  Another article posted over the weekend provides analysis into the 2019 video reported last week of McAuliffe disparaging gun shows and how Attorney General Mark Herring (D.) provided McAuliffe leverage to pass a 2016 gun bill by breaking gun-carry reciprocity agreements. That article can be found here however it is behind a pay-wall for Reload subscribers.  If you are not a subscriber,  it is well worth the cost and the monthly subscription costs about what a Chick-fil-a meal costs.

Because Glenn Youngkin has not filled out the NRA-ILA Candidate Questionnaire, he has not been endorsed (Youngkin has not completed surveys from any advocacy group, not just gun groups).  But, Youngkin’s campaign has told the Reload that the candidate is a “lifetime NRA member” and a gun owner (the NRA-ILA Virginia State Liaison said at a recent NRA-ILA Members Meeting in Richmond that NRA has confirmed Youngkin is a Life Member). Youngkin's campaign has told the Reload that he opposes the law passed by Democrats in 2020 that allows localities to chip away at Virginia's pre-emption law. The campaign also told the Reload that Youngkin does not support an “assault weapons” ban. 

So, gun owners have a choice to make on November 2nd. We know where McAuliffe stands and he has said he will push for a ban on "assault weapons" on day one if he is elected.  Youngkin's campaign is on record to The Reload that he opposes a so-called assault weapons ban and opposes the chipping away at Virginia's pre-emption law.  Do we sit back and allow McAuliffe to win simply because Youngkin believes that "surveys are a waste of time"?  Or, do we do all we can between now and election day to make sure that McAuliffe loses, and that we elect a pro-rights majority in the House of Delegates.

I attended the NRA-ILA Members Meeting in Richmond this past Wednesday night.  A number of the NRA members in the room stood up and said they will be voting for Glenn Youngkin because they know what four more years of Terry McAuliffe and an anti-gun majority in the General Assembly will do to gun owners.  That is the decision facing every Virginia gun owner between now and election day.

Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Raffle for Youth Shooting Program

The Arlington/Fairfax IWLA (a VSSA Affiliated club) has a great raffle currently going on to support the club's youth air gun programs.  You can win a Springfield Armory Range Combo.  Tickets are $20 and only 200 will be sold.  You can purchase tickets several ways:

To buy tickets for the Springfield Armory Range Combo, send money via:
Zelle (include email address) to rogeriwla@gmail.com
PayPal (Friends & Family option) to rogeriwla@gmail.com

Or mail check  for the number of tickets you want x $20 to:
ARL-FX IWLA
8923 Renshaw Ct 
Springfield, VA 22153