Virginia Shooting Sports Association

RTD: Bloomberg's Everytown to Spend $1 Million in Virginia Elections

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports this morning that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety has committed to spend $1 Million in Virginia Elections this fall.
The fund is donating $450,000 directly to gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam, and spending $250,000 on mailers on his behalf. It's also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid, as he faces attack advertising from the National Rifle Association.

"We are making this initial investment because Ralph Northam and Mark Herring have been forceful champions for gun violence prevention in Virginia, while their opponents subscribe to a dangerous 'guns everywhere' agenda," Brynne Craig, a senior strategist for Everytown, said in a statement.

Everytown, a New York-based advocacy group largely bankrolled by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been a big spender in recent Virginia contests.The article also reports that volunteers in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area with another Bloomberg funded gun ban group, Moms Demand Action, plan to canvass and to make phone calls for Northam and other Democrats.

In addition to the Bloomberg groups, Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control group led by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has endorsed the Democratic ticket in Virginia, but has yet to announce any donations.

Look for this to just be a down payment on more spending.  If Bloomberg was willing to spend $2 million in State Senate and House elections in 2015, you can bet he is going to spend more than the announced $1 million in state wide elections.

Matching Patients With Gun-Friendly Doctors

Many of us are fortunate to have doctors that don't pry into things that have absolutely nothing to do with treating us.  Some are not so fortunate.  Several years ago Florida passed a law preventing doctors from asking patients about whether they have firearms in the home.  Pro-rights legislators in Virginia attempted to pass a similar law several years ago with no success.   Recently, the Florida law was overturned by a circuit court decision.  Yesterday, Dr. Robert Young Executive Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership appeared on to discuss the organization's new referral service for people who want a gun-friendly doctor. is now recruiting pro-Second Amendment health care providers. Dr. Young says that it is a project that has been years in the making. They are issuing a call to anyone in healthcare who would like to participate. The circuit court decision against Florida’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act showed that it was time to act.

Eric Holder Redistricting Group Donates $500K to Northam Campaign

The Washington Post had this article yesterday about how the Obama-backed National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), run by former Attorney General Eric Holder, recently donated $500,000 to the Ralph Northam campaign.  The group is hoping to end the stranglehold that Republicans have on a large number of congressional delegations and state legislatures by turning the redistricting process over to so-called "non-partisan" redistricting commissions.
“This first campaign investment marks the next stage of the NDRC’s work for fairer maps in Virginia and around the country,” Holder said. “Ralph Northam is the clear choice for fairer maps that better reflect the values of Virginia’s communities. Virginians deserve a political system that works for voters, not politicians.” Why should this matter to gun owners in Virginia?  The Governor elected in November will sign the redistricting plan after the 2020 Census.  You can bet that if Ralph Northam is elected, he will veto every redistricting map that does not give more seats to his anti-gun friends.  If you like Virginia's pro-gun legislature, this should be an extra incentive to get involved in this year's campaign.  You can do that by contacting one of the NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representitives below and find out how you can help.  VSSA is working to get the news to gun owners about campaign activities of the NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representatives.  If you don't want Virginia to become California or New Jersey, you have the ability to insure that doesn't happen.

NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative - Fredericksburg
Britton Ross · · (919) 902-1787

NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative - Tidewater
Matthew Kuttner · · (914) 262-5166

NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative - Central Virginia
Patrick DeStefano · · 864-680-0399

Virginia Gun Collectors Show - November 4-5, 2017

The Virginia Gun Collectors Association (VGCA) - a VSSA affiliate club - will hold their next show at the Prince William County Fairground Saturday and Sunday, November 4-5, 2017. Show hours are Saturday, 9am - 5pm and Sunday, 10am - 4pm. Admission is $8.00 per day or $10.00 for a weekend pass.

VGCA is proud to maintain a no junk policy and a positive collectors atmosphere. What you will find at their show, are knowledgeable vendors, with quality firearms, as well as ammunition and shooting supplies. The VGCA provides a firearms evaluation table where experienced collectors will provide you with an estimate on your firearm's value and help you learn about your current collection pieces.

