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Roanoke Considering Ban on Certain Types of Firearms in Public

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

WSLS has the story here:
The idea is to prohibit loaded weapons, including semi-automatic guns that hold 20 rounds or more. Currently a handful of Virginia localities have the ban including Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Richmond and several counties in Northern Virginia. Soon Roanoke could join that list.I'm not so sure they have their facts straight regarding local ordinances however.  Virginia has full pre-emption and while localities can restrict where firearms are discharged, say in a neighborhood or subdivision, or transporting a loaded shotgun in a vehicle, that's about all they can do.  I don't think they can go as far as what is described above.  I specifically did a search of the City of Richmond Municipal Code and did not find such an ordinance.

The Problems With That New Harvard/Northeastern Study of Gun Owners

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

You may have seen stories in news outlets like NPR and The Guardian reporting the results of a new study on gun owners.   The big headline is 3% of gun owners own 50% of the guns in America.  While this new study says there are more gun owners now than in 1994, that increase has not kept up with the rate of increase in the overall population, so there are actually a smaller percentage of Americans owning firearms.  Setting aside for a moment a large number of gun owners likely aren't honest when an unknown person calls them on the phone and asks if they own guns and if so how many, a huge problem with this study is the Harvard/Northeastern University researchers anonymously released their top line findings to the media, and the actual data will not be available for people to dig into until fall of 2017.  According to the Federalist blog, the researchers said this is because it is still being peer reviewed.  So, the study's peer review has not been completed but you can go out and announce the findings?  From the Federalist:
This type of behavior raises all kinds of troubling questions about the underlying data, as well as the motives of the researchers who put it together. If peer review is incomplete, why on earth are the study’s conclusions already being released? And if these reviewers are widely respected experts in the field, why must they remain anonymous, even as the study’s conclusions are being broadcast to the world? And finally, on what planet does it take more than a year to review the results of a simple poll?

None of the likely answers reflects well on the people who put this study together, because this is not how scientists conduct themselves. This is how political actors conduct themselves. This is how people with political motives and political objectives conduct themselves.Ask any gun shop owner or firearms instructor and you will hear about all of the first time gun owners coming in to their stores or seeking firearms training.  This study is just one more piece of propaganda intended to add to the narrative that the number of gun owners in American continue to decrease and that a relative few are holding the rest of the country hostage when it comes to passing "commonsense" gun laws.

Update: Dr. John Lott has more:
— But there is a general problem with survey data. Hard data, such a the number of permits that are required before someone can own a gun in some states such as Illinois, show a dramatic increase in gun ownership at the same time that these surveys for those states are showing a drop in gun ownership. The likely reason that all these surveys on gun ownership are biased against showing an increase is because gun owners have been relatively less willing over time to tell pollsters that they own guns.

This hard data indicates such a large increase in gun owners relative to the polls that it makes it mathematically impossible for the claim to be true that gun sales are being driven by a small group of gun owners.

VSSA Annual Meeeting Wrap-up

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

A good crowd turned out for the VSSA Annual Meeting on Saturday at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Club and enjoyed an afternoon of shooting and fellowship, then came together for dinner and the meeting part of the event.  Attendees heard from two great speakers, Delegate Michael Webert and State Senator Bryce Reeves.  These legislators were the driving force behind overturning Attorney General Mark Herring's ruling that would have ended concealed carry reciprocity/recognition with 25 states.

Before the attendees left for the evening, a young member drew the names for this year's raffle.  The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: Smith & Wesson M&P9 with Green Laser
Elwood F. Harrison
Mechanicsville, VA

2nd Prize: Special Edition Henry Boy Lever Action .22 (#10 of 10)
Louis E. Seigel
Cumberland, VA

3rd Prize: $100 Cabela's Gift Card
Adam Joseph
Newport News, VA

A special Thank You to both of our speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak at this year's meeting.  As Executive Director Lu Charette said, while giving all due respect to all of our previous speakers, this year's speakers were the most informative since then Attorney General Jim Gilmore spoke before he went on to win the 2007 gubernatorial election.

Green Top's Ladies on Target Event

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Do you know a lady that has expressed an interest in the shooting sports but doesn't know how to get started?  Green Top has just the event for you.  They will host a Ladies on Target Shotgun, Rifle and Archery event this Saturday, September 24th at Black Creek Gun Club in Mechanicsville.  Check-in begins at 8:00 AM and you can pre-register for the event in the store or online by clicking here.
The event is limited to 100 participants.

