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Jeb Bush was one of the line of announced and probable 2016 Presidential candidates who addressed a sold out crowd at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday during the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.  During his remarks, he reminded folks that during his term as Governor, he signed more pro-rights legislation than any other governor before him.  Via Jim Geraghty of National Review Online on the laws Bush signed:

One: A law to make it easier for hunters and fishermen to register to vote. Two: A law establishing a baseline number of acres of public hunting lands. Three: A law prohibiting the confiscation of firearms following hurricanes, inspired by the behavior of New Orleans authorities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four: A law to restrict non-law-enforcement access to records on concealed-carry licenses, to ensure gun owners’ personally identifying information isn’t released to the media or the public. Five: A law ensuring Florida citizens had the right to carry firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes while in National Forests and State Parks in Florida. Six: A law to assist men and women serving on active duty in military service to our nation with renewal of their concealed weapons and firearms licenses. Bush also boasted that he had signed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Some on the Left attacked the law in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, even though most legal experts asserted the law didn’t apply to George Zimmerman’s circumstances, and his lawyers never cited the law in their successful legal defense of him.

I have to say I am surprised that Bush did not back away or at least skip mentioning the “Stand Your Ground” law given how the anti-rights crowd continues to mischaracterize it.  Since Bush is quoted as having said he needs to find a way to win the nomination without the GOP conservative base, he could simply have skipped over that one.  Bush knew his audience however.  Geraghty also noted that Bush took a dig at former Texas Governor Rick Perry when Bush noted that thanks to him, more Floridians have a Florida concealed carry permit than Texans who possess a Texas permit.  Conservatives may take issue with Jeb Bush on things like illegal immigration and education, but on our issue, he earned his NRA “A+” Rating.

Not happy that reporter Emily Miller, a DC resident, is associated with the pro-rights movement, Josh Horwitz sent an email earlier today linking to this site calling on Coalition to Stop Gun Violence supporters to write WTTG (Emily’s employer) and ask that they fire her for not being “objective.”

Miller was not exaggerating. She has spent most of her career openly lobbying against the District’s gun laws. Miller is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun…But Obama Wants to Take Yours,” a book in which she rails against D.C.’s democratically-enacted licensing and registration laws, which have been deemed constitutional by a federal court on two separate occasions.4 She has also personally testified before the D.C. Council’s Judiciary Committee in favor of looser gun laws.5 Finally, some have accused Miller of fabricating stories on WTTG to further her pro-gun agenda.6

This is the behavior of an activist and pundit, not a journalist. Given her record, D.C. residents can’t trust that Miller will provide objective coverage on matters of concern to their city. If WTTG is at all concerned with journalistic integrity, it is time for them part ways with her.

The gun ban lobby does not like the fact that Emily has been effective in getting the pro-rights side of the issue in the media.  She has stood with gun owners, first as an editorial writer for the Washington Times and now as a investigative reporter for WTTG.  Please drop an email to WTTG and let them know how much you appreciate Emily Miller’s reporting.

SB 848 Passes Senate

The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has a great article today that explains the need for Senator Richard Stuart’s SB848, a bill that would prevent the Virginia State Police from sharing concealed handgun permit holder data with states that don’t recognize Virginia permits.

Addressing his colleagues, Stuart described an incident that occurred in Maryland on New Year’s Eve of 2013. According to news reports, Maryland police pulled over Florida resident John Filippidis on Interstate 95, ostensibly for speeding. An officer then approached the vehicle and allegedly told Filippidis, “You own a gun. Where is it?”

Filippidis did indeed own a handgun—he had a concealed-carry permit from Florida. At the time, he had the weapon locked in a safe at home. The only way Maryland police could have known about the gun was by accessing the database of Florida’s concealed-weapon permits, according to Filippidis and other Second Amendment rights activists.

The traffic stop on I–95 lasted for at least 90 minutes while police searched Filippidis’ vehicle. After failing to find a gun, officers issued Filippidis a warning for speeding. Filippidis, who was traveling with his family, said he was humiliated by the ordeal—and the incident made national news.

The all 21 Republicans voted for the bill as well as three Democrats, Senators Chuck Colgan, John Edwards and Linwood Lewis.  The bill now moves to the House of Delegates.  While Governor McAuliffe’s office has not stated a position on the bill, anti-rights Senator Dick Saslaw said the Governor would veto it if it reaches his desk.

