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Firearm Bills On Wednesday, Thursday Afternoon General Assembly Committee Dockets

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General Assembly committees are beginning to move firearm related bills.  Senate Courts of Justice meets this afternoon and several bills are on the docket:

S.B. 48 Concealed handgun; person may carry concealed without permit if otherwise eligible to obtain permit.
S.B. 95 Use of firearm in commission of crime; civil liability.
S.B. 175 Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information.
S.B. 185 Firearms, loaded; prohibits carrying certain firearms in public places, exception.
S.B. 186 Concealed handgun permits; proof of competence, training courses.
S.B. 187 Transfer of firearms; permit required.
S.B. 198 Concealed weapons; adds any employee with internal investigations authority designated by DOC.
S.B. 199 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check, penalties.
S.B. 217 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children age six or younger, penalty.
S.B. 220 Firearm transfers; penalties.
S.B. 300 Firearms, loaded; carrying in public while under influence.
S.B. 301 Transfer of firearms; criminal history record information check; penalties.
S.B. 302 Firearms; access by children; penalty.
S.B. 411 Firearms; removal from persons posing substantial risk; penalties.
S.B. 479 Law-enforcement officers, retired; authority to carry concealed handguns.
S.B. 520 Concealed handgun permit; demonstration of competence.
S.B. 544 Concealed handgun permit; judges exempt.
S.B. 608 Confiscation, reporting, and return of firearms by law enforcement.
S.B. 615 Purchase of weapons other than handguns by certain officers.
S.B. 626 Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders.

In the House, Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcomittee #1 also has firearm bills on its Thursday Afternoon docket.
HB12 Concealed handgun permits, out-of-state; photo identification.
HB90 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members at certain facilities.
HB119 Virginia National Guard; possession of handguns by members.
HB206 Firearms, certain; identification requirement.
HB273 Transfer of certain firearms; identification requirement.
HB382 Firearms; control by state agencies, etc.
HB766 Concealed handguns; carrying with a valid protective order.
HB784 Firearms; possession by persons adjudicated delinquent, military service exception.
HB809 Firearms; selling, bartering, etc., to persons not lawfully present in United States, penalty.
HB810 Assault weapon; transfer of firearm, proof of citizenship.
HB840 Possession of handguns by members of the Virginia National Guard.
HB1096 Regulation of firearms by state entities.
HB1107 Concealed handgun permit reciprocity; report.
HB1163 Concealed handguns; recognition of out-of-state permits.
HB1201 Concealed handgun permits; reciprocity.

The Senate Courts of Justice docket is very long and it is possible not all bills listed will be heard but VSSA's legislative team will be at both meetings and will be giving live updates via Twitter and Facebook.

Northern Virginia's Robinson High School Rifle Team Continues Success as Gun Control Debate Grows Louder

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VSSA's regularly scheduled Board of Director's meeting was held Wednesday night and fellow Board member Tom Ciarula told the rest of the Board about this piece set to appear in the Washington Post on the Robinson High School Rifle Team.  It appeared on the Post web site shortly after 7:00 PM Thursday night.  It's a great article (even more so considering it is in the Post) on the team in the midst of a renewed focus on gun ban laws.
Hayley Carroll was in standing position, one eye closed and the other focused on the target 33 feet ahead. With the air rifle balanced by her left hand and pressing against her cheek, she moved her index finger over the trigger.

When she pulled it, there was no whiplash. No smoke and no blast. The sound more closely resembled a pen click than a gunshot, and to the untrained eye, it wasn’t clear where or whether the pellet pierced the paper.

But it didn’t take the binoculars provided by the onlooking coach to know that she hit the bull’s-eye. Carroll, all 5 feet 2 of her, is almost always on target. And on the occasions she did miss during a late December winter break practice at the indoor air rifle range at the Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the IZAAK Walton League, it wasn’t by much.