Beware Fake News Reports

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It seems that some people never tire of spreading misinformation in the hope of getting folks to share news links or forward emails to hundreds of their friends.  The latest is a story from a web site titled "Associated Media Coverage" with the amusing tagline "News You Can Trust."  The story was posted on the web site on September 9th (I am not going to link to it and help increase their site hits) and popped up on Facebook newsfeeds.  It claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) is implementing a new regulation that would set a minimum age for hunting at 18.  Additionally, they would create an online hunter safety "academy" that would have to be completed before new individuals could start hunting, at the tune of $197.  IT is actually a slightly changed report that was originally circulated in 2014 that claimed the agency was raising the minimum hunting age to 21.

The "news report" comes complete with quotes from people who supposedly work for USFWS and ATF.  Because of the current administration's propensity for executive fiat, it is not hard to believe they would institute such a regulation, but it's just not true.  Any proposed regulation has to be publicly announced and a public comment period has to be made available.  While the story claims such a comment period took place, you can believe that if it really had, pro-gun and pro-hunting groups would have jumped all over it.  In this era of social media and emails urging recipients to forward to their friends, it pays to do a quick search on things that sound too real to be true.

BearingArms.com: Democrats Plan Scripted Gun Control "Day of Out Rage" Today

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Bearingarms.com has the story here:
A memo from minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s office calling for a “gun violence prevention day of action” today includes a long itinerary of scripted actions to be taken by Democrat representatives under orders from the 76-year-old gun control zealot.  The actions called for are tightly controlled, right down the the tweets the powerful California Democrat wants the staff of representatives to use on social media on her orders.

Characteristically, the tweets scheduled to begin at a 12:30 PM ET “tweetstorm” are factually inaccurate.The tweets referred too include rants with inflated numbers of  "mass shootings" that have supposedly taken place during the summer, tweets about the so-called "gun show loophole" and more of the same tired rhetoric of the gun ban lobby.  Expect this stunt to do as much to advance gun control as the Twitter hashtag campaign by the White House did to release the young girls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram two years ago.

Senator Bryce Reeves to Attend and Speak at VSSA Annual Meeting

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Senator Bryce Reeves will attend this year's VSSA Annual meeting.   Senator Reeves, was the sponsor of Senate Bill 610, which was the Senate bill to reverse the decision by the Attorney General’s office in December 2015 to end Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states. 

VSSA previously announced that this year's featured guest will be Delegate Michael Webert, the sponsor of the House bill reversing the AG's December concealed carry reciprocity actions.  Having Senator Reeves, who is also a VSSA member, join us will give our members special insight into what went into the final agreement to overturn the AG's actions as the two people most responsible for this legislative victory will speak.  Delegate Webert and Senator Reeves worked together to craft the agreement.  Earlier this year, Senator Reeves' effort on behalf of Virginia's gun owners was recognized by the NRA when they awarded him the 2016 Defender of Freedom Award at this year's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

The 2016 VSSA Annual Meeting begins at 12:00 Noon, Saturday September 17, and will take place at the Arlington Fairfax IWLA.  The event includes an afternoon of shooting followed by dinner at 6:00 PM and the Meeting of Members at 7:00 PM.

Volunteer for the Richmond NRA-ILA Day of Action to Elect Pro-gun Candidates

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NRA-ILA is looking for Second Amendment activists to come out on Saturday, September 24th for the NRA's National Day of Action in the Richmond area! Volunteers will be doing a neighborhood walk to get the word out about pro-gun candidates running in the upcoming election. Training will be provided as well as plenty of complimentary NRA gear!

Where:Martin's Food Market Parking Lot10250 Staples Mill Rd #6433Glen Allen, VA 23228

When:
Saturday, September 24th10AM-3PM If you would like to join Second Amendment advocates and volunteer on this National Day of Action, or are interested in any other volunteer opportunities, please contact Joseph Vrechek, Campaign Field Representative - Richmond, NRA-ILA, at joseph@nrailafrontlines.com or (817) 729-8365. I hope to see you there!

Arlington/Fairfax IWLA Swap Meet to Benefit Air Rifle Electronic Target Fund

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

The Arlington/Fairfax IWLA (a VSSA affiliated club) will hold a swap meet on Sunday, September 25, from 1PM to 5PM, at the club's air rifle range to raise money for it's Electronic Target Fund.  There will be also be raffles during the event.  To get more information about tables or anything else about the event, contact Helen Martin at HelenLMartin@verizon.net.



