Virginia Shooting Sports Association

Handgun Rationing, Other Gun Control Bills Die in Senate Courts

During a long afternoon meeting of Senate Courts, a number of gun control bills were defeated today, including a bill to reinstate handgun rationing (one handgun-a-month).  The following bills were defeated today:
  • SB653 Requiring someone to have expressed permission to carry in church.
  • SB 742 Prohibits any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition stricken from the docket 
  • SB434, Bill requiring a 15 year waiting period for a felon whose other rights have been restored to be able to petition for gun rights restoration. 
  • SB811 Protective orders; possession of firearms; surrender or transfer of firearms.
  • SB155 Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body. Defeated.
  • SB442 Provides that any person who leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any person under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. 
  • SB385 Reinstating One Handgun-a-month.
Several Pro-gun bills failed to advance:
  • SB351 Firearms in locked vehicles; immunity from liability. Passed by for the year.
  • HB338 Allows a person who may lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to carry a firearm or ammo for a firearm into an area courthouse that is being used exclusively for purposes other than judicial proceedings outside of the courthouse's normal hours. PBI 12-1
  • SB493 Allows any person who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit or a concealed handgun permit from another state that is recognized by Virginia to carry a concealed handgun at public institutions of higher education. PBI 8-6
There were a couple of pro-gun bills that were reported or reported and referred to Finance:
  • SB372 Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place. Reported 9-6
  • SB350 Extends from five to 15 years the validity of a concealed handgun permit. Reports 15-1 and referred to Finance
Two additional bill were heard and advanced:
  • SB79 Adds public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers to list of places firearms prohibited. Reported 9-6 and referred to finance.
  • SB797 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty. This bill passed last year but died in Finance. Reported and referred to Finance 12-3
While the Senate has taken up the bulk of the gun related bills, the House has yet to schedule hearings for the bills in the lower chamber.  VSSA's legislative team continues to work with legislators.  I'll be on NRATV at 4:20 Thursday to discuss today's meeting and legislative results today.  Also, and updates will be posted here on the blog.

More Gun Bills on Senate Courts Docket Wednesday Afternoon

Senate Courts of Justice meets again this afternoon and a number of gun bills are on the Docket, including handgun rationing, rolling back preemption, a bill allowing firearms in church during regularly scheduled services and a bill extending the amount of time a Concealed Handgun Permit is valid from five to 15 years.  Below is the complete list.

S.B. 79Patron: LucasFirearms on school property. Adds public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited. Under current law, the list of such schools only includes public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high schools.
S.B. 155Patron: EdwardsControl of firearms; chambers of local governing bodies. Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body, provided that notice of such prohibition is publicly posted and the meeting room is owned or operated by the locality.
S.B. 338Patron: PeakeFirearms in courthouses. Allows a person who may lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to carry a firearm or ammunition for a firearm into an area courthouse that is being used exclusively for purposes other than judicial proceedings outside of the courthouse's normal hours of operation.
S.B. 350Patron: PeakeConcealed handgun permit; expiration date. Extends from five to 15 years the validity of a concealed handgun permit.
S.B. 351Patron: PeakeFirearms in locked vehicles; immunity from liability. Provides that no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner may (i) prohibit a person who lawfully possesses a firearm from storing that firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, (ii) take any adverse employment action against an employee or contractor for lawfully storing a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, or (iii) search an employee's or contractor's motor vehicle or require that an employee or contractor consent to such a search as a condition of employment. The bill allows a person to petition a circuit court for an injunction to enforce his right to lawfully store a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle. The bill provides immunity for any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner in a civil action for any occurrence resulting from the use of a lawfully stored firearm or ammunition for a firearm. The provisions of the bill do not apply to (a) property owned or controlled by the federal government, (b) vehicles on property controlled by an employer required to develop and implement a security plan under federal law or regulation, (c) property on which a person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, (d) vehicles owned or leased by an employer or business entity and used by an employee or contractor in the course of his employment, or (e) personal vehicles while such vehicles are being used for the transport of consumers of programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
S.B. 372Patron: ChafinCarrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship. Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.
S.B. 385Patron: LucasPurchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty. Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts from this provision (i) persons who have been issued a certificate by the Department of State Police under certain circumstances and with an enhanced background check, (ii) law-enforcement agencies and officers, (iii) state and local correctional facilities, (iv) licensed private security companies, (v) persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, (vi) persons whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, (vii) purchases of handguns in a private sale, and (viii) purchases of antique firearms.
S.B. 434Patron: WextonRestoration of firearms rights; convicted felons. Requires the court to find by clear and convincing evidence that a person convicted of a violent felony, whose civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority, who has petitioned for a permit to possess or carry a firearm is not a risk to public safety and poses no present or future danger to himself or others prior to granting the petition and issuing the permit. Current law provides for a standard of good cause shown.
S.B. 442Patron: HowellAllowing access to firearms by children; penalty. Provides that any person who leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any person under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Current law provides that any person who recklessly leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of 14 is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
S.B. 479Patron: ReevesUse or display of firearm during commission of a felony; killing or injuring police animals; penalty. Adds maliciously shooting, stabbing, wounding, or otherwise causing bodily injury to or administering poison to any animal used or trained by a law-enforcement agency, regional jail, or the Department of Corrections to the list of felonies for which a separate penalty is prescribed if a firearm is used during the commission of the offense.
S.B. 493Patron: CarricoPossession of concealed handguns; concealed handgun permit holders at public institutions of higher education. Allows any person who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit or a concealed handgun permit from another state that is recognized by Virginia to carry a concealed handgun on the property of, in buildings owned by, or at events hosted at public institutions of higher education. The bill provides an exception that may prohibit firearms in facilities operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or a campus police department of a public institution of higher education if such facilities are located on the property of or in buildings owned by a public institution of higher education.
S.B. 538Patron: HangerExpansion of courthouses to contiguous property. Provides that expansion of a courthouse to contiguous land within the same county or city shall not trigger a referendum requirement. The existing statute refers only to relocation within the same county.
S.B. 653Patron: McPikeDangerous weapons; place of religious worship. Requires a person to have the express authorization of a place of religious worship to carry certain weapons to such place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held. Current law requires such person to have a good and sufficient reason to do so.
S.B. 742Patron: SpruillProhibition of sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines and firearms; penalties. Prohibits any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a person from carrying semi-automatic center-fire firearms with more than 10 rounds of ammunition in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities and only to such firearms if the firearm holds more than 20 rounds of ammunition. The bill also increases from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony the penalty for carrying a semi-automatic center-fire firearm and a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place. The bill redefines "assault firearm" by reducing from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" and prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory such an assault firearm to any person. The bill also reduces from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" for purposes of possession or transportation by a person younger than 18 years of age and increases the penalty from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony for a person younger than 18 years of age to possess or transport a handgun, an assault firearm, or a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered, with some exceptions.
S.B. 797Patron: HowellProtective orders; possession of firearms; penalty. Provides that it is a Class 6 felony for a person who is subject to a permanent protective order (i.e., a protective order with a maximum duration of two years) for subjecting another person to an act of violence, force, or threat to possess a firearm while the order is in effect, which is equivalent to the existing penalty for possession of a firearm by a person subject to a permanent protective order for family abuse. The bill also provides that such person may continue to possess and transport a firearm for 24 hours after being served with the order for the purposes of selling or transferring the firearm to another person.
S.B. 811Patron: MarsdenProtective orders; possession of firearms; surrender or transfer of firearms. Provides that a court shall order a person subject to a protective order to (i) surrender any firearm possessed by such person to the local law-enforcement agency of the county or city where such person resides or to sell or transfer any firearms possessed by such person to a firearms dealer within 24 hours after being served with a protective order or (ii) certify in writing that such person does not possess any firearms and file such certification with the clerk of the court that entered the protective order within three days after being served with a protective order. The bill also provides that within 48 hours after surrendering or selling or transferring all firearms, such person shall certify in writing that all firearms possessed by such person have either been surrendered or sold or transferred and file such certification with the clerk of the court that entered the protective order.
I also had the opportunity yesterday to speak with Cam Edwards of NRATV's Cam and Company and give a legislative update.  Bills have yet to move in the House but the Senate is moving quickly to dispose of firearm related bills.  The last day to introduce legislation if Friday. 