Carroll, a senior at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, is an atypical athlete in an atypical co-ed varsity sport. With 40-plus members, Robinson is the largest and most successful of the 11 teams competing in the Potomac High School Rifle League (PHSRL). Though considered a varsity team, Robinson functions as a club. It doesn’t receive money from the school. Its coaching staff consists of volunteers and equipment is paid for by parents.

Amid challenges both practical and of perception, the niche sport has changed to account for financial and political pressures. But as the national gun debate continues , local high school riflery participation remains as robust as it was 20 years ago. For these athletes, shooting is not political — it’s an enduring outlet for competition and individualism that attracts students uninterested or unable to play for traditional high school athletic teams. In addition to Robinson, other Fairfax County schools in the Public High School Rifle League (PHSFL) include W.T. Woodson, Lake Braddock, West Potomac and West Springfield. Arlington County also has three varsity teams in the PHSRL: Washington-Lee, Yorktown and Wakefield (which is a new team). Ciarula told the Board Wednesday night that the biggest challenge for Robinson and other schools participating in the sport is finding practice space.  Robinson uses the NRA Range.

The challenge of practice space hasn't hindered Robinson's team performance however.  The post notes:
Robinson has dominated the league, winning PHSRL region titles in 19 of the past 26 years. The team regularly sends its top shooters to Division I programs; this year’s team has a few NCAA prospects, including Carroll; Nicholas Kanellis, who plans to attend a service academy; and Zach Eisenberg, a lacrosse player-turned marksman who is considering North Carolina State.Read the entire article.  In the midst of gun ban politicians trying to restrict our rights, articles like this and others that appeared in the last year reporting the popularity of the shooting sports in schools shows we are succeeding in making gun ownership part of our everyday life.

Rigell Becomes Second Virginia GOP Congressman Announcing Retirement

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The Hill reports that 2nd District Congressman Scott Rigell will not seek re-election:

“[T]he five-year point of service is, to me, a point of decision: has a meaningful difference been made and it's time go home, or is serving in Congress a career and the hope is to serve much longer?” Rigell asked.
“Given the two alternatives, my belief in term limits, and in reflecting upon what my team and I have accomplished, I am at peace about coming home.”

Also retiring is 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt.  While the 5th District will likely be more difficult for Democrats to pick up, the 2nd District is considered competitive and sets up a possible pick-up opportunity for Democrats.

McAuliffe Vows to Veto Any Bill Turning Back His Gun Control Actions

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The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Governor Terry McAuliffe soured the mood of his State of the Commonwealth Address last night with two veto threats:
“Specifically, I am prepared to veto bills that roll back the progress that we have made on marriage equality and women’s access to health care,” McAuliffe said. “I will also reject proposals that limit this commonwealth’s ability to keep Virginians safe from gun violence or to react to the very clear and present danger of climate change and sea level rise.”The Times noted that Republicans thought that throwing down the gauntlet with veto threats took away from his message of working together.  We will need several Democrats to cross ranks if McAuliffe vetoes bills to overturn the AG's unilateral action on out-of-state concealed carry permit recognition.  There are two pro-rights Democrats in the State Senate.  There is also State Senator Chap Petersen who has been known to side with our issue on one or two occasions, including concealed carry in restaurants.  He may be needed if we are to move rollbacks of McAuliffe's and Attorney General Herring's overreach.

Obenshain Chairs Important Courts of Justice Committee

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The opening day of the 2016 Session of the General Assembly brought good news for gun owners as committee assignments were announced.  The all important Senate Courts of Justice Committee, where all gun related bills go for a vote, will be chaired by the very pro-rights Senator Mark Obenshain.  In the past, the committee has been chaired by State Senator Tommy Norment who was sometimes a friend, sometimes not.  Norment did assist in getting the repeal of handgun rationing (one gun-a-month) through Senate Courts of Justice, even though he voted against repeal on the floor.

Other pro-rights members of the committee include:  State Senator John Edwards (D), Senator Ryan McDougle (R), Senator Richard Stuart (R), Senator Bill Stanley (R), State Senator Bryce Reeves (R), State Senator Tom Garrett (R), State Senator Ben Chafin (R), and State Senator Glen Sturtevant (R).