Obama's Shifting of Federal Courts to Left Will Impact Gun Rights for Years

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Lawyer and blogger Dave Hardy had this post at Arms and the Law sharing a Reuters article about the massive shift in the make up of the federal circuit court districts.  In 2009, only the 9th Circuit was predominantly made up of Democratic appointees with the 2nd Circuit split 50-50.  Today, less than half (the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th) are majority Republican appointees.  Hardy notes that both the Democrat and Republican circuits have massive imbalances in appointees:
...What's also interesting in both Repub dominated and Demo dominated circuits, the proportions tend to be overwhelming, 66-33% or more.While some say Obama's overreach on environmental issues is his crowing achievement, it is his imprint on the federal courts that will haunt gun owners likely for a generation.  Much of what we have regained of our Second Amendment rights have been won in select cases in the federal courts.  This could be much harder to do going forward, especially if Hillary Clinton is elected president in November.

Hat tip Sebastian at Shall Not be Questioned.

Looks Like Massachusetts AG Did Not Learn Lesson From Mark Herring's Mistake

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

The Boston Globe has the story here:
Attorney General Maura Healey’s controversial assault weapons crackdown has become yet another political land mine threatening the Bay State’s already shaken Democratic Party as it seeks to mount a serious 2018 challenger against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

In deeply blue Massachusetts, the Democratic Party is turning into its own worst enemy.

“There are a lot of Democrats who aren’t happy with her decision, but they don’t want to come out against one of the party leaders,” said state Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), one of 58 lawmakers who signed onto a letter opposing Healey’s ban.You will recall that last December, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring had a major blunder when he summarily ended reciprocity/recognition agreements with 25 states.  That move was so unpopular that when the General Assembly convened Governor McAuliffe read the tea leaves and saw he would be overridden if he vetoed bipartisan bills that were winding their way through both houses of the legislature.  McAuliffe decided to throw Herring under the bus and worked out a deal that allowed him to tell gun ban groups he got something in return (they did not really buy his spin).  Maybe Healy should have paid more attention to what happened in Virginia.

Hat tip to Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned.

Gun Ownership Increases Among Seniors, Women, Minorities

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This week, two articles, one in the Kansas City Star and one on the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal Blog continue to show gun ownership among three specific groups are on the increase. First, from the Kansas City Star:
People 65 and older make up one of the most solidly growing demographics for the firearms industry. They’re acquiring guns and getting training — for recreational target practice and a perceived need for self-protection.

The National Rifle Association reports a fourfold jump since 2010 in the number of older Americans taking basic firearms training courses taught by certified NRA instructors. That is greater than the 265 percent increase in all demographics taking firearms training during the same period.

That helped push the overall number of Americans participating in target shooting from 34.4 million in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The increase is not only seniors. The number of women of all ages who target shoot has jumped nearly 57 percent since 2006. Target shooters also increasingly are people who live in cities or suburbs. The Daily Signal has a similar report:
She added that in recent years, an increasingly diverse group of women has sought to learn about guns for the first time. They include single mothers and married women, from 22 to 82, in occupations such as nurses, small-business owners, social workers, accountants, and lawyers. They travel from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as other parts of Massachusetts.

Roberts also sees a potential political shift.

“Women are voting typically on the Democratic side because over the last two or three generations self-defense and firearms were demonized,” she said. “Women were told they can’t take care of themselves. That’s changing.”These trends appear to be verified by a new Pew Research survey showing that 44% of American households have at least one firearm.

Delegate Michael Webert to Speak at VSSA Annual Meeting

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Delegate Michael Webert will be the guest speaker at the 2016 VSSA Annual Meeting on September 17 at the Arlington-Fairfax IWLA.  Delegate Webert's district includes Fauquier, Warren, Culpeper and Rappahannock counties.  His day job is a farmer who runs a family farming operation on roughly 3500 acres of owned and rented land.  During the 2016 session of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Webert sponsored House Bill 1163, one of three bills that was part of an agreement with Governor Terry McAuliffe to overturn Attorney General Mark Herring's December action ending concealed carry reciprocity and recognition agreements with 25 states.  HB1163 requires the State Police Superintendent to enter into reciprocal arrangements with states that require the mutual recognition of concealed carry permits within 60 days of it’s enactment. The legislation also prohibits the recognition of an out of state permit if an individual’s Virginia permit has been revoked.

Also during the 2016 General Assembly, Delegate Webert sponsored and the Governor signed HB206. HB206 repeals the requirement that a Virginia resident present a secondary form of government issued identification to purchase a firearm. Under the new law, an individual would be required to provide only a single form of ID issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that indicates Virginia residency.

