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Seen at the NRA Annual Meetings - Young Iowa Shooters Turn Legislative Activists

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One of the things I noticed at the NRA Annual Meetings this year were the number of young shooters running around in their competitive team shooting shirts.  Two that caught my eye regularly were young ladies with the Iowa Firearms Coalition.  When I would stop by the Press Office to check email or transfer videos from my phone to my laptop, I would sometimes see Meredith and Natalie Gibson, and their father, along with other members of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.  I didn't know it at the time but Meredith and Natalie have an interesting story.  They shoot 3-Gun and have been shooting in the backyard and at the range with their father for years.  Then they learned it was against Iowa law for youth under the age of 14 to use handguns, even under the supervision of a parent or guardian.  That means they can't practice the pistol part of the 3-Gun sport in their home state.  So, Meredith and Natalie have turned activist and are trying to pass House File 2281 - The Youth Safety and Parental Rights Act.

During the NRAAM, they had the opportunity to talk more about their plight with NRANews' Cam Edwards. Due to their testimony and lobbying, the bill passed a House subcommittee, the full committee and the full House. PJMedia reports though that the Senate has a two vote Democrat majority and while the bill passed a subcommittee and a full committee, 4 anti-gun senators will not allow the bill to be brought up for a vote. Meredith and Natalie have begun an email campaign, and will spend the summer knocking on doors to ask voters not to re-elect Senator Steve Sodders, the key legislator blocking the bill from a vote.

Katie Couric's Anti-gun Film Deceptively Edits Gun Group's Interview Response

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This news comes as no surprise as supporters of firearm freedom should not have expected Katie Couric to be involved in a fair and balanced look at the issue of gun rights.  Several sources  reported yesterday that responses by members of another Virginia gun rights group interviewed for the film Under the Gun were edited out to make it look like they had no answer to a question on background checks.  The Washington Free Beacon reports that a little over 21 minutes into the film, Katie Couric is shown interviewing members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL).  Couric asks the members, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”  The next clip is an "awkward nine seconds" silently sitting saying nothing.  But VCDL has a habit of making recordings when they are interviewed and this was no exception.  According to the Free Beacon, audio of the interview shows that instead of silence, Couric’s question is met immediately with answers from the member's of the group that included a back and forth over the issue of background checks that went on for more than four minutes after the original question is asked.

At first, responses from the cable network EPIX which produced the film, deflected the question and talked about how the film is "critically acclaimed" and stood behind Couric and the film's director Stephanie Soechtig.  The heat apparently got to be too much for them as Soechtig told Erik Wemple of the the Washington Post "the pause was so viewers could consider the question" and "I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”  Wemple, who writes about media for the Post wrote:
Many of those who sampled the discrepancy between the video and the audiotape were already enraged by the depiction of these gun owners. The statements from Soechtig and Couric will surely intensify the backlash, as well they should. An apology, retraction, re-editing, whatever it is that filmmakers do to make amends — all of it needs to happen here.NRA was contacted to participate in this propaganda and rightly decided not to be used.  It looks like Couric and Soechtig had no idea they would be caught.  It will be interesting to see if more mainstream media picks up this story.  The AP this morning has only the briefest of reports and does not include any of the detail that Wemple or the Free Beacon put out yesterday. NRANews.com's Cam Edwards discussed the issue with Stephen Kruiser, a commentator and columnist for PJ Media.


Washington Post: Felon Voting Rights Ease Gun Ownership

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On Friday, Jenna Portnoy had this article in the Washington Post about how Governor Terry McAuliffe's executive order restoring the voting rights of over 200,000 felons also eases their ability to get their gun rights restored:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order last month restoring the voting rights of 206,000 felons had an unintended consequence: It’s now easier for those ex-offenders to regain the right to own guns.

Before the order, felons who wanted to legally possess firearms first had to go through the process of having their civil rights reinstated, including the right to vote, to sit on a jury and to run for office.

That process — which involved submitting forms that were scrutinized by the secretary of the commonwealth’s staff, using the governor’s authority — is no longer in place.