In addition to the above stalwart supporters of our Second Amendment rights, we can usually count on State Senators Norment (R) and State Senator Creigh Deeds (D) to vote with us except on rare occasions.  In the case of Deeds, he has sided with the anti-rights crowd on requiring background checks on private sales at guns shows in the past.  The anti-rights crowd only has four solid votes on the committee and would only have at most six if either one of both of the two less reliable votes (Norment or Deeds) sides with them.

Elections have consequences and defeating McAuliffe and Bloomberg in the last election means we have a pro-rights Courts of Justice committee chaired by a strong supporter of our rights.

Senator David Marsden Becomes Point Man for Gun Ban Lobby

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Updating the list of bills on the VSSA web site, it became evident that State Senator David Marsden has become the point man for bills at the top of the gun ban lobby's list.  Here's the list of what he has pre-filed ahead of tomorrow's opening of the 2016 Session of the General Assembly:
SB 95 Use of firearm in commission of crime; civil liability
SB 96 Protective orders; possession of firearms; penalty
SB 97 Handguns; establishes limitation on purchases, penalty
SB 184 Firearms magazines, certain; prohibition of sale, transfer, etc., penalties
SB 185 Firearms, loaded; prohibits carrying certain firearms in public places, exception
SB 186 Concealed handgun permits; proof of competence, training courses
SB 187 Transfer of firearms; permit required
SB 217 Firearm or pneumatic gun; allowing access by children, penalty
Of the 21 firearm related bills introduced in the State Senate, Marsden has 1/3 of them.  And when you look at just the anti-rights bills of the 16 intoduced, Marsden has almost half.  If Marsden gets his way, an individual would have to get a permit to sell a firearm from his or her personal collection (SB187), parents teaching their six year-old child firearm safety with an air rifle or pistol would be guilty of Class 1 misdemeanor (the most serious) (SB217), and would effectively end open carry (SB 185).

VSSA's legislative team is already hard at work talking to legislators ahead of the official opening of the session.  VSSA will be there the entire session protecting the rights of Virginia's gun owners.  Be sure to check this blog and the VSSA web site regularly for updates, as well as subscribe to the VSSA email list as our weekly eBullet will provide a wrap-up of the weekly activity.

Baltimore Sun Deputy Editor: Gun Owners Should be On a Registry Like Sex Offenders

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A fellow blogger shared this article on his Facebook page, describing the author as "anti-gunner. Racist. Bigot."  He is exactly right.   The article, written by Tricia Bishop,  the Balitmore Sun's deputy editorial page editor is titled "Do you know the gun owners in your circle?"  She confirms her bigotry in the start to her article:
I'm less afraid of the criminals wielding guns in Baltimore, I declared as we discussed the issue, than I am by those permitted gun owners. I know how to stay out of the line of Baltimore's illegal gunfire; I have the luxury of being white and middle class in a largely segregated city that reserves most of its shootings for poor, black neighborhoods overtaken by "the game." The closest I typically get to the action is feeling the chest-thumping vibrations of the Foxtrot police helicopter flying overhead in pursuit of someone who might be a few streets over, but might as well be a world away. You see, she can "self segregate" herself in a low crime neighborhood.  Because she dislikes guns, she doesn't think about those folks who can do the same and may need a firearm for self-defense.  Bishop worries about law abiding gun owners because there is no way for her to know who or where they are.  Her answer to that is to create a database.  That way, before someone moved into a neighborhood or allowed their children to go play at a neighbor's home, they could go online and see if there are guns in the home or neighborhood.  Now, if someone were to suggest a database based on race or ethnicity so that you knew who lived in particular neighborhoods, they would rightly be called out for bigotry.  But do that with gun owners, and you are some kind of champion to the gun ban crowd.    Here is the choice part of the article:
And so, as President Barack Obama announced plans this week to tighten background checks for gun buyers and increase gun tracking and research, I thought, that's all well and good, but how about adding something immediately useful: a gun owner registry available to the public online — something like those for sex offenders. I'm not equating gun owners with predatory perverts, but the model is helpful here; I want a searchable database I can consult to find out whether my kid can have a play date at your house.That's right, Bishop thinks gun owners are like "sex offenders."  There is something wrong with us.  She tries to ameliorate the charge by saying:
Before the 33 percent of U.S. households containing a gun (half of which don't secure them) gets too worked up, they should know that it would likely include many of my relatives and their friends. My parents grew up in small town Minnesota, and hunting was a regular part of their lives before they left for other states, and it still is for many they know. My folks were taught how to handle guns and use them safely. But that doesn't do much to allay my fears; it's the simple presence of the weapon in the home and the possibilities it presents that terrify me.She goes on to repeat the often used myth about how guns in the home are far more likely to injure someone in the home, even though unintentional deaths by firearm are at all time lows.   Maybe instead of worrying about law abiding gun owners, she should be more concerned with keeping some of those Baltimore criminals behind bars so they can't terrorize the less elite neighborhoods.