Senate Courts of Justice Turns Back Most of Governor Northam's Gun Control

Senate Courts of Justice wasted no time in dispatching the bulk of Governor Northam's gun control legislation this morning in their first meeting of the legislative session.  In total, 18 bills were defeated, including one of Governor Northam's top priorities - so-called "universal" background checks.  The list of bills is below.
Unfortunately, two pro-gun bills that have passed in previous years and ultimately vetoed by former Governor McAullife, was withdrawn by the patron, Senator Jill Vogel.  Those bills are:
Two pro-gun bills were reported out and referred to the Finance Committee:
One "bump stock" bill (which incorporated two additional identical bills related to bump stocks - SB113 and SB676) was reported our of committee and referred to the Finance Committee:
Several usually dependable pro-rights legislators joined anti-rights Senators in reporting the bill.  Senators Stanley, Sturtevant, Stuart, and Peake, as well as sometime pro-rights Senator Norment, joined the reliable anti-rights Senators of Saslaw, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Stanley, Deeds,  and Petersen in reporting the bill. The discussion in the committee drifted to trigger replacements, modifications and changing factory standards.  SB1 is poorly written and will catch many more modifications than bump stocks if it passes.  The VSSA legislative team will continue to work legislators to defeat the bill.

Action on Northam's anti-gun agenda has yet to be taken in the House of Delegates.  Be sure to follow all of the legislative news here on the blog, as well as VSSA's Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Northam Makes Gun Control Top Legislative Priority

The Washington Post has the story here.
Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam said Tuesday that expanding Medicaid in Virginia and implementing universal background checks for gun buyers will be two of his top legislative priorities after he takes office this weekend.Calling it "non-partisan" and "commonsense" said he thinks he will have support from both sides of the aisle for his proposals.  So far, all of the patrons of the anti-rights bills are Democrats and have no GOP co-sponsors.

I had the opportunity to talk with NRATV's Cam Edwards about the just started legislative session and what Virginia gun owners can do to protect their rights during the next 60 days.


Long List of Gun Bills on Senate Courts of Justice Docket Monday

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee is wasting no time taking up the flurry of firearm related bills that have been introduced in the chamber.  Monday's docket includes a long list of bills, mostly anti-rights, but there are some pro-rights bills.  Included on the list are three bills that have previously passed and been vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe - two dealing with the ability of domestic violence victims to carry a concealed firearm without a permit while they are waiting for the permit for which they have applied to be processed, and a bill that prevents anti-gun states from going on fishing expeditions with people who have been stopped for routine traffic violations by preventing the sharing of concealed handgun permit information with states with which Virginia does not have reciprocity.  Please contact the members of the committee and let them know you oppose the bad bills (noted in red) and support the good bills (noted in green).  VSSA will be providing live updates on Twitter and Facebook during the committee meeting. In the interest of not clogging up our member's email inbox, rather than sending multiple emails during the week, please regularly check this blog and the VSSA web site Legislative Tracking Form for updates on legislation.  Bills of interest on Monday's docket are listed below.