Instead, felons who have completed their sentences can go straight to the step of petitioning the circuit court for firearm rights. Prosecutors review those petitions and can intervene if they believe a felon should continue to be barred from owning a weapon.Portnoy quoted Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson as saying the decision to restore firearms rights is solely up to the discretion of local court judges and that local courts have the decision on whether or not to oppose petitions restoring the right to keep and bear arms.   It also appears that McAuliffe did not completely think through what his actions on voting rights would do on other civil rights:
McAuliffe said he hadn’t given much thought to how his order would affect felons seeking firearms. “My actions were about giving you the right to vote, to serve on a jury and run for political office,” he said recently. “My action, I didn’t think it had anything to do with gun rights. I stayed away from that.”We'll have to see what happens with this one now that McAuliffe has been informed of the "unintended" consequences of his actions.

Hawaii Considering Legislation to Add Gun Owners to Federal Database

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ABC News has the story here.
Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

Most people entered in the "Rap Back" database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and bus drivers, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.Hawaii requires all firearms to be registered in the state with a few exceptions.  According to the news report, gun owners will have to pay a yet unspecified fee amount to cover the cost of entering the gun owners into the database.

Virginia Based Tactical Walls at NRAAM 2016

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On Saturday, I visited a lot of the smaller booths at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.  One of the really popular exhibitors was Tactical Walls.  It is a Virginia based family owned business that started out three years ago with three employees, and has grown to employing 27 workers.  Their products are manufactured in the United States from mostly American materials, and from what I saw are very high quality.  Each product is disguised as a fully functional piece of home décor – such as shelves, mirrors, marker-boards, among others. They are secured with either magnetic locking devices or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on select models.  Best of all the products are affordable.  You can find a dealer near you by visiting the Tactical Walls web site.


Team Springfield's Two Newest (and Youngest) Members at NRA Annual Meetings

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I happened to walk by the Springfield Armory Booth on Saturday at the NRA Annual Meetings as Gun Talk Radio's Tom Gresham was interviewing Team Springfield Captain Rob Latham and two bubbly pre-teens.  These young ladies were Jalise and Justine Williams from  St. George, Utah and they are the newest members of Team Springfield.  In the video below, Latham talks about how he met the girls and how they became members of the team. 

NRA Endorses Trump

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Well if you watch the news you have probably heard that likely GOP Presidential Nominee Donald Trump picked up the endorsement of NRA yesterday.  You'll note that a couple of those linked sources also made sure to mention things like "but do their members" and "despite history of gun control support."  While it is usually later in the process before NRA officially endorsement, only one of two people is going to be elected President, the Democratic nominee or the Republican nominee.  Sorry to disappoint any Libertarians or other "third party" folks, but nominees from those parties are not going to get elected.  So, given a choice between the likely Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton or the likely Republican nominee Donald Trump, is there really any other choice?

If you haven't seen Trump's speech at the 2016 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum already, it is posted below.


Greetings from the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits

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The Exhibit Hall is open and there is already a crowd of folks walking through the 11 acre hall. Several hours before the start of the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, there were people waiting in line to get in to Freedom Hall where likely Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump will speak to the crowd.

As National Review Online's Jim Geraghty wrote in this morning's Morning Jolt, those assembled in Freedom Hall are likely to focus more on what Donald Trump says today about his support for the Second Amendment and Hillary Clinton than his comments 16 years ago in support of some gun control:
Trump will bash Hillary Clinton, and the crowd will applaud with good reason; she supports a wide variety of gun control proposals, including reinstating the assault-weapons ban. Never mind that gun crimes continued to decline after the ban expired. The dirty little secret that few gun-control advocates like admitting is that very few crimes are committed with so-called “assault weapons.”

A choice between an unreliable ally and a certain enemy is far from ideal, but most gun owners will see a clear distinction anyway.You can watch Trump's speech and the entire Leadership Forum live on NRANews.com beginning at noon today. 