Sales tables cost $65.00 each and Display tables are FREE. No sales may be conducted from display tables. If you have any special needs, questions about available tables or show rules, please contact Rick Nahas, the Show Administrator, at 571-215-8761 or via email at

For more information about the table or the show, visit

Dave Kopel on "Kolbe vs Hogan" and the Racist Roots of Gun Control

The Independence Institute has filed an amicus brief in the case of Kolbe v. Hogan (VSSA has also joined a State Association Amicus opposing the 4th Circuit ruling).   It's an appeal to the Supreme Court of the Fourth Circuit's ruling supporting Maryland's "assault weapons" ban.  In the ruling, the majority opinion said so-called "assault weapons" can be banned because they are like "M-16s" and are "weapons of war", made for "mass carnage".  

Independence Institute Research director Dave Kopel was on NRATV's Cam and Company yesterday and said the Fourth Circuit used a shred of the Heller decision to claim that semi-automatic rifles are "weapons of war." It is not only unconstitutional, it is a danger to law enforcement. Police officers are not carrying weapons designed for "mass carnage." They are using appropriate firearms for lawful defense of their lives and the lives of law-abiding citizens.

Kopel also talked about his latest article in The Hill on the racist roots of gun control laws. Guns protect Americans from white supremacists, while gun control laws protect white supremacists.

Upcoming Campaign Volunteer Opportunities For Campaign 2017

NRA-ILA has the following opportunities for gun owners and sportsmen to get involved in the state wide campaigns for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General:

Louisa Grassroots Training Workshop

The Louisa Tea Party is hosting a NRA-ILA Grassroots Training on Thursday, August 24th at 7pm. This Grassroots Training Workshop will bring together the Tea Party and NRA-ILA, to teach the most effective methods to make their voice heard this election season. Grassroots activists will learn how to phone bank, door knock, and attend events in support of winning the Governor's Mansion in November.

Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 06:00 PM
Louisa Public Library, 881 Davis Hwy, Mineral, VA
RSVP by clicking here.

Fredericksburg Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the Fredericksburg NRA-ILA Field Office will be held Saturday, August 26th. This office will provide Second Amendment Supporters from around the Fredericksburg Community the ability to empower themselves and voices in support of pro-gun candidates this November. Throughout the day, attendees will be able to attend training sessions, talk to voters, and learn how to change the election. Food, drinks, and prizes will be given out to all attendees!

In order to become an effective Grassroots Activist, you are encouraged to attend a Grassroots Training Workshop. Two classes are available.

Saturday, August 26th
11:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Fredericksburg NRA-ILA Field Office
300 Westwood Office Park, Fredericksburg, VA
RSVP by clicking here.

Richmond Grand Opening 2017

The Grand Opening for the 2017 NRA-ILA Richmond Campaign Headquarters will be Saturday, August 26th, at 12pm. This will be a day filled with activities as NRA-ILA continues the push to win back the Governor's Mansion in November, and you are invited attend! Throughout the day, NRA-ILA will be hosting training Sessions, Phone Banks, and Door Knocking Events in support of NRA-ILA endorsed Candidates. Prizes will be awarded to the day's best volunteers! Food and drinks will be provided throughout the day. The Office is located next to Molly Maid.

Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Richmond NRA-ILA Field Office
8132 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23235
RSVP by clicking here.

Labor Day Phone - a Thon

Come "Kick off the Election Season" by showing your support for NRA-ILA endorsed Candidates at the Labor Day Phone-a-Thon Saturday, September 2nd at 9am. This is a family Friendly event not to be missed. This is a great opportunity to show your support for candidates who believe in preserving our Second Amendment rights. Now is the time to "Stand and Fight" for our Liberty and Freedom. NRA-ILA will be providing plenty of cold drinks throughout the day and pizza in the evening. Prizes will be handed out for contest winners. Space is limited so reserve your spot today! There will be rotating phone banks throughout the day to ensure that the maximum amount of voters can be reached, see below for times available!

