Monday, August 10, 2020

The Hill Op/ED: The Tragic Irony of the New York Lawsuit Against the NRA

 Legal analyst Jonathan Turley has a great OP/ED at The Hill that lays out the case that New York Attorney General should look in the mirror when it comes to laying out her case against the NRA because she has many of the same issues that she alleges against the NRA:

That is what makes the NRA complaint a tragic irony. If taking power to benefit yourself rather than your organization is the measure, the complaint could indict herself. Her demand to dissolve the NRA in order to pander to voters undermines the case presented by her office. While dissolution is simply absurd, James shows us absurdity and popularity can often move hand in hand in New York politics.

Turley point's out that James is hailed by liberals and the gun ban lobby for calling for disbanding the NRA and is reveling in the accolades. It's a good read.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Wall Street Journal: Voting With Their Guns

The Wall Street Journal had a great article earlier this week titled "Voting With Their Guns" about the surge in gun sales in July, adding to the massive numbers that we have seen since the start of the Wuhan Virus and the unrest around the country after the death of George Floyd.

The FBI’s most recent gun-sale figures are stunning. They show that in July the bureau carried out 3.6 million background checks, the third highest month on record. Adjusting to reflect checks only for gun purchases, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says this translates to 1.8 million gun sales for July 2020—a 122% increase over July 2019. The 12,141,032 gun sales through this July is just shy of the 13,199,172 sales for all of 2019.
These record sales are best understood as a referendum on the riots, and the growing lack of confidence many Americans have that police will protect them. This is more than National Rifle Association spin.
According to NSSF's statistics, first time buyers make up a huge portion of these numbers.  Women and minorities make up a large portion of the new buyer numbers.  NSSF survey's its members which are Federal Firearms Licensees among other outdoor companys (NSSF is a trade association, and their membership is not made up of the general public).  

Some think these new gun owners are going to change the way they have been voting just because they bought a gun.  I agree with firearms trainer Rob Pincus when he says we are kidding ourselves if we think that is magically going to happen.  He addressed this issue with Armed American Radio's Mark Walters last week, before the July numbers were reported.


From Rob's Facebook post with the above video:
If you think there’s a significant number of voters who traditionally vote Democrat who are going to vote Republican in the Fall just because they bought a gun during the pandemic or recently got a CCW Permit, you’re nuts.

The gun community needs to stop pretending that gun rights are a conservative issue.  Gun ownership and the defense of one’s self is a Human Right. The Rights protected by the Second Amendment are universal Civil Rights.

We need to be working with liberal gun owners to change the position of the Democratic Party, not trying to shame them if they don’t vote for Trump. That’s a colossal waste of time, unless you just want to entertain your echo-chamber.
Absolutely agree with Rob's point that this should not be just a Republican issue.  When you have large numbers of Democrats who care about firearm rights, their candidates for office will have to stop and think about using it as a campaign issue and passing new gun control because it will cost them votes.  As is stands now, they have no interest in preserving the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment because they don't think it will cost them.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Free Beacon: NRA Plans to Spend "Tens of Millions" in Battleground States

NRA-ILA's Jason Ouimet did an exclusive interview with Washington Free Beacon's Stephen Gutowski and that interview Ouimet said the NRA would be spending"Tens of Millions" in this election in key battleground states.  
Jason Ouimet, who runs the NRA's lobbying arm and political action committee, spoke exclusively with the Washington Free Beacon in his first in-depth interview on the gun-rights behemoth's 2020 electoral strategy. He said the group plans to spend heavily in battleground states to help reelect President Donald Trump over presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, whom he described as "100 percent anti-gun." The group plans to focus much of its attention on Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin—swing states with traditionally strong support for gun rights.

"We'll be in those places at every level," Ouimet said. And the message will be simple: A President Joe Biden and Democratic Senate are a threat to gun owners.

"You are literally going to be dealing with the potential confiscation of firearms. You're literally going to be told you can't carry in certain places. You can't own certain things for self-defense," Ouimet said. "Folks need to understand that."
That article also noted that the NRA has been adding 1000 new members a day since June.
The coronavirus pandemic and social unrest may have hindered fundraising, but they have also led to historic gun sales. Ouimet said the NRA has added more than 1,000 new dues-paying members per day since June. The addition of some 60,000 new members and growing has helped swell NRA ranks to more than five million American adults.