You can find more information about the 2016 VSSA Annual Meeting, as well as download a dinner reservation form and additional raffle tickets for the 2016 Annual Raffle at  https://www.myvssa.org/vssaam.  This year's first prize is the Smith & Wesson M&P® 9mm SHIELD™ with Crimson Trace® Green Laserguard®.

Gun Owners Speak Out Against McAuliffe State Building Gun Ban

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

The Virginia Department of General Services held a public hearing today on making Governor Terry McAuliffe's Executive Order banning concealed carry in state owned buildings permanent.  According to the Associated Press, gun owners turned out to make their voice heard against a permanent ban:
“Gun-free zones are a magnet to people who want to do harm; they are a magnet to terrorists,” said Vicki Lindsey from Chesterfield, echoing similar comments made by several other advocates.McAuliffe issued the emergency executive order last year without any proof that gun owners carrying concealed in state buildings had ever been a threat to state employees or the public doing business in the buildings.

If you were unable to attend the hearing, you can make your voice heard by submitting written comments on the Virginia Town Hall regulatory website at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2905. The full text of the proposed regulation can also be found at that link.

Why Should You Vote Your Guns in 2016?

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

That's the question contributor Kevin Creighton answers in this post on the Ricochet blog:
Voting guns means you reject the idea that only the people whom the government trusts should be armed. It means you understand that protecting what matters to you most is your job, not the government’s. It means you understand that no matter how efficient a police state is, bad things are going to happen to good people. Moreover, it means understanding that if a politician does not support that basic right of individual self-defense, they do not support the other individual rights either.

The Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms is a litmus test about how a candidate feels about the role government should play in your life. It’s not about “allowing” you to hunt or shoot competitions, it’s about not relying on government to define how you and your loved ones will be protected from the evil that is in this world. Voting guns is voting for your life and the lives of your loved ones.Creighton reminds the reader in the lead-up to his conclusion, using links to her own statements, that Hillary Clinton does not believe Americans should not be able to own semiautomatic rifles, that the Australian-model of gun control is something "worth looking at", that the right to keep and bear arms is something that only belongs to the government, and that she believes the "Supreme Court got DC v. Heller wrong."  Additionally, Clinton believes people do not have the right to defend themselves and their family with a firearm.

Stopping Hillary Clinton should be what this election is about for gun owners.  Get involved today.  NRA-ILA has two campaign field representatives in Virginia, one in the Richmond area and one in Roanoke.  Their contact information is below.

Patrick DeStefano, Roanoke, VA 864-680-0399 patrick@nrailafrontlines.com
Joe Vrecheck, Richmond, VA (817) 729-8365 joseph@nrailafrontlines.com

CNN Op/Ed Writer Says Best Way for Trump to Show he Cares About Protecting Blacks From "Gun Violence" is to Support Gun Control

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, and host of SiriusXM's radio's daily program "The Dean Obeidallah Show" and a columnist for The Daily Beast has an Op/Ed at CNN taking Donald Trump to task for saying he is concerned about keeping blacks safe from "gun violence" but doesn't support gun control, which Obeidallah says is the best way to protect them from that fate:
Donald Trump recently began saying he's concerned with keeping African Americans safe from gun violence.

But it's hard to believe he's sincere given that Trump refuses to support the very prescription to do that: Gun safety laws. And unless he talks gun safety measures, it would appear the pundits are correct that Trump's true goal is not to help the black community but rather to persuade white voters uncomfortable with Trump's history of bigotry that he's not a racist.Obeidallah doesn't stop there,  he ticks off the gun ban lobby's favorite list of proposals that are the only way in his opinion to stop blacks from being the victims of crime involving firearms:
First, Trump should publicly support universal background checks to close what has been called the "gun show loophole." The result will be that private gun dealers -- like their federally licensed counterparts -- will be required to do background checks to ensure that criminals, terrorists and those with certain mental conditions are precluded from legally buying guns. Recent studies show that these types of background checks "can significantly curb gun violence."

Second, Trump should declare his support for proposed legislation drafted by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress that would "make firearm trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for "straw purchasers" who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own." This, too, could save lives by making it more challenging for criminals to have access to guns.

Trump should also support closing down what are known as "bad apple gun dealers." Shockingly, 90% of the guns used in homicides in the US can be tied to 5% of the gun dealers, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. But astoundingly, the NRA has fought efforts to crack down on these unethical gun dealers.