Even Obama's Own Party Know He is All Bark and No Bite

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We need only look at this Roll Call article from Friday about Obama's threat not to campaign or vote for any candidate that doesn't support gun control:
“It sounds like a lot of tough talk that doesn’t affect too many Senate races,” said one Democratic strategist. “That’s kind of standard with this White House; they say something that doesn’t have a lot of teeth.”That charge came after the article explained what anyone who follows politics knows, there aren't any Democrats running for re-election this year that don't support gun control.  But the larger point is even if there were, Obama's threat probably would not make much difference.

In Wake of Herring Concealed Handgun Move, Virginians Rush to Get Utah Permit

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The Times Dispatch has the story here.  The term rush apparently is an understatement:
Out of concern that their concealed-handgun permits soon could be invalid in other states, Virginia gun owners are rushing to get permits from an unexpectedly distant location: Utah.

“I wouldn’t say a rush. I would say an avalanche,” said James Reynolds, president of Proactive Shooters, a Richmond-area firearm instruction company that has added extra Utah-specific classes to keep up with the demand for the state’s permits.Herring is pushing the line that if you have a Virginia permit nothing changes, completely ignoring the fact those permits will likely no longer be accepted in the states Herring has unilaterally ended recognition.

Proactive Shooters is not the only firearm safety company experiencing an uptick in Utah Permit interest:
Pegasus Firearms of Chesterfield County posted a bulletin on its website advertising its Utah courses, complete with a warning that Herring’s decision could mean Virginians no longer will be able to take concealed firearms to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Buddy Blanton, the owner and lead instructor at Pegasus, said inquiries and sign-ups are “definitely increasing,” perhaps by about 25 percent. He said several gun owners with whom he’s spoken long have considered a Utah permit, but Herring’s announcement was the final nudge.

“I think a lot of Virginians did not take advantage of that because of the fact that Virginia had very good reciprocity agreements across the board,” Blanton said.Whether it's retailers or firearm instructors, it seems gun ban Democrats just can't help increase the business of the firearms industry.

International Business Times Mischaracterizes "Townhall" Question From Mark Kelly

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The International Business Times has this story about last night's so-called "Townhall" (VSSA heard from one of its members last night who attended and he said as a former resident of New Hampshire, he knows townhall meetings and this wasn't a townhall).  As I read the IBT article my eyes opened wide when it described the question late in the show from Mark Kelly asking how the government would go about confiscating firearms as "contentious":
The most contentious moment of the night came after a question from Mark Kelly, the former astronaut husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot in the head at a 2011 political event. Kelly asked Obama how the government would hypothetically go about confiscating the nation's 350 million guns, as some conservative groups fear.

Obama flatly called that notion a conspiracy, even when Cooper called him out for the blunt description. "Are you suggesting the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody's guns away so we can impose martial law is a conspiracy? Yes, it is a conspiracy," Obama said. "I mean, look. I'm only going to be here for another year. I don't know — when would I have started on this enterprise, right?"It was nothing of the sort.  That was a softball question from someone favorable to Obama's actions intended for Obama to illustrate those of us who point out Obama's affection for Australia or British style gun control, which did involve confiscation, are conspiracy nuts.