"We've got a massive grassroots army, a massive grassroots army," he said. "They're not paid for by any one person or any group of billionaires. These are folks who joined on their own who got skin in the game, who go out to vote and who advocate for the issue."

The group expects those members will be motivated to vote due to the leftward swing that many Democrats at the national level—especially Biden—have made over the past several years.
Armed American Radio's Mark Walters and firearms trainer Rob Pincus talked about this new development on Walter's Facebook Live earlier today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Democratic Party Platform All Out Assault on Second Amendment

While it is only two paragraphs, the Democratic Party Presidential Platform is an all out assault on our right to keep and bear arms.  Here is what it says:

A number of folks in the 2A community laid out what this means to our rights.  First let's look at the Op/Ed Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation had at Ammoland on July 31st:
The DNC is listening to their radical base and not the rest of America. That’s why they continue to demonize the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which denies activist politicians and lawyers from bringing frivolous lawsuits against the industry for the consequences of criminal activity by individuals. They would destroy an industry through litigation that would be akin to taking Ford to court for the crimes of drunk driving.

The platform wasn’t the product of Biden’s thinking, but those propping him up. They’re ramming through a radical agenda to disarm law-abiding Americans when they’re buying firearms in record numbers over concerns of personal safety. This is a platform that is far beyond being out of step with America. It’s tripping over itself.
Then there was this from the Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb:
WE CAN’T WAIT FOR THE ELECTION RESULTS.

By then it will be too late. The gun confiscation movement funded by billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros will already be in full control of our government.

In record time they will transform our right to keep and bears arms into gun ban and confiscation laws like exist in England, New Zealand, Cuba and Venezuela.

Once our rights are lost we won’t get them back.

The time to act is now. Please share this email with every freedom loving friend and family member you have.
And finally, Bearingarms.com's Cam Edwards spent his show yesterday discussing the platform:
It’s only two paragraphs long, but the DNC manages to pack an awful lot of restrictions in just a few sentences. The proposal begins with a few lines paying lip service to the idea that violent crime should be addressed through “supporting evidence-based programs that prevent gun deaths from occurring in the first place, including by making mental health care more accessible, funding interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence in neighborhoods, and strengthening protections against domestic violence,” but glosses over any details of what those evidence-based programs actually look like, how they’d make mental health care more accessible, and what “interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence” they’re talking about.

Instead, the draft platform quickly shifts gears and demands “universal background checks,” bans on “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, incentives for states to pass their own gun licensing and “red flag” laws, an end to online purchases of ammunition, and a federal gun storage law.
Make no mistake,  we have to get active now an make sure Joe Biden does not win the election.  Get involved in your local congressional election and find out what you can do to help re-elect President Trump.  If you are not registered to vote, you can do that here, then vote on November 3rd and make sure every gun owner you now votes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

WAMU: Research Mixed on "Universal" Background Checks

Public Broadcasting radio station WAMU had this report in late June titled "Do Universal Background Checks Prevent Gun Violence?"  According to gun writer Dave Workman, it is probably not a report that the gun ban lobby wants to hear. From WAMU:
The RAND Corporation recently completed a meta-analysis of 18 different gun control policies and found “moderate” evidence that universal background checks decreased both violent crime (including homicides) and suicide rates. A similar, 2017 review of academic literature on gun policies by Harvard University found that more comprehensive background check laws were associated with lower rates of firearm homicides.

But other research has found different outcomes. The state of California has had a comprehensive background check law on the books for 10 years. Researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine have studied gun violence in CA during that period and found there was no change in the number of gun homicides or gun suicides. The researchers use the term “comprehensive background check” instead of universal background check. And another study by the same authors found that the repeal of comprehensive background check laws in Tennessee and Indiana had no effect on gun homicides or suicide rates in either state.

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health looked at comprehensive background check laws in large, urban counties in the U.S. and found they were actually associated with an increase in firearm homicides in those counties. That study found “no benefit” of a CBC law without an accompanying permit-to-purchase law.