Saturday, September 2nd
10:00am - 1:30pm
1:30pm - 4:30pm
4:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, September 02, 2017 at 09:00 AM
300 Westwood Office Park, Fredericksburg, Va.
RSVP by clicking here.

Gun Ban Groups Blame Virginia Open Carry Gun Laws For Violence In Charlottesville Despite Lack Of Gun Violence

Gun ban organizations such as Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown For Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are pointing to Virginia’s open carry laws as a core issue at the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, according to a report by The Daily Caller.
“With public attention on what is happening in Charlottesville, it’s important to understand the troubling reality of open-carry and what happens when guns fall into hate-filled hands.” Everytown said in a statement.Tim Schmidt, President and found of the United States Concealed Carry Association told the Daily Caller however:
“Opponents of the Second Amendment never miss an opportunity to exploit a tragedy for their own political purposes and it’s frankly shameful,” said Tim Schmidt, President & Founder of the United States Concealed Carry Association. “The events in Charlottesville this weekend were deeply troubling but stripping law-abiding Americans of their Constitutional freedoms is not the answer. We hope that the groups blaming concealed carry and open carry laws on this tragedy have the decency to retract their statements and apologize for passing the blame on to those who believe in our God-given rights to protect ourselves from those who wish do us harm.”Gun writer Tom Gresham also addressed the violence in Charlottesville during his Gun Talk radio program yesterday (at the 2:56 mark of the clip below).

Gresham noted that those openly carrying at the protests were not like the vast majority of gun owners who are law abiding nor, in this case, were they responsible gun owners and we need to call them out as such.

It is no surprise that gun ban groups would take the opportunity to blame Virginia's freedom friendly firearm laws for the lawless acts of those who came to Charlottesville to start trouble, though.  It's what they do.

New Indoor Shooting Range to Open in Lynchburg

Last week, WSET 13 gave viewers an inside look at a new shooting range scheduled to open in Lynchburg. The facility will be more than 55,000 sq. ft, offer dozens of shooting lanes, a retail store and classes for anyone from the beginner to expert.
"I think one of the stigmas with gun ownership is not everyone takes the time to get properly trained," said Mitchell Tyler, the co-owner of SafeSide Tactical, And that's what SafeSide Lynchburg says they are here for.

The $5 million facility will have eighteen 25-yard pistol lanes and four 100-yard rifle lanes. Yesterday, Mitch Tyler appeared on NRATV to talk more about the range:

NRA-ILA Volunteer Opportunities to Help Elect Pro-Gun Candidates

NRA-ILA has opened several new volunteer offices around the Commonwealth and will be hosting a grassroots training workshops and begin phone banking and knocking on doors.

Fredericksburg Grassroots Training Workshop
The volunteer office in the Fredericksburg area and will be holding Grassroots Training on Thursday, August 17th. This workshop will provide the training, equipment, and knowledge on how to engage the pro-gun community in preparation for November 7th. Please bring your smartphone or tablet if you have one to use during the training. Food and drinks will be provided to all who attend. Space is limited so reserve your spot today. You can RSVP by clicking here. If you attend, be sure to let them know you are a VSSA member.

Thursday Aug 17 @ 6 30 pm
302 Westwood Office Park
Suite 302
Fredericksburg , VA 22401

Britton Ross · · (919)902-1787

Grassroots Training at The Marksman
There is also a Grassroots Training workshop in Newport News next Saturday, August 19 at 1 pm at The Marksman. They will be going over all the tips of the trade to make sure we have the most skilled door knockers and phone bankers. We will also be going out to door knock after this training, so please bring your smartphone or tablet if you have one. RSVP by clicking here.

August 19, 2017 at 1pm - 2:30pm
The Marksman
520 Industrial Park Dr
Newport News, VA 23608

Matthew Kuttner · · (914) 262-5166

Grassroots Training Workshop in Northern Virginia
Second Amendment Supporters will gather with the NRA-ILA at the Grassroots Training Workshop hosted by the Fauquier Cornerstone Tea Party. This workshop is meant to provide Virginians with the tools, skill set, and knowledge on how to become activists in support of NRA-ILA endorsed candidates. These workshops show you how to make your voice heard, helping us win the Governor's Mansion in November. RSVP soon, as space is limited since attendees will include local Tea Parties and NRA supporters.  You can RSVP by clicking here.