Upcoming Match at Quantico Shooting Club

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The Quantico Shooting Club is holding the Remember the Brave Rifle Match May 27-29.For more information you may contact the match director: David Duitsman  at diduitsman@gmail.com .  Also, due to unforeseeable circumstances Quantico Shooting Club has canceled a portion of the VA State Match. The long range portion scheduled for May 20th was canceled. They plan to have a VA STATE match as part of the Regional on May 27-29th 2016.

Former Head of Interpol Says Armed Citizens Can Save Lives

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Independence Institute Director of Research Dave Kopel had a great piece at the Volokh Conspiracy this week on former Interpol Secretary-general Ron Noble's new video examining the Westgate Mall mass shooting in Nairobi and how armed citizens saved hundreds of lives.  In the post, Kopel says in Noble's video, we see the difference between a "moderate" gun control advocate and folks like Katie Couric, who is making the rounds with a new gun ban film:
As Noble explains, his 14 years of close involvement in global counterterrorism changed his perspective on gun control. This week, he has published a video about the 2013 mass shootings at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. The video, “Armed Citizens Can Help Stop Terrorist Massacres Like Nairobi and Paris,” shows graphic footage of the attack and of the response of armed citizens. During the lengthy and well-planned attack, more than 60 innocent people were murdered. As Noble explains, the death count would have been hundreds more if not for the armed citizens who intervened. As Noble puts it, “This is not an American argument, nor a political argument. In these horrific situations, law-abiding armed citizens have helped protect others and literally saved lives, and the world should be made aware of this reality. . . . In the hands of law-abiding citizens, guns can and do save lives.”

Noble still favors a variety of non-prohibitory gun regulations that I do not. Yet the global question is not about the exact scope of Second Amendment rights in the United States. In Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States, mass shootings have become all too common. The perpetrators may be terrorists, gangs or people with mental illness. (The last category overlaps significantly with the first two categories.) The global question is about reducing the number of innocent people who are murdered. Among the important steps in saving lives is acknowledging that victims of mass attacks are necessarily their own first responders. As Westgate Mall demonstrated, when innocent victims have the tools of defense, innocent lives are saved.On Tuesday, Kopel appeared on NRANews.com's Cam and Company and discussed his post at the Volokh Conspiracy as well as the new video Noble has posted on Vimeo.

VSSA Endorses State Senator Tom Garrett for 5th Congressional District GOP Nomination

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The Virginia 5th Congressional District Republican Nominating Convention will be held this Saturday, May 14, at Nelson County High School.  There are four candidates vying for the nomination to replace retiring congressman Robert Hurt.  Those candidates are: Michael Del Rosso, State Senator Thomas "Tom" Garrett, James McKelvey, and Joseph Whited.  VSSA has endorsed State Senator Tom Garrett and urges all gun owners who are delegates to the convention to vote for Senator Garrett.


Senator Garrett has been a true friend to Virginia gun owners.  Not only has he voted for pro-rights legislation and worked to defeat anti-rights legislation, he has introduced bills to expand to restore and expand our rights.  This past session, Senator Garrett was one of several state legislators to introduce a bill to overturn Attorney General Mark Herring's action that would have ended concealed carry permit reciprocity or recognition agreements with 25 states.  VSSA's endorsement is based on Senator Garrett's support for the Second Amendment while a Commonwealth's Attorney, his stellar voting record while in the state senate, and his pledge to continue to protect the rights of Virginia gun owners and sportsmen.


It should also be noted that Senator Garrett is the only candidate of the four that returned the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire.  NRA-PVF considers a failure to respond to the questionnaire an indication of " indifference, if not outright hostility, to gun owners' and sportsmen's rights." 


Not only is Garrett endorsed by VSSA, but he earned an "A" rating from NRA-PVF and their endorsement.  VSSA urges all delegates to the 5th Congressional District GOP Convention who support the 2nd Amendment to vote for State Senator Tom Garrett on Saturday.