It was clear from the first question that those on the pro-rights side were nervous in this environment which caused them to ramble at times.  No one picked up on the obvious falsehoods or headed off situations like the president's response to the question from rape survivor Kimberly Corban when he pointed out nothing he was proposing would keep her from acquiring a firearm to protect her or her children.  The environment was set up for someone like Obama who is skilled at deflection to stick to talking points.  There is a propensity to show respect to the President of the United States whether you agree with him or not and while there were some pointed questions, he is always given the last word in this format and there is never the opportunity to challenge him.

Obama constantly set up the NRA as the foil claiming that he was open to meet with them but only if it is based on facts and not "imaginary fiction."  This from a guy who regularly gets multiple "Pinocchios" from the Washington Post Fact Checker for his false statements related to firearms.

We learned nothing new last night.  If the President was looking to open an honest debate, he failed miserably.

Business and Conversation Brisk During Last Weekend's Nation's Gun Show

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Both WTVR CBS6 and the Loudoun Times-Mirror covered the Nation's Gun Show held in Chantilly over this past weekend. Both Media Outlets found varying views on what was at the time speculation of what would actually come out of the White House.  First, the CBS 6 report.

I'm not sure the owner of Trader Jerry's would agree that his comments about those engaged in the business of selling firearms means he thinks laws should be more restrictive. While I don't know this, I am willing to bet he does not believe someone who sells one firearm from their personal collection at a gun show is in the business of selling firearms.

It should also be noted that CBS 6 did not go out of their way to try and portray the private sellers to which they spoke as some shady black market people but they were folks who, like most gun owners, wanted to make sure the folks they were selling their guns to were on the up-and-up.  They also were like most of the private sellers I have seen at gun shows - guys walking around with one gun on their shoulder, not someone trying to skirt the FFL law with a table full of firearms.

You probably noticed that reference to the show being so busy the ATM ran out of money.  Annette Elliot, the show promoted told the Loudoun Times-Mirror why the event was so packed:
“There are three reasons why people are waiting in line to get into our show,” Elliott explained. “One is ISIS. Two is McAuliffe. And three is Obama."The Times-Mirror noted that more guns were sold in December than almost any other month in nearly two decades  according to federal data released on Monday.

VSSA Members Invited to Presidential Town Hall

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VSSA have been invited to attend the Town Hall Meeting with POTUS this coming Thursday.  If anyone would like to attend please contact Allison Brennan via email :  allison.brennan@cnn.com.  Arrival Time will be at 6:30 PM, George Mason University Student Union bldg.  Secret Service requires names of attendees prior to attending.   If you would like to attend please contact Ms. Brennan NLT 3:30 PM today. 

Four Reasons Why the Administration May Have Gone To Such Lengths to Release Such a Nothing Set of Actions

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Jonathan Adler has a good piece at the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy offering several possible reasons why the Obama Administration went to such lengths to issue actions on what constitutes a firearm dealer that many believe really don't do or change a whole lot.  Of the four listed, this one is likely the real reason:
A third potential reason for issuing a guidance of this sort is political: to respond to the political demand for action. Issuing a guidance document with substantial fanfare is a way to create the impression of action and satisfy relevant constituencies. To the typical, rationally ignorant voter, it may appear that the administration is doing something significant. (And insofar as Republicans complain and caterwaul about the administration’s actions, this purpose is more fully achieved.)There is this incessant need in Washington to appear to be doing something.  Nothing illustrates that better than this graphic from National Journal:

The 114th Congress by the numbers https://t.co/Rv7eHioFh7 pic.twitter.com/QG6xtb5ElK— National Journal (@nationaljournal) January 6, 2016Most Americans are probably glad Congress only passed 100 bills last year. 