S.B. 2  Patron: Ebbin
Firearms; alcohol; penalties. Provides that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs to carry a loaded firearm on or about his person in a public place and that a person found guilty of such act is ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years. Current law provides that such prohibition applies only to persons permitted to carry a concealed handgun.

S.B. 5 Patron: Ebbin
Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty. Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and requires the Department of State Police to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. A transferor who fails to obtain a required background check and sells the firearm to another person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts transfers between immediate family members, transfers that occur by operation of law, transfers by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust, and temporary transfers that (i) occur within the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm; (ii) are necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury; (iii) occur at a shooting range, shooting gallery, or other area designed for the purpose of target shooting, for use during target practice, a firearms safety or training course or class, a shooting competition, or any similar lawful activity; or (iv) are for the purpose of and while the transferee is engaged in hunting, trapping, or target shooting. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary.

S.B. 48 Patron: Black
Concealed handgun permits. Allows any person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun without a permit anywhere he may lawfully carry a handgun openly within the Commonwealth.

S.B. 63 Patron: Favola
Control of firearms by localities; lawful demonstrations and protests. Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits the possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof, during a demonstration, march, parade, protest, rally, or other similar event. Such an ordinance shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer, armed security officer, member of the Armed Forces of the United States, member of the Armed Forces Reserves, or member of the National Guard acting in the performance of his lawful duties or to any person having a valid concealed handgun permit.

S.B. 79 Patron: Lucas
Firearms on school property. Adds public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited. Under current law, the list of such schools only includes public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high schools.

S.B. 113 Patron: Favola
Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty. Prohibits the manufacture, import, sale or offer to sell, possession, transfer, or transportation of any device used to increase the rate of fire of any semi-automatic firearm beyond the capability of an unaided person to operate the trigger mechanism of that firearm. A violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

S.B. 119 Patron: Favola
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $50 for a first offense and not less than $100 or more than $250 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 145 Patron: Edwards
Firearm transfers; penalties. Creates a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer but who conducts business as a merchant of firearms to sell a firearm without a background check conducted by a federally licensed dealer. The bill exempts transfers to family members, to personal friends, by inheritance, by operation of law, or for a temporary purpose.

S.B. 155 Patron: Edwards
Control of firearms; chambers of local governing bodies. Allows a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body, provided that notice of such prohibition is publicly posted and the meeting room is owned or operated by the locality.

S.B. 209 Patron: Stuart
Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information. Prohibits sharing of information regarding Virginia concealed handgun permits in the Virginia Criminal Information Network with law enforcement in states that do not recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. The bill requires the Department of State Police to maintain and publish online a list of states that recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in the state. The bill does not create a private cause of action.

S.B. 215 Patron: Cosgrove
Renewal of concealed handgun permits; notice. Requires the clerk of the court that issued a concealed handgun permit to notify the permit holder, at least 90 days prior to the expiration date, of the expiration date of the permit. Such notification shall be provided by first-class mail unless the clerk provides an electronic notification to the permit holder. Current law provides that if the clerk has an electronic system for the application and issuance of concealed handgun permits and such system has the capability of sending electronic notices to a permit holder, then such expiration notices shall be sent electronically.

S.B. 276 Patron: Barker
Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties. Creates a procedure by which an attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a circuit court judge for a warrant to remove firearms from a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others. If firearms are seized pursuant to such warrant, the bill requires a court hearing within 14 days from execution of the warrant to determine whether the firearms should be returned or retained by law enforcement. Seized firearms may be retained by court order for up to 180 days or, with court approval, may be transferred to a third party chosen by the person from whom they were seized. Persons who have been served with a warrant to remove firearms until such warrant has been dissolved by a court or who are the subject of an order to retain firearms are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm; are disqualified from having a concealed handgun permit; and may not be employed by a licensed firearms dealer. The bill also provides that a person who transfers a firearm to a person he knows has been served with a warrant or who is the subject of an order is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

S.B. 288 Patron: McClellan
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $50 for a first offense and not less than $100 or more than $250 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 338 Patron: Peake
Firearms in courthouses. Allows a person who may lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm to carry a firearm or ammunition for a firearm into an area courthouse that is being used exclusively for purposes other than judicial proceedings outside of the courthouse's normal hours of operation.

S.B. 350 Patron: Peake
Concealed handgun permit; expiration date. Extends from five to 15 years the validity of a concealed handgun permit.

S.B. 351 Patron: Peake
Firearms in locked vehicles; immunity from liability. Provides that no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner may (i) prohibit a person who lawfully possesses a firearm from storing that firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, (ii) take any adverse employment action against an employee or contractor for lawfully storing a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, or (iii) search an employee's or contractor's motor vehicle or require that an employee or contractor consent to such a search as a condition of employment. The bill allows a person to petition a circuit court for an injunction to enforce his right to lawfully store a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle. The bill provides immunity for any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner in a civil action for any occurrence resulting from the use of a lawfully stored firearm or ammunition for a firearm. The provisions of the bill do not apply to (a) property owned or controlled by the federal government, (b) vehicles on property controlled by an employer required to develop and implement a security plan under federal law or regulation, (c) property on which a person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, (d) vehicles owned or leased by an employer or business entity and used by an employee or contractor in the course of his employment, or (e) personal vehicles while such vehicles are being used for the transport of consumers of programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

S.B. 360 Patron: McClellan
Control of firearms; permitted events. Authorizes any locality by ordinance to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or any combination thereof in a public space during a permitted event, or an event that would otherwise require a permit. This bill contains technical amendments.