So, while the research is mixed on the ability of UBC laws to prevent or reduce gun violence by themselves, several studies have shown that coupled with other gun laws, there can be a documented effect. For example, a 2016 review of gun policy studies in 10 countries by researchers at Columbia University found that countries that combined several gun control laws — licensing/permit requirements, minimum age restrictions, and background checks, for example — had success decreasing gun violence.
This is important because last week a so-called "universal" background check law took effect in Virginia.  While it is a much watered down version of other such laws (only sales require a background check, gifts and loaning your gun to a neighbor or friend will not require a background check), you can bet that the gun ban lobby will be back for more.  At no time during debate on the bills during the General Assembly this year was it offered as a way to reduce crime in Virginia (firearm related homicides have reduced 50% over the last 25 years in Virginia all while sales have increased exponentially) but as a way to keep "illegal" guns from making their way to New York and other anti-gun northern states.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Richmond Times Dispatch: June Gun Sales Top 81,000 in Virginia

You can find the story here.  FFLs interviewed for the story confirm reports by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that the record breaking sales in Virginia and nationwide are being made by folks from all walks of life (race, sex, creed, etc), and that a good portion of the sales are being made by first time gun buyers.  While some of the surge was due to the Governor Northam's gun ban push, the Wuhan Virus and now the civil unrest has also played a major role in the sales surge. The RTD also reports that the sales increase, paired with the the pandemic, has led to a supply shortage of some firearms and ammunition nationwide.
“The problem is, there is a finite supply of guns,” Cochran (of Trader Jerry's) said. “They’re doing the same social distancing at the [firearm] manufacturing plants. There’s supply problems in getting parts. I’m sure some of the parts come from China and other countries.”

Cochran said one ammunition manufacturer told him that he couldn’t provide the ammo Cochran requested “because they didn’t have the boxes to put it in. When you shut down the whole country and then try to get it back up a little bit, it’s pretty tough.”
It remains to be seen if these new gun owners will vote to protect their newly aquired firearms.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Some Great 2A News Resources

If you would like some great resources for up-to-date Second Amendment News, here is a list of some of the VSSA Legislative Director's live Daily and Weekly sources:

Weekly Sources
Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio Show - Sundays 2PM-5PM Eastern
Mark Walter's Armed American Radio - Sundays 8PM-11-PM Eastern
Gun for Hire Radio - Weekly Podcast

Daily
Bearing Arms Cam and Company  - Usually posted by 3PM Eastern daily
Lock and Load RadioMon-Fri: 6:00pm-9:00pm Eastern

These are all great sources for the latest 2A news.  There are also many good podcasts available on a number of firearm related topics.  Just go to your favorite podcast aggregator (Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts etc.) and use search terms like firearms, or gun rights to find them.

General Assembly August Special Session and Gun Control

In Monday's VSSA eBullet Member Newsletter, we mentioned that Governor Northam believes the new gun control laws signed into law are a good start and wants more.  Since that email was sent to members there has been a lot of chatter online that the Governor doesn't intend to wait until January of 2021 to begin that push, but will use the planned August Wuhan Virus Special Session to begin his push.  What we know for sure is that special session will address budget issues related to the virus as well as "Police Reform" measures.  The Legislative Information System as of today does not have a Special Session Page so there are no bills posted for that session.  We will continue to monitor that site for any changes.

As to reports of the Governor's intentions on gun control, Monday's eBullet shared a link to a podcast where gun ban advocate and unofficial gubernatorial gun ban advisor Lori Haas said she had a whole list of changes she wants.  Reports floating around the web include many of the failed measures that didn't even get a hearing during the last session which include taxes on firearms and ammo, restrictions on indoor and outdoor ranges, and of course, the big enchilada that eluded the Governor this year, HB961 - Delegate Levine's ban on most all semi-automatic firearms.  Gun owners should remain vigilant and use the next month to contact your legislators.  If you live in the districts of Senator's Chap Petersen, Creigh Deeds, John Edwards, or Scott Surovell, please contact them and urge them to oppose any attempt to revive HB961.  The bill was carried over until the 2021 Session but could be revived in August.  If you are a member of a gun club that is in their districts (Senator Petersen's district is just outside of the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA boundaries but he referenced the club during the session), invite them to the club to see how modern sporting rifles are used for competition by the members.  As more news is available, we will contact members.