Virginia Shooting Sports Association

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  Be sure to let them know you are a VSSA member.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poll Shows Gillespie, Northam Deadlocked Ahead of Election

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

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

Britton Ross

Patrick DeStefano

Virginia Beach Area
Sean Nottoli

New Lynchburg Range Set for Grand Opening Saturday

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

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

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

Campaign 2017 Volunteer Opportunities Near Richmond

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrat Candidates Protest at NRA

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

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

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

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

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

Please contact the CFR nearest you to volunteer!

Britton Ross

Patrick DeStefano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Millennials Moving Rightward on Guns?

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

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

Upcoming Match Information

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

Complacency is the Gun Owner's Worst Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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