Reason: Hillary Clinton Picks a Doomed Fight With Americans Over Guns

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Reason.com had this piece yesterday about Hillary Clinton's campaign against guns and gun owners.  What caught my eye was the premise of the article is that while Clinton may win and impose new restrictions, it doesn't mean Americans will abide by her new restrictions:
Clinton favors requiring "universal background checks" that would cover private sales between friends and neighbors that inherently take place out of public view. But when Colorado adopted such a requirement, the results were underwhelming, with the Associated Press finding 13,600 actual checks performed in 2013 after 210,00 had been predicted by a legislative impact assessment.

"The numbers are pretty clear here," Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) commented in 2014. "There's no increase in private transfers for background checks, which means either there aren't very many private sales, or what is much more likely people are just ignoring this law."That is a similar theme that gun ban advocate Adam Winkler took in the LA Times in April when he wrote why Gavin Newsome's plan to ban all standard capacity magazines, even those already owned by Californians, is a bad idea.  Winkler wrote that it is bad policy to pass laws which citizens will comply.

Reason's article is the second in as many weeks (Frank Miniter had one in Forbes last week) that suggests Hillary is making a mistake pushing gun control.  It likely won't make a difference to her base.  It remains to be seen however if gun owners will unite behind her opponent to stop her from being elected.

NOVA Armory Still Under Attack

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The Arlington Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development is planning to review NOVA Armory’s Certificate of Occupancy at a hearing tonight!  Gun owners need to turn out to show support for NOVA Armory.  The business is legally operating and has was properly issued its occupancy approval. TheLibertyZone.com has more details:
Neither Dennis Pratte nor his landlord were notified of this public hearing

And they weren’t notified by the Arlington County Board, but by a neighbor. I suppose these authoritarian swine were hoping Dennis and his landlord wouldn’t show up and defend themselves against these odious attacks.

After all, it’s much easier to bully your victim by stabbing them in the back. It’s much preferable to destroy your prey when they least expect it.

According to an appeal filed by gun-grabbing filth Julie Young, Emily Hughes, Bernadette Brennan, Grace Chan, and Nathan Guerrero, because the store advertised “wholesale prices,” it operates as a wholesaler, vice a retailer, and therefore, its application as a “retail space” contains false information, and therefore its certificate of occupancy should be revoked.If you live in the area please attend tonight's hearing.  It will start at 7 PM and the location is:
Arlington Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development
2100 Clarendon Blvd
3rd Floor, Board of Supervisors Room
Arlington, VA 22201

NRA Annual Meeting Means New Products Roll Out

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Next week, the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits (NRAAM) will kick off in Louisville, KY, May 19-22 (The Exhibit Hall is open May 20-22).  That means that firearm manufacturers and accessory manufacturers will be rolling out new products.  Emails have already started landing in my inbox announcing what to see and where the exhibitor's booth will be located.

For instance, SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of suppressors, illumination tools, and tactical products, will have products for sale under exclusive show specials at the 2016 NRAAM. Attendees will have a chance to purchase these products like; Warden™, WARCOMP™, and Sidekick™ at exclusive pricing in the SureFire booth's direct store. In addition, SureFire will be displaying new, never before seen, products and host a daily sweepstakes. SureFire will be located at booth #5725. Attendees will also have a chance to win a Sidekick™.

Another exhibitor, Crimson Trace, will exhibit numerous new products in booth 4331 at the NRAAM. These new products will feature red and green laser sights designed to firmly fit onto hundreds of firearm models. Owners of revolvers, pistols and long guns will find something to fit their firearms in the NRA Annual meeting displays.  According to Crimson Trace, leading the new product introductions will be Crimson Trace's new LiNQ® wireless light/laser sight combination, along with the Laserguard Pros® for Smith & Wesson's Shield, Glock's 42 and 43 pistols, and the full-size Springfield XD-s. Laserguard Pros feature a combination 150-lumen LED white light and laser sight that permits the user to select between laser and light, or laser only and light only modes.

That's just a sample of what this blog will be covering at the NRAAM next weekend.  New posts to the blog will be up periodically on Friday and Saturday with a wrap-up post on Sunday or Monday.