August 22, 2017 at 7pm - 10pm
Fauquier Hospital
500 Hospital Dr
Sycamore Room
Warrenton, VA 20186

Patrick DeStefano · · 864-680-0399

Louisa Grassroots Training Workshop
The Louisa Tea Party is hosting a NRA-ILA Grassroots Training on Thursday, August 24th at 7pm. This Grassroots Training Workshop will bring together supporters from Tea Parties and the National Rifle Association to teach volunteers the most effective methods to make their voice heard this election season. Grassroots activists will learn how to phone bank, door knock, and attend events in support of the NRA's mission to win the Governor's Mansion in November. You can RSVP by clicking here.

August 24, 2017 at 6pm - 9pm
Louisa Public Library
881 Davis Hwy
Mineral, VA 23117

Patrick DeStefano · · 864-680-0399

Richmond Grand Opening 2017
The Grand Opening for the 2017 NRA-ILA Richmond Campaign Headquarters will be Saturday, August 26th, at 12pm. This will be a day filled with activities as gun owners continue the push to win back the Governor's Mansion in November, and you are invited to join us! Throughout the day, NRA-ILA will be hosting Training Sessions, Phone Banks, and Door Knocking Events in support of NRA-ILA endorsed Candidates. Prizes will be awarded to the day's best volunteers! Food and drinks will be provided throughout the day. The Office is located next to Molly Maid. You can RSVP by clicking here.

August 26, 2017 at 12pm - 5pm
Richmond NRA-ILA Field Office
8132 Forest Hill Ave
Suite B
Richmond, VA 23235
United States

Patrick DeStefano · · (864)680-0399

If you are not in any of these areas and would like to phone bank from home, contact Patrick for more information on how you can help do that too. Be sure to let Patrick know you are a VSSA member and want to help elect a pro-gun Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General this fall.

Contact information:
Patrick DeStefano
Senior Campaign Field Representative

VSSA Junior Rifle Shooters At 2017 Camp Perry

By Junior Rifle Chairman Mike Darnell

Eight members of the VSSA Junior Rifle Team traveled to Camp Perry, Ohio, this July for the National Matches. All team members participated in educational clinics as well as individual and team competitions. Major matches fired included the President’s 100 Match, the National Trophy Individual Match, the National 2-Man Junior Team Match, the National Trophy Team Match (a six man team match), and the Infantry Trophy Team Match (also known as the “Rattle Battle”). Team members were lodged in both military barracks and competitors huts so team meetings, ammunition issues etc. were coordinated in advance.
Coach Steve DvornickClinics:
Each Junior participated in either the US Marine Corps Advanced Junior Clinic or the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) hosted by the US Army. Most of our shooters opted for SAFS since there was an opportunity to earn a reduced point "Leg" medal in the Excellence in Competition (EIC) match. Those placing in the top 10% earned 4-points towards the prestigious Distinguished Marksman badge. This year there were 430 competitors entered in SAFS and the accompanying EIC match, all of our juniors finished in the top half or better. A special congratulations goes out to Nathan Dvornick (Stafford) who finished 5th overall with a score of 387-8x and Kohl Hammer (Stafford) who finished 9th overall with a score of 385-10x, both of these young men earned the 4 Leg points towards Distinguished Marksman. Other firing members were Collin Moore (Fredericksburg) #93 with a 367-4x, Theron Hawkins (Stafford) #115 with a 362-2x, and Faith Riemer (Ft. Belvoir) #123 with a 361-2x performance.