S.B. 372 Patron: Chafin
Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship. Repeals the statutory prohibition on carrying a gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger, or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.

S.B. 385 Patron: Lucas
Purchase of handguns; limitation on handgun purchases; penalty. Prohibits any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period and establishes such an offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill exempts from this provision (i) persons who have been issued a certificate by the Department of State Police under certain circumstances and with an enhanced background check, (ii) law-enforcement agencies and officers, (iii) state and local correctional facilities, (iv) licensed private security companies, (v) persons who hold a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit, (vi) persons whose handgun has been stolen or irretrievably lost or who are trading in a handgun, (vii) purchases of handguns in a private sale, and (viii) purchases of antique firearms.

S.B. 412 Patron: Lucas
Firearm transfers; criminal history record information checks; penalty. Requires a background check for any firearm transfer and directs the Department of State Police (the Department) to establish a process for transferors to obtain such a check from licensed firearms dealers. A transferor who sells a firearm to another person without obtaining the required background check is guilty of a Class 6 felony. The bill exempts transfers (i) between immediate family members, (ii) that occur by operation of law, (iii) by the executor or administrator of an estate or by the trustee of a testamentary trust, and (iv) that are temporary and occur in the presence of the owner of the firearm or are necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury. The bill removes the provision that makes background checks of prospective purchasers or transferees at firearms shows voluntary. The bill also provides that the Department shall have three business days to complete a criminal history record information check before a firearm may be transferred.

S.B. 432 Patron: Wexton
Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties. Requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before a vendor, defined in the bill, may transfer firearms at a gun show. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill also requires that the promoter of a firearms show post notice of the requirement for a criminal history record information check and provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal history record information check. The bill repeals a provision added by the 2016 Session of the General Assembly that requires the Department of State Police to be available to perform background checks for non-dealer sales at firearms shows if requested by a party involved in a transaction.

S.B. 433 Patron: Wexton
Reporting lost or stolen firearms; civil penalty. Requires a person who lawfully possesses a firearm to report the loss or theft of the firearm to any local law-enforcement agency or the Department of State Police within 24 hours after such person discovers the loss or theft or is informed by a person with personal knowledge of the loss or theft. The bill requires the relevant law-enforcement agency to enter the report information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). A violation is punishable by a civil penalty of $250 for a first offense and not less than $250 or more than $1,000 for any subsequent offense. The bill provides that a person who, in good faith, reports the loss or theft is immune from criminal or civil liability for acts or omissions that result from the loss or theft; the immunity does not apply to a person who knowingly gives a false report. The bill does not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm.

S.B. 434 Patron: Wexton
Restoration of firearms rights; convicted felons. Requires the court to find by clear and convincing evidence that a person convicted of a violent felony, whose civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority, who has petitioned for a permit to possess or carry a firearm is not a risk to public safety and poses no present or future danger to himself or others prior to granting the petition and issuing the permit. Current law provides for a standard of good cause shown.

S.B. 442 Patron: Howell
Allowing access to firearms by children; penalty. Provides that any person who leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any person under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Current law provides that any person who recklessly leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of 14 is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

S.B. 447 Patron: Surovell
Firearm transfers; penalties. Creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to sell, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm to any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill also creates a Class 2 misdemeanor for a person who is not a licensed dealer to buy, rent, trade, or transfer a firearm from any other person who is not a licensed dealer. The bill exempts certain transfers, including between immediate family members, by operation of law, at a firearms show with a background check, at a shooting range, at a voluntary gun buyback programs, transfers of antique firearms, and when the transfer is temporary and (i) is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or (ii) occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm.

S.B. 493 Patron: Carrico
Possession of concealed handguns; concealed handgun permit holders at public institutions of higher education. Allows any person who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit or a concealed handgun permit from another state that is recognized by Virginia to carry a concealed handgun on the property of, in buildings owned by, or at events hosted at public institutions of higher education. The bill provides an exception that may prohibit firearms in facilities operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or a campus police department of a public institution of higher education if such facilities are located on the property of or in buildings owned by a public institution of higher education.

S.B. 595 Patron: Vogel
Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty.

S.B. 596 Patron: Vogel
Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course. Creates the Virginia Firearms Safety and Training for Sexual and Domestic Violence Victims Fund. The bill provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services may distribute funds from the Fund to reimburse an entity that offers a firearms safety or training course or class approved by the Department free of charge to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, or family abuse. The Department would not be permitted to issue reimbursements in excess of the amount available in the Fund. The bill also requires that, upon the issuance of a protective order, the petitioner for the order be provided with a list of such approved courses or classes.

S.B. 641 Patron: Stuart
Purchase, possession, or transportation of firearms by persons voluntarily admitted to an inpatient mental health facility; penalty. Prohibits a person voluntarily admitted to a state hospital or mental health facility for inpatient treatment from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm while receiving inpatient treatment and for two weeks following the date on which he is discharged from inpatient treatment. The bill requires the state hospital or mental health facility to notify the person seeking admission of such prohibition, to receive written consent from the person seeking admission to have his firearm rights temporarily revoked, and to disclose information regarding his admission to treatment to the State Police for entry in the Central Criminal Records Exchange prior to admitting such person for treatment.

S.B. 653 Patron: McPike
Dangerous weapons; place of religious worship. Requires a person to have the express authorization of a place of religious worship to carry certain weapons to such place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held. Current law requires such person to have a good and sufficient reason to do so.