Firearm Transportation Laws Up and Down the I-95

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This blog has shared the woes of some gun owners who have traveled I-95 through DC or Maryland, or New Jersey, and the nightmares they have endured when stopped for routine traffic stops the jailed for having a firearm in the vehicle.  Earlier today Oliver Krischik, with Karin Riley Porter, a firm in Northern Virginia, contacted the VSSA office.  According to Mr. Krischik, The firm handles a lot of cases involving firearm charges, and they often represent individuals charged for unlawful gun possession while they are just passing through to Maryland or Virginia. Originally the firm had the idea of developing a resource for clients showing the laws regarding purchase and travelling with weapons up and down the 1-95 corridor. 

Ultimately, the firm developed an infographic showing the extent of peaceful journey laws up and down I-95, and they put it up on the website as a resource for gun-owners.Interstate-95 goes through 15 states and D.C., and crosses many different jurisdictions with a wide variety of laws applying to the need for a permit and whether or not you can cross state borders with your firearm.  The below infographic is interactive and can be useful if you are traveling with your firearm north on I-95 from Virginia.  Simply move your cursor over the state in which you have a question on a particular issue section.  Besides practicing in northern Virginia, they can also represent clients in Richmond and Henrico should you find yourself in need of an attorney familiar with state and federal firearm laws.
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Northern Virginia Gun Club 4H Takes Skeet Shoot vs Woodbury Forest

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On 30 April the Northern Virginia Gun Club 4H Team invited Woodbury Forest School to participate in a skeet shoot at Northern Virginia Gun Club.  Woodbury brought two teams and from the scores and report from the club, it was a great morning of shooting followed by hot dogs for lunch.
NVGC 4H on Left is Chandler, Kendall, Jordan and Paul (not pictured David King). Woodbury shooters in tan and orange shooting shirtsThe King George 4H team took 1st Place with a score of 198. Woodbury Forest 2 finished 2nd with a score of 190, which included a perfect score of 25 in the first round by Lisle Elliman.  Woodbury 1 finished 3rd with a score of 150.  Individual leaders were Lisle Elliman of Woodbury finished 1st with a score of 48, Kendall Rhodes of Northern Virginia Gun Club 4H finished 2nd with a score of 44, and Conn Jannerbo of Woodbury Forest finished 3rd with a score of 43.


2016 State Outdoor Pistol Championship

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The 2016 Virginia State Outdoor Precision Pistol Championship will be held at the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club June 24, 25, & 26, 2016.  The match is open to all competitors. Competitors may preregister by using either the Match Entry Form linked here or a standard NRA SR-1 form, accompanied by payment of the entry fees which are listed on the entry form linked above.  Entry fees may be paid using NRA award points or a check or money order made payable to “Fairfax Rod & Gun Club” (match fees for each match must be paid by a separate check).  Preregistration forms and entry fees must be received not later than the Wednesday preceding the match.  Post entries will be accepted at the range each day until 15 minutes prior to the match start time, to the extent that firing positions remain available.  This match is limited to 25 competitors per day, and will each be conducted in a single relay on each day. Preregistration forms and entry fees should be mailed to John Hollingshead at P.O. Box 1245, Olney, Maryland 20830.

With Unintentional Deaths by Firearm Historically Low, NY Times Attempts to Imply Otherwise

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Today's New York Times has this article with a headline meant to make it sound like "accidental" gun deaths of children are on the rise.  It should be noted that what they go on to describe are actually negligent deaths, not accidental, because the firearm owners in the story do not take the proper steps to secure the firearm. Complete with talking points from Everytown for Gun Safety, the article is intended to make their case this is proof we need more gun control:
They are the most maddening gun deaths in America. Last year, at least 30 people were killed in accidental shootings in which the shooter was 5 or younger, according to Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group that tracks these shootings, largely through news reports.