17 July, President’s 100 Match. Couse of fire: 300 Points Possible
10 rounds standing slow fire at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to prone rapid fire (70 seconds) at 300 yards
10 rounds prone slow fire at 600 yards

The day started early - 5:15 a.m., ammunition draw at the team Captains hut. Everyone confirms they have their score cards, data books etc. before they start the long walk down range to their firing points. 1,108 Competitors (196 Junior’s) participated in the match known as the President’s 100. Not only was this a large crowd, the infamous Camp Perry winds also decided to show up and proved to be a huge challenge for our shooters. Unfortunately no one broke into the top 100 but many valuable lessons were learned by everyone on the line and shared at the team meeting following the completion of firing.
Stefan Sanchez Collin Moore Kohl HammerFiring members/scores:
Nathan Dvornick 273-7x, Kohl Hammer 271-2x, Faith Riemer 270-4x, Theron Hawkins 264-3x, Collin Moore 257-1x, Stefan Sanchez (Culpeper) 233-1x, Adam Hawkins (Stafford) 212-1x, and Greggory Kaczor (Culpeper) 138-1x.

18 July, National Trophy Individual (NTI) Match.
Course of fire: 500 Points Possible
10 rounds standing slow fire at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to sitting rapid fire (60 seconds) at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to prone rapid fire (70 seconds) at 300 yards
20 rounds prone slow fire at 600 yards

There were 1,042 competitors all vying for the medal bracket and the 10 point Leg associated with the National Championships. The crowd was slightly smaller but the winds picked up over the previous day. Our juniors were spread over 6 relays on two separate ranges (Petrarca and Viale Ranges) spanning nearly a mile. Ammo draw was again at my hut at 0515 hours and the shooters were off to their firing points. Competition is keen in this match as it is one of the few places in the country where every medal earned (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) is worth 10 points toward the 30 needed to become a Distinguished Marksman. The team was fired up, excited at the opportunity, and ready to go…unfortunately so was the wind. There were some great individual strings on the line but no one was able to string together an entire match score. Take for example, Nathan Dvornick, who started out with a solid 95-0x offhand, followed by a 99-3x 200 yard rapid fire score but by the time he got to the 300 yard line the increasing wind and a simple oversight took him out of contention.
Kohl HammerFiring members/scores:
Kohl Hammer 460-5x
Theron Hawkins 450-3x
Nathan Dvornick 440-7x
Collin Moore 435-4x
Adam Hawkins 423-3x
Greggory Kaczor 388-0x
Stefan Sanchez 321-3x
Faith Riemer 252-2x
Theron Hawkins19 July, 2 – Man Junior Team Match.Course of fire is the same as the NTI.
1,000 Points Possible

Three 2-Man Teams were entered in this match, where the top 20 teams are recognized with the Freedom Fire Medal. Ammo issue at 0515 again, still windy but juniors have a coach on the line to assist with wind calls and time management. Our top team, VSSA-1, finished the day #19 of 74 total teams with a score of 934-18x. Firing members were Theron Hawkins 469-14x and Kohl Hammer 465-4x. Theron’s individual score of 469-14x ranked #35 of the 150 individual competitors shooting this match.

VSSA-2, team members Nathan Dvornick 466-6x and Collin Moore 418-7x came in 48th overall with an 884-13x aggregate.

VSSA-3, juniors Faith Riemer and Adam Hawkins posted a team score of 768-5x for the match.
VSSA Team Perry 201720 July, National Trophy Team Match (6-Man)
Couse of fire is the same as the NTI.
3,000 Points Possible

This is the biggest team match of the year. Every match our team has fired this summer has been a 4-man team match, now we have two additional shooters to add to the aggregate. Winds are gusting, targets are in the shadows as the sun rises in the east, morning colors has concluded, and then…”Team Captains, move your first pair of shooters to the firing line. Your preparation period will begin in approximately two minutes.” Slow fire stages of this match are fired with block time, coaches must monitor their time to ensure the smooth transition from one pair of shooters to the next.

Tough winds prevailed throughout the day challenging our shooters. Several noteworthy highlights. Nathan Dvornick was the anchorman for this match posting a 470-11x score for the day. Kohl Hammer struggled a little early but finished strong with a 194-7x performance at the 600 yard line and 464-9x overall. Adam Hawkins posted a team and personal best at the 300 yard line with a 98-0x and 427-4 overall. Other firing members were Theron Hawkins 457-9x, Collin Moore 420-4x, and Faith Riemer 374-3x. Team aggregate for VSSA was 2612-40x.