Election Post Mortem

With several races yet to be determined, we do know that Republicans have gained a majority in the U.S. Senate.  With this change, pro-rights forces have also strengthened their hand in the chamber.  Here in Virginia, it appears that NRA “C” rated Senator Mark Warner has survived a scare from Republican Ed Gillespie with Warner clinging to a lead of just under 13,000 votes, although Warner has yet to claim victory and Gillespie has yet to concede.  It is possible that neither will happen until the state canvass votes is complete.  One note on the Gillespie race, if all of the people who cast a vote for 7th District GOP candidate Dave Brat and 10th District GOP candidate Barbara Comstock had also cast their ballots for Ed Gillespie, he would be celebrating victory.  For instance, in Chesterfield County, Gillespie underperformed the two GOP House Candidates also on the ballot (Chesterfield is split between the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts) by almost 5500 votes – almost half of his overall margin of loss.  How people could vote for Dave Brat and then cast a vote for Mark Warner, someone who has supported Barack Obama 97% of the time, is beyond me.

2014VAUSSen

Even though he is likely to win, Warner has to be smarting this morning.  Dan Palazzolo, a professor of political science at the University of Richmond, told the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Voter turnout matters greatly. Too many Democrats stayed home, which is as much a reflection on Warner than Obama. He has lost 15 percent of his vote share from 2008.”

Over all, it was a good night for gun owners but there were some While candidates supporting firearm freedom won across the nation, gun owners in Washington State suffered a loss with the passage of Initiative 594 (I-594).  That is the initiative that supporters said would require background checks before you sell your privately owned firearm to another private individual, but in reality does much more. I-594 was approved with about 60% of the vote and the competing initiative I-591, which would not allow any background checks that exceeds what federal law was losing with about 55% of the vote against.  The gun ban lobby is already gathering signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada, and future campaigns are being planned for Arizona and Maine.  Look for them to push even harder for such a law in Virginia from the General Assembly.  Virginia is not an initiative state and their only avenue is to get the General Assembly to pass a law.

So, this election is behind us (with one runoff to be held in Louisiana) and we now look forward to the General Assembly elections in Virginia in 2015 where all 100 seats of the House of Delegates and 40 seats in the State Senate are up.  We have a very slim pro-rights margin in the State Senate and we need to protect and hopefully build in that next year.  Gun owners and take a break and enjoy the holidays, but then it’s time to get back to work in 2015.

Why Your Vote Matters

Do you think your vote matters?  If gun owners lose interest or don’t vote, someone else will fill the void and you lose control of what happens to your rights.

The Richmond Times Dispatch has this story on Thursday’s 7th District Congressional candidate forum sponsored by the Goochland Chamber of Commerce.  Republican Dave Brat, Democrat Jack Trammell and Libertarian James Carr were all in attendance.  The RTD noted it is the only time the three candidates have been, or will be, on stage together this election and they covered a number of issues, including gun control.

Brat, Carr and Trammell were also in unison about their support of Second Amendment rights, but shared different ideas about the federal government’s role in enforcing these rights.

“I don’t think it’s the government’s job to manage rights; rights are endowed by our creator and it’s the government’s role to protect them,” Brat said.

Trammell, a gun owner and hunter, said background checks still play an appropriate role in the way the Second Amendment is managed, noting that mental health is an underlying issue.

Carr said he is against additional regulations of gun ownership. “The issue is not instituting more background checks but enforcing the laws that we have now,” he said.

It’s interesting that the RTD noted Trammell said he supported the Second Amendment yet he did not return his NRA Candidate Questionnaire as he has a “?” as a rating for this election.NRAPVF2014

Dave Brat is the NRA-PVF endorsed candidate and deserves the support of all gun owners in the 7th District.

National Review has this piece that talks about Virginia’s NRA Endorsed U.S. Senate Candidate Ed Gillespie:

While Gillespie is focused on selling positive solutions, there is plenty in Warner’s record that should turn off not only conservative voters but also centrists aplenty. For one, Warner has slavishly voted for every one of President Obama’s nominees to the courts and executive agencies — even for radical lawyer Debo Adegbile, infamous for playing the race card while pushing for the release of the vicious cop killer Mumia Abu-Jubal. Seven other Democrats — but not Warner — joined Republicans in killing Adegbile’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This put Warner to the left even of Delaware’s leftist Chris Coons, who has a rating of 100 percent from Americans for Democratic Action and a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of just 2 percent.

Add to the above list that Warner voted to criminalize the private sale of firearms between longtime friends and gun club members.  Warner has worked hard to carefully craft the illusion that he is a “radical centrist.”  Don’t believe it.  Warner has done nothing to move any of the bills passed in the House but languishing on Harry Reid’s desk.  Gun owners can make the difference in this race.  Off-year elections are about who shows up on election day.  You can find out how to volunteer for Gillespie by going here.

 

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