S.B. 665 Patron: Deeds
Prohibition on carrying of certain firearms in public places; County of Albemarle and City of Charlottesville; penalty. Adds the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville to the list of localities in which it is unlawful for a person to carry certain firearms in public places.

S.B. 668 Patron: Deeds
Localities; regulation of firearms in government buildings. Allows localities to regulate the possession of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in, or the carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof into, any building owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes. The bill also allows localities to regulate the possession of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in, or the carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof into a park or recreation area owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes, provided that at each public entrance to such park or recreation area there is (i) at least one law-enforcement officer or armed security officer; (ii) at least one metal detection device; and (iii) an inspection area where each person that enters the park or recreation area may have any bag, package, or other container that he is carrying inspected by a law-enforcement officer or armed security officer. Current law prohibits localities from adopting or enforcing any ordinance, resolution, or motion regarding firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof unless expressly authorized by statute.

S.B. 669 Patron: Deeds
Involuntary mental health treatment; minors; access to firearms. Provides that a person who, while a minor 14 years of age or older, was ordered to involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment or was subject to a temporary detention order and agreed to voluntary admission (i) is subject to the same restrictions on possessing, purchasing, or transporting a firearm as an adult who was similarly ordered to involuntary treatment or was subject to a temporary detention order and agreed to voluntary admission and (ii) may utilize the same procedure as such adult for petitioning for the restoration of such person's firearm rights. The bill also sets out procedures for the submission of any involuntary treatment order or certification of voluntary admission subsequent to a temporary detention order involving a minor 14 years of age or older to the Central Criminal Records Exchange for purposes of determining a person's eligibility to possess, purchase, or transport a firearm that mirror the current procedures for the submission of such orders or certifications for adults.

S.B. 676 Patron: Deeds
Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty. Prohibits the manufacture, import, sale or offer to sell, possession, transfer, or transportation of any device used to increase the rate of fire of any semi-automatic firearm beyond the capability of an unaided person to operate the trigger mechanism of that firearm. A violation is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

S.B. 715 Patron: Chase
Carrying a concealed handgun; firefighters and emergency medical services providers. Provides that any firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel who was previously employed as a law-enforcement officer or as a member of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves of the United States may carry a concealed handgun throughout the Commonwealth without a permit, provided that such firefighter or person employed as emergency medical services personnel has been approved to carry a concealed handgun by his fire chief or emergency medical services chief.

S.B. 732 Patron: Favola
Possession or transportation of firearms following convictions for certain misdemeanor crimes; restoration of rights; penalty. Prohibits a person who has been convicted of stalking, sexual battery, assault and battery of a family or household member, brandishing a firearm, or two or more convictions of assault and battery from possessing or transporting a firearm. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides for a process by which a person convicted of such crimes may petition the circuit court for a reinstatement of his right to possess or transport a firearm.

S.B. 742 Patron: Spruill
Prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., of certain firearms magazines and firearms; penalties. Prohibits any person from importing, selling, bartering, or transferring a firearms magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a person from carrying semi-automatic center-fire firearms with more than 10 rounds of ammunition in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities and only to such firearms if the firearm holds more than 20 rounds of ammunition. The bill also increases from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony the penalty for carrying a semi-automatic center-fire firearm and a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place. The bill redefines "assault firearm" by reducing from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" and prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory such an assault firearm to any person. The bill also reduces from more than 20 to more than 10 the number of rounds of ammunition that a firearms magazine will hold in order to be defined as an "assault firearm" for purposes of possession or transportation by a person younger than 18 years of age and increases the penalty from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony for a person younger than 18 years of age to possess or transport a handgun, an assault firearm, or a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered, with some exceptions.

General Assembly Convenes January 10th - Repeal of Reciprocity Agreements Tops List of Bills

The Virginia General Assembly convenes tomorrow and there are already a number of firearm related bills pre-filed, many of which are bad bills.  At the top of the list is HB498 by Delegate Marcus Simon that would undo the bi-partisan concealed carry reciprocity legislation that was negotiated and signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and House and Senate Republicans.  Also included in the list are bills to ban so-called "bump stocks", a bill banning standard capacity magazines, several bills to reinstate handgun rationing, bills to begin undoing state-wide firearm law preemption, and a bill that would impose civil liability against a gun owner who sells a privately owned firearm to someone who later uses it to harm someone.  You can find the complete list if legislation currently prefiled, as well as track legislation throughout the session on the VSSA Legislative Tracking page.  I had the opportunity to speak with NRATV's Cam Edwards last week about the upcoming session and what gun owners can do to make sure that no bad legislation makes it to the Governor's desk.


2017 Second Best Year for Gun Sales on Record

So reports Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner:
Only 2016 was better since the system began in 1998. More than 27.5 million background checks were recorded last year.

The year of gun sales surprised many especially in May and August when monthly sales records were set. December was the top month with 2,586,138 checks taking place.You wouldn't know that however by most reporting of sales numbers from one month to the next.  Sure, everyone knows that year over year figures are down and it is likely because there is no longer a concerted push from the White House to enact gun control after every incident or mass shooting.  But sales number while lower than 2016 are still at historic highs.  On Wednesday, Bedard talked to Cam Edwards, host of NRATV's Cam and Company, about his story and the numbers.


Will You Send a Special Donation to Support VSSA's Efforts in Duncan v. Becerra?

In 2000, California made it illegal to sell magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. However, through the graciousness of the state of California, citizens who already owned those now “illegal” magazines were grandfathered in.