21 July, Infantry Trophy Team (ITT) Match
This course of fire is unique. It is a rapid fire match (50 seconds) beginning at the 600 yard line with six shooters engaging 8 targets. Teams are limited to 384 rounds for the team and coaches must determine their own load plan to optimize their score at each yard line.

Teams are awarded 4 points for each hit at 600, 3 points for a hit at 500, 2 points for a hit at 300, and 1 point for a hit at 200 yards.

The match goes very quickly but our juniors really enjoy it! After scores are radioed back to the firing line all teams move to the next yard line together, moving abreast. When called to the line they must quickly get establish their firing position for the next string, once the targets appear they have 50 seconds.

VSSA firing members for the ITT were: Nathan Dvornick, Kohl Hammer, Theron Hawkins, Collin Moore, Greggory Kaczor, and Stefan Sanchez. Team coaches were Steve Dvornick and Al Moore. Overall team score was 825 for the day.

King George 4-H Shooters Shine at Competition

The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has the full report here.
From left to right are 4-H Shotgun Club members Paul Sevier, Jordan Stevens and Kendall Rhodes with coach Jon Yagla. Photo byFredericksburg Free Lance-Star
The Virginia Youth Trapshooting League hosts an 8-week high school trap shooting competition for Virginia youth up to 22 years of age. Their format provides shooters throughout Virginia with the opportunity to compete at their local clubs and have their scores compared with peers throughout the state. VYTL has completed its third season, and Jordan Stevens of the King George 4-H Shotgun Club placed 2nd in the Sub-Junior class, shooters under age 15.
Jordan was accompanied by Kendall Rhodes and Paul Sevier, also of the King George 4-H Shotgun Club, to the Virginia Trap Shooting Association competition at Winchester Shotgun Club, where Kendall was Ladies Champion and Jordan was Sub-Junior Champion, winning a leather shotgun shell pouch for his efforts. These accomplished youth enjoy shooting at the Northern Virginia Gun Club, which supports them with facility use and coaching. Besides being supported by NVGC, the team also receives support from the Friends of NRA, VSSA, Big Dog Outfitter Guns and Ammo Shop.

Congratulations on a job well done.

NRA-ILA Election Grassroots Workshop This Thursday

As we near the Fall General Election for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General as well as all 100 seats in the House of Delegates, NRA-ILA will hold a Grassroots Training Workshop in Richmond this Thursday at 6:30pm.

There are still have a few slots open, so if you have not already RSVP'ed, follow this RSVP link.

WHEN: Thursday, August 10th 6:30pm - 8:30pm WHERE: Richmond NRA-ILA Field Office 8132 Forest Hill Avenue Suite B Richmond, VA 23235
Because of gun owners, the 2016 Election propelled a pro-gun candidate into the White House.  Now we have the opportunity to elect a pro-gun Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.  VSSA and NRA-ILA are counting on gun owners to get involved. If you would like to attend the Grassroots Workshop, contact Patrick DeStefano, Campaign Field Representative, at (864)680-0399 or by email at 

New Pew Research Survey on Gun Ownership

Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) goes through the data in a new Pew Research Survey in yesterday's Daily Caller article.
The Pew Research Center has released an extensive survey measuring American’s attitudes about gun ownership and the results offer a mixed picture. With the usual firearm-related survey caveats in mind, Pew generally appears to have taken a relatively unbiased approach. Covering everything from the demographics of gun owners to views on violence in America and opinions on gun control policies, this 80-page report offers several key takeaways.

In terms of ownership, the results show about 42 percent of respondents live in a household with a gun and another 36 percent report that they would be open to owning a gun in the future. At least two-thirds of respondents have lived in a household with a firearm at some point in their lives.