Adler also reinforces that the announcement dealt with guidance, not a new regulation. This is because it takes a lot more effort to put a new regulation in place and it is possible new regulations could not be completed before the end of the administration.  But guidance has no force in law, so, is the announcement meant to have a "chilling" affect (another possible reason offered by Adler) on private people selling their privately owned firearm to another private individual?  A way to control activity that they have so far been unable to do by law?  Is that the reason Attorney General Lynch mentioned there is court precedent for considering the sale of one firearm as being in the business?

Obama Continues to Collect Pinocchios From Washington Post Fact Checker on Gun Comments

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Anyone still questioning the impact that social media has had on the information available to the public need only look at today's Washington Post Fact Check on one comment that President Obama made during his executive actions announcement yesterday:
“The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules.  A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.”

—President Obama, remarks on gun proposals, Jan. 5, 2016

The Fact Checker’s inbox just about exploded after the president made this comment in introducing new guidance for background checks and gun-safety proposals.  Here’s just a sampling:
Can’t wait for “fact” “checkers” to go to town on this one! https://t.co/CErTynLsb4— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 5, 2016@GlennKesslerWP wow what a lie from the whitehouse https://t.co/zxV9sf6fZW— Steven (@ArlingtonSteve) January 5, 2016Waiting for the fact check on this whopper … @PolitiFact @GlennKesslerWP https://t.co/jikK1niOWa— kelley currie (@mackiesmama) January 5, 2016While watching the speech, I had the VSSA Twitter feed open and folks like Katie Pavlich, Dana Loesch and Bob Owens also called out the President.  So, Kessler wasted no time in looking at what the President said and whether it was true.  After parsing Obama's use of the word "Internet" and what people may understand him to mean (recall Clinton's famous "depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is) the final verdict was Two Pinocchios:
We agree that Obama’s language is slippery and could be confusing to the average person who doesn’t know anything about FFLs and interstate requirements. There is nothing unique about the Internet; the laws governing private transactions and interstate sales are exactly the same. It’s the same as offering to sell a gun on a bulletin board, except the bulletin board is significantly larger. The Internet, and eletronic payment systems such as PayPal and Bitcoin, have certainly facilitated transactions that in the past would have been more difficult to arrange.

Obama erred in saying the rules are different for Internet sellers. They face the same rules as other sellers — rules that the administration now says it will enforce better.Yesterday's speech was full of out right lies.  Even with Kessler's parsing what Obama may have actually meant by the word "Internet" it was nice to see the mainstream media point out the fact in this case.

John Lott: Obama's Gun Control Order is Dicatorial and It Won't Work

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Dr. John Lott has this article over at National Review Online:
The current law is very clear. Only federally licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background checks, and only sellers whose “principal objective of livelihood and profit [is] the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms” are required to obtain a federal license. Anyone “who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms” is specifically exempted from the licensing requirement. But that doesn’t matter to Obama, whose actions today will require many sellers to get a license if they sell even a single gun. White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters that licenses would now be required based on such things as, “whether you sell firearms shortly after they’re acquired or whether you buy or sell in the original packaging.” In an era when private individuals can set up their cell phones to accept credit cards, accepting credit-card payment for one gun will now make selling firearms your “principal objective of livelihood.”Lott goes on to note that Obama doesn't have to rewrite laws related to background checks to make meaningful reforms, including fixing the system so that it does not continuously flag people who have no prohibiting convictions.  The gun ban lobby routinely sites that the system has stopped over 2 million people from purchasing a firearm without telling the rest of the story.  The government hasn't prosecuted those 2 million people for attempting to buy a firearm when they supposedly could not because 94% of those people initially stopped were done so erroneously.

None of the things announced today would have stopped the handful of mass shootings that happened in 2015.  The president's own spokesperson has acknowledged as much.