With shootings by preschoolers happening at a pace of about two per week, some of the victims were the youngsters’ parents or siblings, but in many cases the children ended up taking their own lives.The Times is hoping that the "two per week" is what grabs the attention of the reader without them stopping to do the math.   If you do, that averages out to be a little over 100 in a year - too many for sure, but clearly no epidemic.  Let's look at the trends as reported in the 2015 NSSF Firearms Related Injury Statistics NSSF for perspective.

Typical of the Times, they use Everytown's death numbers for the article which are much higher than what the CDC numbers as reported by NSSF.  But we all know how suspect Everytown's numbers are when they report statistics.  This is all done to promote mandatory storage laws but you can't legislate stupidity.  Each of the cases in the article were preventable if the owner of the firearm had taken the appropriate steps.  Steps like those promoted by NSSF's Project ChildSafe that talk about storing firearms in a safe manner that fit your individual needs go a long way in preventing the type of tragedies like the ones in the Times article.  Yet rather than mention what works, they push more restrictions.





Grant Making Division of Justice Department Will No Longer Use Word "Felons" to Describe Felons

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Yesterday, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, who heads the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), announced in a Washington Post Op/Ed that OJP would no longer use the term "felons" to refer to criminals who had served their time and been released:
This new policy statement replaces unnecessarily disparaging labels with terms like “person who committed a crime” and “individual who was incarcerated,” decoupling past actions from the person being described and anticipating the contributions we expect them to make when they return.  We will be using the new terminology in speeches, solicitations, website content, and social media posts, and I am hopeful that other agencies and organizations will consider doing the same.She noted that many of the people that had been imprisoned with which she has spoken say the harshest punishment they endure is being permanently branded a “felon” or “offender.”  The Post originally reported that the policy applied to all of USDOJ but apparently there was enough flack about it that the Post later noted the policy only applied to OJP.  OJP is the grant making arm of USDOJ.  No word as to whether Main Justice was trying to cover its rear or if Mason simply did not make it clear when she originally pinned the Op/Ed.

Cam Edwards of NRANews.com addressed this new policy on yesterday's program and made some great points about at a time when crime is at all time lows, we seem more concerned about the feelings of criminals than keeping those who commit most of the crime where they belong, behind bars, while at the same time trying to take away the rights of law abiding gun owners.


This Guy Now Knows How Firearm Manufacturers and Retailers Feel

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It is unclear whether this is a letter to the Washington Post Editor or an Op/Ed but an individual named Ryan Albert wrote last week a whining piece about being sued after joining a group of malcontents trying to stop NOVA Armory from opening in northern Virginia:
I understand why people want firearms and I believe there are reasons to own hunting rifles, shotguns and, with proper training, handguns for self-defense. I do not believe, however, that there is any legitimate reason for ordinary citizens to own military-grade weapons or use suppressors (better known as silencers by many among us). Yet these are somehow legal to be bought and to own.

It is because of these beliefs that I posted on Facebook my opposition to Broadstone Security’s Nova Armory opening in Arlington County. The owner opened an online store that sells variants of AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and silencers. Those weapons belong in the hands of our trained law enforcement and military personnel. An AR-15 makes a lousy self-defense weapon unless you are worried about guerrillas invading your home from a distant ridge.

Because I expressed these beliefs in two Facebook posts, I have been named as a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit that seems designed to intimidate me and 63 of my neighbors and state legislators into silence. No Mr. Albert, it is not because you exercised your First Amendment rights that you were sued.  You were free to say as often as you want that you did not want the gun shop to open.  You could have written a letter to the editor or penned an Op/Ed expressing your disapproval and you would not have been sued.  Legislators tried to pass legislation that would allow localities to prohibit gun shops from opening and they weren't sued.  It is when you joined with 60 other people and actively tried to get the landlord to reverse course and breech the rental contract that had already been signed with the owner of NOVA Armory that you opened yourself to legal action.

Maybe Mr. Albert  now knows how firearm manufacturers and retailers felt about being sued by cities like New York for acts they had absolutely nothing to do with, before the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed.  The difference is those lawsuits were truly frivolous.  We'll see if the court believes this one has more merit.

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