And if Trump is sincere, he won't respond by serving up the same tired and baseless NRA talking points that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation so new gun laws won't work.I guess Obeidallah has never heard of people like Colion Noir, Rick Ector, Maj Toure, Antonia Okafor, or  Chip Eberhart, all of whom are black and who advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.  They know that gun control does not stop crime, it only makes the law abiding victims.

Public Hearing on McAuliffe Ban on Carry in State Buildings This Wednesday

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

From WTVR CBS 6:
The public hearing will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on August 31, 2016, in the auditorium of the Pocahontas Building located at 900 E. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia. Seating and access will be provided on a first-come basis. Anyone who wishes to speak at the public hearing must sign up at the event. Sign-up begins at 9 a.m., and speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up. There is no pre-registration. All speakers are limited to two minutes. All persons and bags are subject to search prior to entering the auditorium. No signage will be allowed.

Members of the public who attend but are not able to speak or who cannot attend the hearing can submit written comments on the Virginia Town Hall regulatory website at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2905. The full text of the proposed regulation can also be found at that link.McAuliffe's ban put into place by executive order can only become permanent if it is approved through the normal regulatory process. Now is the time to make your voice heard using the above link.

Wall Street Journal: Gun-Control Groups Reignite Debate by Crossing the Aisle in Senate Races

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It appears from this Wall Street Journal blog post that some in the gun ban lobby community don't like Gabby Giffords' group endorsing two Republicans, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey and Illinois' Mark Kirk, both of which are in tight re-election races this year:
“You can’t blame some of these groups for trying to show some bipartisanship by supporting Republicans, but I’m not convinced it’s ever worked,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) “It doesn’t change the fundamental dynamic: Republicans are still in control.”

But others argue that these groups are helping neutralize blowback Republicans could face when they buck powerful interest groups like the National Rifle Association.Some pundits look at the move as the group playing "long ball" thinking if supporting candidates that crossed gun owners help them win, it may encourage others to do the same and show there is no price to be paid for crossing gun owners.

While Giffords and Bloomberg are rewarding Toomey for betraying gun owners who worked hard for him six years ago, it looks like a local PA gun ban group is stabbing him in the back based on this report from Bitter at the blog Shall Not Be Questioned:
Back in March, Sebastian called it when he noted that while Pat Toomey was touting support from CeasefirePA leadership, these are not people who would ever actually cast a vote for him. Granted, we thought that was more of a “won’t vote for you in the privacy of the voting booth” type of prediction, not a “will actively campaign against you despite doing what they wanted” kind of way.

But, it seems that’s how loyalty to gun controllers is rewarded. Toomey’s opponent has been endorsed by the very same group whose leaders were kissing his rear back in March, likely knowing all along that they would throw him under the bus come the run up to November’s general election.It remains to be seen whether Toomey can convince gun owners in Pennsylvania that his opponent Katie McGinty will be more dangerous to their gun rights than he is given he has already double crossed them.  In a close election, gun owners sitting out his election could make the difference between winning and losing.

NRA's National Day of Action

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Second Amendment advocates will take to neighborhoods in Richmond this Saturday, August 27th, for the NRA's National Day of Action. Teams will be doing a neighborhood walk and informing the community about pro-gun candidates in the upcoming election. Volunteers will receive training, light refreshments, and free NRA swag! They will be meeting at 10am at the Dollar General parking lot, 7528 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Mechanicsville, Virginia.

In addition to the neighborhood walk, volunteers are needed to help at the Richmond Gun Show at the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, August 27th, starting at 9am.  If you can help at any of these activities, contact Joey Vrechek, the Richmond area Campaign Field Representative.  You can contact Joey about the National Day of Action, or if you are interested in any other volunteer opportunity, at joseph@nrailafrontlines.com or (817) 729-8365.

NRA-ILA Fundraiser in Chesterfield September 29

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

Virginia NRA Field Representative David Wells has alerted VSSA to an event that will take place in Chesterfield County on September 29th.  The special Defend America event is a fundraiser for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action division.
 The list of speakers include VSSA Life Member and President of the National Rifle Association, Mr. Alan Cors.   This will be an entertaining evening in a relaxed casual BBQ setting, while raising much needed funds for the battles that lie ahead for our 2nd Amendment freedoms.
 You can download the RSVP card here that details the various giving levels.  There are premiums included for upper level tables.   Seats are limited, but if you have any interest in attending or need more information please contact David Wells at: Phone: 434-696-2189 officeemail: dwells@nrahq.org.   

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