Legislation Prohibiting People on "Terrorist Screening Database" From Obtaining Concealed Handgun Permits Among Bills Prefiled at VA General Assembly

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On January 13, the Virginia General Assembly will convene.  Bills have steadily been pre-filed since last November's election and there are several bills restricting the rights of gun owners in the hopper. Among them are:
  • a bill banning the carrying of firearms in legislative buildings (Governor McAuliffe's executive order did not cover this as the legislature governs legislative buildings);
  • a bill prohibiting people on the federal "Terrorist Screening Database from obtaining a concealed handgun permit;
  • a bill that prohibits a person who is subject to a protective order from possessing a firearm; currently, such person is only prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm. Such conduct is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor;
  • a bill that holds a person civilly liable if someone commits a crime with a firearm due to the civil defendants failure to "adequately secure the firearm rom theft or unauthorized possession;
  • a bill re-instituting handgun rationing (one gun-a-month);
  • a bill authorizing any locality to adopt an ordinance regulating or prohibiting anyone from engaging in the business of selling firearms at retail within 1,000 feet of a school; and,
  • a bill that would institute a so-called "gun violence restraining order" by adding family members who reside with the applicant for a concealed handgun permit to the persons whose statements that the applicant is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others may be submitted to the court. Under current law sheriffs, police chiefs, and the attorney for the Commonwealth may submit such statements.
There have been some pro-rights bills pre-filed:
  • a bill that removes certain requirements for an out-of-state concealed handgun permit or license to be recognized and accepted in Virginia and instead requires an out-of-state permit or license holder to carry a government-issued photo identification and present his permit or license and such identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer in order for his out-of-state permit or license to be recognized and accepted in Virginia.
  • a bill that permits a school board or an administrator of a private school to designate one or more qualified persons for every school who may carry a concealed handgun on school property.  Any person designated to carry a concealed handgun must be certified and trained by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety or the National Rifle Association in the storage, use, and handling of a concealed handgun. The bill also outlines the training requirements for designated persons to be established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
  • a bill that allows full-time faculty members of public institutions of higher education who possess a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun on campus.
  • a bill that allows Virginia residents to purchase a firearm by presenting only one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense that demonstrates that the prospective purchaser resides in Virginia. The bill provides that a member of the armed forces whose photo identification issued by the Department of Defense does not have a Virginia address may establish his Virginia residency with such photo identification and permanent orders assigning the purchaser to a duty post, including the Pentagon, in Virginia. Current law requires photo identification and another document that establishes residency, such as a lease or utility bill, and that includes an address that matches the photo identification. 
More bills will be introduced between now and the last day to introduce legislation once the session begins (January 22).  Be sure to check the VSSA web site regularly for legislative updates once the session begins.

Is This All There Is?

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The National Shooting Sports Foundation's Larry Keane was on the Bill Bennett show this morning and pretty much confirmed what Sebastian wrote last night, that today's announcement will pretty much be for "public consumption" but not much substance.  Keane said NSSF is still pouring over what has been released but it does not appear to be much more than what is already being done or had already been proposed.  He also confirmed what was written here yesterday, that it is a reversal of the Clinton era of trying to reduce the number of FFLs.  He said the announcement is just "window dressing" that will do nothing to address the issue the President claims to want to address - "gun violence" and shows a failure of leadership.

Keane did say there is one provision the industry does have an issue with the lost and stolen provision (also mentioned here yesterday).  He said holding dealers responsible for something not in their inventory (i.e. if it is lost in transit from the manufacturer to the distributor to the dealer) makes no sense.

Keane and Bennett rhetorically asked "after all the hype, is this all there is?"

Public Ranks Guns/Gun Control 19th Out 23 Most Important Issues of 2015

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As the President embarks on new "executive actions" to address "gun violence", Gallup has released a poll indicating the yearly average for people responding that guns/control was a top issue facing the country in 2015 was only 2%.  It ranked 19th out of 23 issues polled for the year.  The highest it polled during 2015 was 7% in October and December.  Even with all of the media attention immediately after the handful of mass shootings in 2015, the highest the issue polled was 7%.  At it's highest points, that is still less than half of the average for the top two issues of concern to respondents - Government/Congress/Politicians/ (top pick) and Economy in General (second).


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