Prop 63 changed that. Owners of those magazines would now have to either surrender them or face up to a one-year prison sentence. Peaceful people who own “oversized” magazines must obey the government and give up their property.   Once again, instead of protecting individual rights, the state of California went on the attack against them.

A suit was filed against the constitutionality of the magazine confiscation law, naming California attorney general Xavier Becerra as the defendant. Fortunately, the case came before a Judge that was born in Havana, Cuba, Judge Roger Benitez. His life history probably has something to do his aversion to authoritarianism.

In Duncan v. Becerra, Judge Benitez issued an injunction that blocks Proposition 63 from taking effect. California appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Similar to what was done with the Heller and McDonald cases in 2008 and 2010, the NRA State Associations have been asked to support an amicus curiae in the Duncan case and to donate toward the expense of filing the brief.  VSSA plans to join the brief but the cost was not part of the budget we approved for the coming year.  We are asking VSSA members to help with a special donation to the War Chest to help with this effort.  Even a small donation will help defray the costs of supporting the amicus brief.  With the uncertainty still remaining from the 2017 statewide election, laws like those passed in California may soon come to Virginia.  That makes rolling back laws like Prop 63 even more important.

VSSA appreciates the continued support of our members as we work to protect the rights of Virginia's gun owners.



Will Virginia Become the "Canary in the Coal Mine" on Gun Control?

Yesterday brought unwelcome news for gun owners as a recount in a Tidewater area House of Delegates district flipped a GOP seat to Democrat by one vote.  If this result holds (the incumbent is challenging one ballot) the pro-rights majority in the House of Delegates will be completely wiped out.  It will set up a power sharing agreement that will evenly split committee representation and committee chairmanships.  It could also provide an opening for some gun control legislation to pass the House for the first time since 1993 and set up an opportunity for some bad legislation to wind up on the desk of incoming Governor Ralph Northam.  Bills banning so-called bump stocks and background check related legislation may be able to squeak past the Senate.  While we have a slight pro-rights majority in the Senate, the gun ban lobby will be looking to pick off one or two of the more moderate GOP members on some legislation.  Don't believe talk that "we passed good legislation and defeated bad legislation with a Democrat majority in 1995 when we got Shall Issue carry.  This isn't the same Virginia Democrat party as 1995.  That majority included pro-rights Democrats from southside and southwest Virginia.  Those no longer exist.

Now is the time to join or renew your membership with VSSA.  This is going to be our toughest legislative session in decades.  Tell every gun owner you know to join VSSA and make their voice heard during this legislative session.

CBS News Conversation with Two Friends on Gun Control

Last week marked five years since the Sandy Hook school shooting. You probably saw a number of articles that talked about how there has been no movement on gun control in Washington in the last five years.  And, of course, one media outlet made a big deal about NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre being at the White House for a Christmas Party on the anniversary of the shooting.  CBS News released the results of a poll it took that, unsurprisingly, showed those who own guns oppose restrictions and those who don't own guns want more.  Over the weekend, the CBSNews streaming site had this short conversation with two friends, one pro-rights and one who was pro-control to see where they could find agreement as part of their Mass Shootings: Five Years After Sandy Hook story. It strikes me that some gun owners are so quick to agree to something like "The only way I would give in and say should ban guns, or a type of gun is if we could all at once, world wide, make all guns disappear."  Now, he may have said that knowing such a thing would never occur but the sound bite is used to show that even a proponent of gun rights and opponent of rights can agree on something.  At the end, even the anti-rights friend agreed you can't take everyone's guns away. 

There is no reason for gun owners to agree to restrictions on basic rights.  We aren't the ones causing crime and placing restrictions on us and banning the ownership of commonly owned firearms is not going to reduce crime.

Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children's Book About Gun Safety

That's the title of a new book for children about firearm safety by Julie Golob.

Besides being a World Champion Shooter, Julie is a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, appearing in a series of ads for the NRA, a lead trainer in NRATV's Love at First Shot series, as well as helping promote safe storage through the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Project ChildSafe.  She also is a great advocate for getting shooters involved in competitive shooting sports.  Julie's YouTube page describes the book like this:
There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States alone. Despite how polarizing the media and politics have made the topic of firearms, we must talk with our children about guns and firearm safety to protect them and help prevent deaths and injuries. World-champion professional shooter, firearms instructor, and mother Julie Golob helps you start a conversation about firearms with young children. Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules helps parents break the ice with kids on this taboo topic.

Colorful and realistic illustrations inspire essential conversations about guns by:
  • Comparing firearms to other potentially dangerous adult tools.
  • Exploring the different types of firearms and what can they look like.
  • Educating curious minds about how firearms work and the most dangerous parts of a gun.
  • Identifying adults children may know who safely and responsibly use firearms.
Golob also provides a useful guide for parents on how to make the most out of Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules, so that you can answer the questions and establish your own family rules when it comes to firearms. Don’t let the fear of guns or their potential danger keep you from talking about them. Gun safety is for everyone.

Learn more at kidsgunsafetybook.comOh,  Julie's also running for the NRA Board this year.  You can find out more about that here.   If she wins, don't expect her to be a celebrity board member that doesn't show up.  She has a passion for the shooting sports and firearm freedom.

ABC News: With New Clout, VA Democrats to Push Gun Control

You can find the full story here.  The VSSA Legislative team has already seen some of the expected bills prefiled.  Expect bills requiring in-person training to qualify for a concealed handgun permit (currently online courses qualify), a bill banning bump stocks, and the usual "universal background checks bills, to name a few.  Gun ban advocates are going to attempt to pick off some of the "moderate" GOP members in each chamber to try and pass something. Gun owners are going to need to be ready to contact their legislators to keep bad bills from reaching the Governor's desk.