Personal protection topped the reasons for owning a firearm, with a full two-thirds of respondents citing this as their primary reason. Remaining answers for firearm ownership had hunting at 38 percent and sport shooting at 30 percent. Forty-four percent said they had multiple reasons for owning guns.As with any survey, it all depends how a question is asked or what background information is given to the subject taking the survey on a particular issue, and this survey is not different.  Read the entire article.  Keene does a great job of breaking down the data and showing why some of the information is good, and some should be taken with a grain of salt.

Now is the Time to Join VSSA or Renew Your Membership

VSSA's sister organization, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), had something in their member email newsletter today that is appropriate for Virginia gun owners too - especially in an election year that will have a major impact on whether we can get good firearms legislation signed into law or continue to have it vetoed as Governor Terry McAuliffe has done the last four years.

A recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center noted that there has been an increase in concealed carry licenses throughout the country.  ISRA noted:

...the anti-self-defense crowd is increasing their attacks on concealed carry and lawfully armed citizens. They are will funded, noisy and resolute in their mission. I would remind everyone that in 1917 the Bolsheviks only made up a small percentage of the Russian population but were able to bring down the government. We have too many gun owners and concealed carry permit holders who are sitting on their duff letting someone else carry the burden of protecting their rights. It is time for those folks to join or rejoin state and national gun rights organizations and start helping.

The email went on to suggest people join, or renew their membership to ISRA.  The same is true for people in Virginia to join or renew their VSSA membership.  As Virginia's only full service gun rights organization, VSSA has been protecting the rights of gun owners for almost 80 years.  And as the NRA state association affiliate, VSSA is actively promoting the shooting sports to the next generation to insure we have people to continue the fight when we are long gone.  If you are a member, please renew today.  If you are reading this and not a member, please join today.  VSSA will be working with NRA-ILA to reach out to Virginia gun owners to help elect a pro-gun Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General this year.  We need every Virginia gun owner to help make this a great election so we can continue to restore and expand our gun rights.

Only 54 Voluntary Background Checks at Gun Shows in First Year of Law

For years, the gun ban lobby has claimed that gun shows are a bazaar for criminals to buy guns without background checks.  Because there is no way to know exactly how many private sellers actually sell a firearm at a gun show, they have used hidden video taken of unsuspecting sellers to show how easy it is for a criminal to buy a gun at a gun show.  They claim that private sellers pay for space at a gun show to sell a table full of guns.  More likely it is the guy who walks in with a rifle or shotgun over his shoulder with a "For Sale" sign in the muzzle, and often the same guy walks out with the gun after not having found a buyer.

So, when Virginia passed a law stationing state police at all gun shows to conduct voluntary background checks on private sales as part of a deal that ended Attorney General Mark Herring's attack on concealed carry reciprocity, it offered an opportunity to get a glimpse of the private sales picture at gun shows.  The numbers are less than overwhelming.  From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
During the first full year of the measure ending June 30, only 54 voluntary background checks were requested by private sellers of firearms or their customers at 77 gun shows across the state. And of those, only one prospective gun buyer was denied the purchase of a gun, and he was never charged with an offense.

By comparison, 39,738 mandatory criminal background checks were performed by federally licensed firearms dealers on their customers at gun shows between July 1, 2016, and June 30, resulting in 325 denials, according to newly released data from the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center, which is operated by the Virginia State Police. This doesn't mean that there are only 54 private sellers that have sold firearms at gun shows.  It just means that at least 54 sellers wanted to make sure their buyer was able to own a firearm.  A better picture is presented in Colorado, which requires background checks on all private sales.  When that law was passed, it was predicted that 420,000 new background checks would be conducted in the first year.  But after one year, only a fraction of that number - 13,600 - had been conducted.  In Washington State, after the passage of I-594, a ballot initiative that required background checks on all private sales, approximately 6000 private sales had taken place after the first 14 months of the law.

The gun ban lobby exaggerates the number of private sales at gun shows simply to push their agenda.  The numbers however don't support the claims, whether it is in Colorado and Washington where mandatory checks are required, or even with voluntary checks in Virginia, it's more about pushing an agenda than doing something that will actually reduce crime, like locking up criminals.