CMP 1911 Information

From the CMP.  Please note your current VSSA Membership Card will qualify as proof of membership in a CMP affiliated club noted in #3:
The CMP Board of Directors has discussed at length how the sales of 1911s would be handled, if the CMP were to ever receive them from the United States Army.Some preliminary decisions further clarified:
  1. Decisions concerning the grade and pricing of the 1911s will not be made until inspection has occurred of a substantial quantity which will take an estimated 150 days post receipt.
  2. All laws pertaining to the sale of 1911s by CMP will be strictly obeyed.
  3. Potential purchasers will have to provide to CMP a new set of documents exhibiting:  1) proof of U.S. Citizenship, 2) proof of membership in a CMP affiliated club, 3) proof of participation in a marksmanship activity, 4) a new form 2A with notary, 5) a signed copy of the 01 Federal Firearms License in which the 1911 will be transferred to. 
  4. A NICS background check will be performed by CMP on the customer to assure the customer is eligible to purchase prior to shipment to the FFL licensed dealer. The customer must receive a "proceed" from NICS prior to shipment of the pistol to the FFL licensed dealer.
  5. The CMP customer will be required to complete a form 4473 in person at the FFL dealers place of business, successfully passing a NICS check performed by the FFL holder, before the pistol can be transferred.  This is a second NICS check performed on the customer.
  6. Qualified CMP customer will only be allowed to purchase one 1911 per calendar year.
  7. No 1911s available in the CMP stores, or on line, only mail order sales.
  8. CMP will set the date in which it will accept orders for the 1911s. The date will be posted to the world.
  9. Orders will only be accepted via mail order delivery.
  10. Orders will only be accepted post marked on the date or after, no early orders.
  11. Once CMP receives 10,000 orders, customer names will be loaded into the Random Number Generator.
  12. The Random Number Generator will provide a list of names in sequence order through a random picking process to CMP. 
  13. Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided by the Random Number Generator.
  14. When the customer is contacted a list of 1911 grades and pricing options that are available will be offered for selection of one.
  15. As CMP proceeds down the sequenced list less grade and pricing options will be available. Again, this done completely random.
Note: 1911 type pistols purchased from CMP cannot be transferred to 03 FFL (curio and relic) license.  BATF and the United States Army prefer the second background check be performed by a "store front" FFL dealer.  Each customer purchasing a 1911 type pistol from CMP will be subjected to two NICS background checks, one performed by CMP and the other performed by the FFL dealer the pistol is being shipped to.

Giffords Group Targets GOP Representatives on National Carry Reciprocity

Politico has the story here.
Gabby Giffords is going up on the air Monday with a six-figure ad buy against Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) from her gun safety group.

The ads come ahead of this week’s expected House vote on Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which, if enacted, would be a massive opening of gun laws across the country, forcing all states to accept gun licenses issued in any state. The result could lead to gun carrying laws effectively being set everywhere at the lowest level any state would allow. The article goes on to report that in addition to the ad buy above, digital ads will also go out against several California congressmen - Reps. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Virginia's Barbara Comstock (R). Politico notes that all of these members are at the top of Democrats’ 2018 "pick-up" hopes. There will be a radio ad focused on the three Southern California members.

If you live in Virginia's 10th District, please contact Rep. Comstock and urge her to support H.R. 38 National Carry Reciprocity.

House Combines National Carry with FixNICS, Bump Stocks Attract Renewed Attention in Senate

Second Amendment issues are taking center stage in Washington as the year comes to a close.  Politico has this story on the efforts in the House of Representatives to pass National Carry Reciprocity and make changes to the National Instant Check System (NICS) in the wake of the Texas church shooting where the perpetrator's domestic violence and mental health records had not been submitted by the U.S. Air Force.
House Republican leaders are preparing to move ahead with a package of gun legislation that would sharply expand concealed-carry rights but also address policies that came into play during two recent mass shootings. The proposal is expected to come to the floor as soon as next week.

GOP leaders conducted a full whip count of the plan Thursday and sensed enough support from colleagues to bring up the measure, a combination of three proposals that would include a major policy win for gun rights advocates but also seek to placate those clamoring for policy changes after two of the worst shooting massacres in American history — in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill initially offered by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), would permit anyone with a valid concealed-carry permit to transport firearms into any other state that also allows for concealed-carry permits. The measure is strongly favored by the National Rifle Association but has drawn fierce opposition from gun control advocates who say it effectively nullifies restrictions passed in states that want to limit the practice.

The measure would be combined with a bipartisan proposal to stiffen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System , the national system of criminal background checks managed by the FBI. Calls for an NICS revamp grew louder after the Nov. 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs that left 26 churchgoers dead. After the shooting, the Air Force revealed that it had failed to report the gunman’s conviction on domestic violence in 2012 to the database, which would have barred him from making a lawful gun purchase.

The proposal, a bipartisan bill offered by Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), would require federal agencies and states to produce implementation plans for sharing data with the NICS system and to verify the accuracy of the data they provide. It would also reward states that comply with more funding and incentives, and would provide more resources to federal agencies working to comply.Over in the Senate, California U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein's bill to ban "bump stocks" will gain renewed attention as a Senate committee holds a hearing on the firearm accessories.  McClatchy has the story here:
A week ahead of a long awaited Senate hearing on bump stocks, the district attorney from Las Vegas issued a powerful call to ban the firearm accessory, which enabled a gunman to kill 58 people in just minutes at an Oct. 1 concert along the city’s famed Strip. The renewed spotlight on the issue provides some much needed momentum for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s legislation to ban the device, which has languished in the Senate as Washington’s attention drifted on to other matters.

Two events are now reigniting the debate over whether Congress ought to act on bump stocks. The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a hearing Dec. 6 on the regulation of firearm accessories like bump stocks as well as issues with the federal background checks database that gun dealers use to determine whether someone is allowed to purchase a gun. A second mass shooting this fall, at a church in Sunderland Springs, Texas, highlighted gaps in that system. The article also features a video that explains how the bump stock is installed and works on a firearm. It helps put the lie to the narrative from the gun ban crowd that bump stocks turn a semi-auto into a machine gun. 

ATF will testify at the hearing.  Feinstein is hoping that hearing ATF tell the committee they don't have the authority to regulated bump stocks will clear the way to make the case that only legislation Congress is the solution.

Jim Shockey: Creating a Renewable Resource by Hunting

This month's issue of Outdoor Life Magazine features one of the premiere hunting personalities, Jim Shockey, on its cover this month.  He is part of the article on 19 people who have changed the way we look at the outdoors.
Canadian Outfitter and Outdoor Channel host Jim Shockey was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has received numerous awards for his work in the outdoors.  His two children, Branlin and Eva, have both joined Jim in his hunting and entertainment business.  His daughter Eva was honored with a cover story in Field and Stream in 2014 and is considered a great ambassador for the growing number of women taking part in hunting.  She has also been one of the featured personalities at booths during the NRA Annual Meetings the last couple of years.

On Tuesday, NRATV host Cam Edwards had a great interview with Shockey where they discuss the Outdoor Life article "The Influencers," the people who are changing the way Americans hunt, fish, and shoot and think about the outdoors. As a big game hunter, he says hunters have been stereotyped in the press since the early 1960s. It's impossible to sit in North America and understand conservation wildlife hunting halfway around the world. Shockey explains that it's supply and demand economics at work. The animals have to have a higher value to survive as a species, a renewable resource for the local community. Jim says anti-hunters don't care about whether a species thrives - they simply want hunting to stop.   If you enjoy hunting, you will enjoy the interview.


Black Friday Breaks Another Record for Background Checks

USA Today has the story here.
The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.

In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.

Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.The holiday season is typically one of the busiest for gun sales.  It is als good news for the industry trying to deal with lower sales than the previous five or six years now that President Trump is in office.

Sandy Hook Parents, Gun Ban Lobby, Hoping for New Life for Lawsuit

The New York Times has the story here
This week, the families of the victims plan to be in Hartford, listening as lawyers lay out in state Supreme Court their case that the companies that manufactured and sold the military-style assault rifle used by the gunman bear responsibility for the attack in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed.

They are deploying a novel strategy that the families and their lawyers say could pierce the sweeping shield created by federal law that protects gun companies from litigation and has thwarted countless lawsuits after their weapons were used to commit crimes.The lower court threw out the lawsuit ruling that the claims fell within the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that was signed into law in 2005. According to the New York Times, the law does allow exceptions for sale and marketing practices that violate state or federal laws and instances of "negligent entrustment", where a firearms is "carelessly" given or sold to a person posing a high risk of misusing it.  The Times noted that negligent entrustment has been cited with some success in lawsuits against firearms dealers.  The Newtown families are the first to attempt broadening the scope to include a weapon’s manufacturer.  That's kind of like suing Ford or GM because a drunk driver who killed one or more people happened to be driving a vehicle manufactured by them.

What Tuesday's Election Results Mean for Gun Owners

I didn't post this on Wednesday because I wanted to get some analysis from several sources and digest it.  What was immediately clear was we are going to have four more years of the same - really good gun bills being vetoed.  Ralph Northam ran as the most anti-gun candidate for Governor since Mary-Sue Terry in 1993.  What is still undecided is which party will control the House of Delegates.  The Republicans may have a one member majority, or it could be a 50-50 split which would mean a power sharing agreement. Or, Democrats could have a one vote majority depending on recounts results.  Some have said gun owners dealt with a Democrat majority before and got shall-issue concealed carry passed in 1995.  The difference is in 1995 a number of those Democrats were pro-gun.  Today, most all of the Democrat members of the House of Delegates are from northern Virginia or other urban areas and are decidedly anti-rights.

Exit polls showed that a majority of voters came from gun owning households, and a majority - 61% - voted for Ed Gillespie.  What is disconcerting is 37% of those who said they came from gun owning households voted for the most anti-gun candidate Virginia has seen in almost 25 years.  We have our work cut out for us.  Expect an avalanche of anti-gun bills to be introduced in the General Assembly this year.  VSSA will be working hard to defeat them and will work to pass some meaningful pro-rights legislation.  But, expect to play defense like hasn't been done in twenty years.

For more analysis of what the results mean for gun owners, take 10 minutes and watch the below clip from NRATV's Cam and Company.


Final Weekend Before Election Day

Pro-rights volunteers have one last weekend to encourage gun owners and sportsmen to turn out for Tuesday's election.  All three NRA-ILA Campaign Field Offices are holding phone banks and neighborhood canvasses this weekend.  If you live in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, or Tidewater areas, simply click here to find dates and times and to sign up.  If you don't live in one of these areas but want to find out what you can do to help, contact Patrick DeStefano, Senior Campaign Field Representative, NRA-ILA, at (864)680-0399, or by email at Patrick@nrailafrontlines.com.  Be sure to let them know you are a VSSA member.

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